Pool water for dog's normal drinking water


Bronze Supporter
Mar 27, 2019
So I may get some comments for being lazy but is there any concern using pool water as the main source of water for my dog? I don’t mean telling the dog to drink from the pool but I use those automatic water bowls with the clear 3-5 gal jugs sitting on top. When I fill it up with normal tap water, the one I keep outside starts getting algae in 2-3 days, which I probably discover another 2-3 days after that. I found that when I fill up the jug with pool water, I can usually go a week before needing to change out the water.

When I fill it up, my FC is in the 5-7 range with 40 CYA and other chemicals in range, not at SLAM level or anything. The jug/bowl I keep in the garage wouldn’t get algae due to no sun light but I have occasionally seen mold at the jug’s dispenser top due to going weeks between changes. I have to think the garage one filled with pool water would have less bacteria/mold as my dog slowly drinks it over a few weeks.

Any thoughts or concerns? I know a dog swimming in the pool is fine since they could only drink a small amount but as their main water source?


Bronze Supporter
Mar 27, 2019
If you dont have borates on your pool then its ok. Mine do it all the time.
Borates are not being added to the water, just baking soda for alkalinity. Its a good thing you have big dogs as I wouldn't want to see a Chihuahua try to get out of your pool. :) My pool has a fence around it so our Lab only gets to jump in about once per week but she loves it too.


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
Franklin, NC
Trigger says he has been know to drink from the pool, but he does have a water bowl always available.

German Shepherd Dogs have "fragile" GI tracts and things get out of whack easily. I for one would not make pool water their primary source of water. Heck, Trigger thinks the soaking tub in the master bath is his source of water and he will just go turn it on when he wants some.

To the left in my avatar is Niko who we lost to cancer two years ago.

He has also taught himself to open any style door handle and we have to remember to deadbolt exterior doors all the time.

They are too smart sometimes......



Silver Supporter
Jun 20, 2018
Annapolis, MD
All I can say is yuck! My dogs get fresh water multiple times throughout the day. I can’t even imagine how warm water left outside would be. My dogs also live in my house and aren’t left outside, even if they were they would get fresh water more than once a day. Their water bowls are cleaned then fresh water put in.

Tim is correct GSD’s have delicate digestive systems. I work with a GSD Rescue and see many GI upsets affecting the breed.