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Thread: Questions About Dogs and Pools

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    WaterWoman's Avatar
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    Questions About Dogs and Pools

    Hi TFP Folks!

    I'm not sure where this should go, so thought I'd just put it here. I'm not a pool newbie, but this is a new situation for me. We have a couple of new canine additions to our family, and I have a few questions about how to ensure their health and safety in and around the pool.

    My major concern is about them drinking the water. One of them, Fionna, is a Border Collie. So far (she was around the pool some as a pup last summer), she seems to have no interest in swimming, but thinks of the pool as a giant water bowl. She also likes to play "Bite the Water," which involves sitting on the top step, splashing with her front paws and trying to bite the spray (silly!). I'm hoping she will actually get into swimming this year, but we'll see... The other one, Seamus, is a Border Collie/Brittany mix. He did swim a bit last September before it got too cold.

    Anyhow, my question would be about safe levels of various chemicals for the dogs, and in particular, safe chlorine levels. (I use your BBB method.) I suppose it would not be much different than for children, although I know that there are differences in skin pH between humans and dogs, and you could tell children not to drink the water and get them to understand that, but there's no way we're going to be able to keep Fionna from drinking it. (She did barf after drinking too much a few times last summer.)

    Neither of these dogs shed much, so I'm not too worried about dog hair in the pool, but I am concerned about what I can do to make it as safe as possible for them. The pool is also fenced, and there is no access to it without humans to open the gate, so they will always be supervised when in the pool area. I've thought about getting one of those pool ladders for animals, but don't know how useful they really are. The pool is in-ground plaster, so there's no worry about them damaging a liner, either.

    So... TFP dog owners: What things do you do to ensure the safety and enjoyment of your dogs in and around the pool? Any advice on how to coax Fionna to enjoy swimming would be appreciated, too.

    Thanks!

    WaterWoman

    Fionna poolside last summer (if you wonder why she isn't black & white, she's a sable Border Collie--they actually come in lots of coat colors)


    Seamus and Fionna hanging out at the dog park last fall (both about 8-9 mos. old)
    20,000 gallon in-ground gunite ~ sand filter (62 gpm) w/Vari-Flo valve (75 gpm) ~ 1.0 HP dual-speed pump

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Questions About Dogs and Pools

    As a general rule dogs should be taught not to drink pool water. However, even if they do drink quite a bit of pool water it won't pose any serious risks. The closest any of the chemical levels come to being a risk is if you use borates. Borates at 50 ppm is just below the threshold for detectable symptoms if the dog gets all of their water from the pool over an extended period. So even that is safe, though it isn't as much margin as you might want.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Questions About Dogs and Pools

    From what I can dig up, it seems pretty typical for dogs to drink pool water. As long as you are not shocking, and it does not happen all the time..I think your pups will be fine. It sounds like with the gate, you will be able to control when the dogs are by the pool, and monitor how much they drink. I also found a tip from another TFP user "Try adding ice cubes to the outdoor dog dish, that broke mine from drinking pool water, they like eating the ice." Tip came from a member named coloeb. Might be worth a try!

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    Re: Questions About Dogs and Pools

    Those are terrific looking dogs, Water Woman.

    Molly is half Border Collie and half Black Lab She lives in our pool 12 months out of the year. She swims constantly.[attachment=0:31kqmn54]molly_pool_again 001.jpg[/attachment:31kqmn54]She has drunk untold amounts of pool water in the five years we have had her. I do not worry.

    There has been some discussion on the forum about elevated Borate levels being potentially harmful but I do not use borates so it is a moot topic for me.
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    Dave S.
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    Re: Questions About Dogs and Pools

    I have a Bassett hound and lab mix; the pool is their drinking bowl. Can't help it...
    IG plaster; 32x16x3-5 ft. w overflow spa; ~15k gals; 2 hp Pentair pump; 120 gpm Pentair DE filter; Pentair heater

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    WaterWoman's Avatar
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    Re: Questions About Dogs and Pools

    Thanks for the input! I feel better about it already.

    I don't use borates, either, so that won't be a problem.

    I LOVE the idea of ice cubes in their water bowl. That could help. We do that sometimes in their water bowl in the house, too. They do love crunching on ice cubes!

    Love the pic of Molly, too! Many years ago, I had a dog much like yours. Border Collies weren't an official breed back then (it was in the 70s), but I suspect he was a BC/Black Lab mix, too. He would have lived in water if he could have. I didn't have a pool then, but we took him to the lake to swim several times a week in the summer because he loved it so much. He liked to body surf, too, when we took him to the beach. That's a great breed mix!

    Basset/Lab mix... yeah, that would be a water-loving dog, too! Yep. Giant drinking bowl. LOL I really wish we could teach Fionna not to drink it, but I'm not sure it will be possible, at least not right now. She's super-smart, and has the capability to learn darn near anything, but that's part of the problem. She obeys us when SHE sees the merit in it. Right now, she's like a defiant teenager. Show me WHY...
    20,000 gallon in-ground gunite ~ sand filter (62 gpm) w/Vari-Flo valve (75 gpm) ~ 1.0 HP dual-speed pump

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    Re: Questions About Dogs and Pools

    You guys are making me miss my old doggy - a pitbull-lab mix named 'Dude'! We had great times together though, and left me with so many good memories!
    EDIT: Just set my avatar as a tribute!

    On a different note, I just noticed WaterWoman's avatar picture! WHAT AN IMPROVEMENT!!

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    WaterWoman's Avatar
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    Re: Questions About Dogs and Pools

    Hi Blake! Hey, thanks for the compliment! It took about 3 months to get it from the way it looked on the left to the way it looks on the right. I couldn't have done it without this place. Seriously. I mean that. They held my hand and guided me every step of the way.

    Dude looks like he was a real sweetie! I miss my old guy, too, so I know what you mean. These new pups are keeping me busy and making me laugh every day, though.
    20,000 gallon in-ground gunite ~ sand filter (62 gpm) w/Vari-Flo valve (75 gpm) ~ 1.0 HP dual-speed pump

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    Re: Questions About Dogs and Pools

    Our Chocolate Lab, Livvy, is in the pool whenever the kids are. Can't keep her out! I think labs are part otter anyway. She started drinking some pool water when the pool was new. She got the runs for a few weeks, and we try to catch her whenever she went for a drink. She seems to have gotten the idea and stopped drinking the pool water. No more runs. (She has a sensitive stomache anyway.

    So far no troubles with the filter and dog hair. I see some in the basket and a little on the filters, but not much.
    Pool: Inground gunite/plaster, 34'x12', 3.5' - 5.5' - 3.5', ~14,000 Gal, 420 SQFT, 87.5' Perimeter, Salt Water, Waterfall, Oklahoma flagstone. Equipment: Hayward V/S, 425 SQFT Cartridge filter, Pool Pilot Digital Nano http://www.troublefreepool.com/new-p...tx-t38458.html

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