Dogs drinking pool water

StuartPool

In The Industry
Apr 20, 2010
61
Reading the sticky on Borates I see the area that says it is bad for dogs.

I really like my dog but for some reason, no matter how much fresh cold water we put out, he just keeps drinking the pool water.

We have fresh water at the pool side, in the kitchen, bathrooms, all over (really)
the pool is like his gigantic water dish.

I dont want to add borates due to this, but I am also concerned about all the other chems in the pool and the long term affects.
Its one reason I also switched to the BBB method.

Any thoughts.
 

257WbyMag

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Feb 23, 2008
5,061
Denton, TX
If you can't discourage your doggie from drinking from the big blue water dish then borates are not the way for you to go. :)

As far as the other chemicals in the pool, you basically have chlorine. Considering that we ingest chlorine in our water from the tap (and doggie does too), I wouldn't think this to be an issue really. Just keep him away during the times that you are adding chemicals only because the chems need a chance to dilute in the water.

Lots of dogs drink pool water and water from the toilet and other places and appear to suffer no ill effects from it. I think that they like it because it stays relatively cool when it is hot out. If you continue to be concerned by this behavior in your dog, I would ask a vet for suggestions.
 

poolgirl22

Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 14, 2010
595
Stephens City, VA
I want to do the borate thing sooooo bad when I get my TA issue resolved but I hesitate for this very reason.

Is it true that if you don't do the borate level to 30-50 there's no point? I mean, is a borate of 20 or 25 even worth it to keep it from being bad for the dogs?

Will salt be an improvement in the feel and appearance the way everyone indicates borates do while not being as harmful for the furry ones..?
 

geekgranny

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 20, 2009
1,358
North Central Texas
We don't use borates in the pool for that very reason. We provide plenty of fresh water everywhere too. Their favorite is pool then toilets. They even drink as they are swimming.

gg=alice
 

StuartPool

In The Industry
Apr 20, 2010
61
Ours hasnt discovered the toilets yet. I am really really glad of that.
Its over a year since he discovered the pool as a dish.
When we get in the pool he gets this strange look on his face like "what are you doing swimming in my dish"
Gawd forbid what they think when we go to the bathroom.
 
G

Guest

FYI, if you have a dog that is being treated with potassium bromide for canine epilepsy (seizures), then I would stay away from a salt water pool. Salt neutrilizes the potassium bromide and makes it less effective. I had to rid my pool of salt and use liquid chlorine. My dogie likes the big blue water dish!
 

PoolGuyNJ

TFP Expert
May 20, 2007
3,192
South Central NJ
All my animals use the pool and toilets to drink from. One of my cats is particularly fond of my lab, was getting a drink from the the throne, lab comes in, sniff the tush, cat fell in toilet. That was funny!

I haven't borated my pool either because of the animals and several of my friends have small kids.

Scott
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
24,195
SouthWest Alabama
I keep it clean and the GK's swim and play in it but it's really the cat's pool. Especially the black one. He's out there every time I work on the pool, walking around on the top rail making sure I do it right and they do like to drink from it.
 

jmack1159

Well-known member
Apr 4, 2010
45
Arkansas
So if you just put a couple of boxes of 20 mule team in to take care of a balance issue, is that dangerous to small children and pets?
 

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chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,083
San Rafael, CA USA
A few boxes for balancing should be reasonably safe. Two 76-ounces boxes in 10,000 gallons would be 13 ppm Borates. The following is a discussion of safety at the recommended 50 ppm Borates level.

This post goes into more details, but basically unless your children are frequently gulping pool water every day, then its safe for them to be in a pool with borates. With a margin of exposure safety factor of 100, the child would need to drink 1 tablespoon of pool water every day for months to be equivalent to the highest level where there were still no symptoms seen with dogs. If one ignores the margin of exposure safety factor, then it's 1.5 quarts per day the child would need to drink to be equivalent to when the highest level with still no symptoms seen with dogs. Basically, the EPA has deemed borates to be safe up to 360 ppm for this reason.

As for dogs, it's less safe but still below the highest level where no adverse effects were seen. Basically, if a 22 pound dog were to drink 1 quart every day, then they would still be at the level of no adverse effects. If they were to drink 6 quarts per day every day for months, then they would be where first symptoms were seen for male dogs (shrunken testicles) where the specific first symptoms cutoff is somewhere between 1 and 6 quarts.

So keeping children out of a pool with borates is quite conservative, perhaps overly so except for very young children (babies or toddlers). Preventing a dog from regularly drinking from a pool with borates is being careful, but not particularly conservative (more like being on the safe side), but this is at 50 ppm Borates. With a few boxes in the pool, it's probably OK with dogs unless you've got an unusual situation of a very small dog that drinks incredible amounts of pool water.

Richard
 

samo615

Active member
May 11, 2010
30
chem geek said:
If they were to drink 6 quarts per day every day for months, then they would be where first symptoms were seen for male dogs (shrunken testicles) where the specific first symptoms cutoff is somewhere between 1 and 6 quarts.

Richard

I don't have to worry about shrunken testicles on my 50 pound dog because they are no longer there. lol .. I did it to calm him down. He still jumps in the pool the second he gets outside and drinks at the stairs and while swimming. He spends the most time in the pool during the weekend when we are all out there. My other little dog minds better and prefers the dish.
I am adding borates because I want to, so the wife is putting out a dish by the pool. My big question.. if anyone knows.. Is it actually an issue of poisoning for the dogs? What are the sickness symptoms of a dog that has drank too much water with borates? I don't plan on adding borates any more than the prime swimming months, June through September, so should I really be stressing about this?
 

mkenyon2

Well-known member
Nov 25, 2009
236
Cleona, PA
Our dog hates to swim. (Her loss.) She doesn't come in the pool, and doesn't even like to be on the deck... to close to the water. She's a scardey cat!
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,083
San Rafael, CA USA
samo615 said:
I am adding borates because I want to, so the wife is putting out a dish by the pool. My big question.. if anyone knows.. Is it actually an issue of poisoning for the dogs? What are the sickness symptoms of a dog that has drank too much water with borates? I don't plan on adding borates any more than the prime swimming months, June through September, so should I really be stressing about this?
The liver can remove a certain amount of boron that gets into your body through ingestion, but if you regularly drink (or eat) more in borates than the liver can remove each day, then the borates level in the body will build up. If it builds up enough, then it causes health problems and the first symptom for male dogs is shrunken testicles.

You can read about other symptoms and the level needed for 50% death in this link. Its really testicular atrophy that is the primary symptom. They didn't test for lethal dosages in dogs, but in mice and rats the lowest oral dose that killed 50% (i.e. LD50) was around 400 mg/kg of body weight. A 30 pound dog would need to drink over 28 gallons of water to get this dosage. So toxicity is very unlikely and the only reason I've written about this is for full disclosure since some dogs drink pool water regularly -- it's not about the dogs dying, but getting closer to first symptoms, in particular for male dogs. The risk is low, but close enough that people should at least be aware of it.
 

coloeb

Well-known member
Mar 13, 2009
226
Try adding ice cubes to the outdoor dog dish, that broke mine from drinking pool water, they like eating the ice.
 
G

Guest

coloeb said:
Try adding ice cubes to the outdoor dog dish, that broke mine from drinking pool water, they like eating the ice.

Great Idea, I will try that!!!
 
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