I've been reading about using borates to "stabilize" pH, but I'm a little unclear on a few things. First, it strikes me that in all my searching for how to stabilize my pH (it keeps rising all the time), I can't remember ever seeing anyone suggest adding borates. Am I misinterpreting what people mean by "stabilize" in this case -- i.e. would adding borates potentially help with rising pH levels in a non SWCG pool?
I'm also a bit curious about the potential downsides and other caveats. My pool has a very high Calcium hardness, which the borate information pages seem to indicate can be a problem, but I can't find much detail on this. The info also says that having "metals" like iron or copper in the pool can be a problem, and that stains can be made worse. I have no idea if I have these elements in the pool, and I'm not sure what types of stains to look for. I know I had a few rust stains that I used some pumice to remove -- will this be a problem?
I read that borates can be bad for dogs -- does this mean that it could be a problem for dogs to swim in it, or is it just a problem if they drink it?
Given all the positives mentioned from adding borates, it seems odd that it isn't a more common practice. Is there a reason for this?