Pool Safety for Dogs

Pool Safety for Dogs

Most people would agree that there’s nothing quite as refreshing as a dip in a pool on a hot day. Did you know some dogs feel the same way?

Swimming is a low-impact exercise that helps condition dogs and improves their range of motion without stress on their joints. And it’s fun! But being around the pool has risks, even for good dog swimmers (and just because they like the water doesn’t mean they know how to swim). You need to take safety precautions to keep your dog safe in and around swimming pools.

How To Save A Drowning Dog

There is nothing more terrifying than finding your dog unresponsive in a pool. But you must remember to stay calm and take action.

These are the steps to follow:

If it can be done safely, attempt resuscitation while someone is transporting you to a veterinary hospital.

Near-Drowning of Dogs in Pools

Near-drowning, also called secondary-drowning, occurs when a dog has inhaled enough water to affect the gaseous exchange in the lungs but not enough to cause drowning. Even if a dog seems to cough up the water or you observe water running out of their mouth or nose, some water may remain in the lungs, often resulting in pneumonia. This form of drowning can occur up to three days after the event.

Following a near-drowning event, it’s important to monitor your dog, even if they seem fine. Symptoms of near-drowning include:

Difficulty breathing



Pale gums

Abnormal heart rate

Abnormal respiratory rate


Due to the lack of oxygen, symptoms typically progress quickly.

Therefore, any time you suspect your dog has inhaled water, it’s important to have them evaluated by a veterinarian.

Is It Safe for Dogs to Ingest Pool Water and Chemicals?

Having a pool can put your dog at risk of being poisoned. Ingesting too much pool water causes water intoxication, and they can also be poisoned by ingesting pool chemicals.

If your dog ingests too much pool water, the sodium levels in their blood will drop dangerously low. Even though this is a rare situation, it can be fatal if not treated immediately. Salt poisoning can occur if too much water is ingested from saltwater pools.

Signs of water intoxication include:





Dilated pupils

Loss of coordination



Signs of salt poisoning include:



Muscle tremors


Once pool chemicals, such as chlorine tablets, brominating tablets, and muriatic acid, are diluted in a pool, they’re generally not a concern. Typically, the most common side effect from ingestion of chemicals in the pool water is nausea and vomiting. However, if they’re ingested undiluted, such as your dog finding and eating the tablets, they are poisonous. They can cause ulcers in your dog’s mouth, throat, esophagus, and intestines which can result in intestinal perforation.

You can prevent toxicity by taking these steps:

Provide plenty of fresh water away from the pool.

Supervise to ensure they are not drinking pool water. Frequent potty breaks are a good clue.

Keep all pool chemicals in chew-proof containers in a locked and secure location.

Keep dogs secured and away from open chemical containers when performing pool maintenance.

If you suspect your dog has water intoxication, salt poisoning, or poisoning from pool chemicals, seek medical care immediately.