Is It Dangerous for Dogs to Drink Pool Water?

by Victoria Lee Blackstone
    An occasional drink from a pool will not hurt your dog, but providing water is better.

    An occasional drink from a pool will not hurt your dog, but providing water is better.

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    If your dog looks at your backyard pool as a giant water bowl, the normal chlorine levels should not cause any problems. However, this is not always the case and you should discourage your pooch from poolside sipping, especially in pools that are not well maintained. An occasional sip while swimming is not a problem, though providing a fresh outdoor water source is better for your pooch.

    Pool and Tap Water Not Much Different

    Just as you may accidentally ingest water while swimming, your pooch is likely to do the same. In a properly maintained pool, the chlorine levels are probably not much different from the tap water you serve your dog, according to veterinarian William Griswold of Priority Pet Hospital. Given this, the pool water is generally safe for a few sips or more.

    Chlorine Overload

    When caring for a pool, it is often necessary to shock the pool with high levels of chlorine or the use of algaecide chemicals. When treating your pool with these high chemical levels, it is essential to keep your dog away from drinking the water.

    Teaching Pool Etiquette

    It is best to teach your dog that the pool is not his backyard water bowl. Providing a fresh water supply outside will offer him a beverage supply while keeping the pool for playtime. If your dog spends extended periods outside, having your pool fenced or covered reduces the risk of him drinking the water, as well as accidental drowning or injuries.

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    About the Author

    Victoria Lee Blackstone is a horticulturist who propagates heirloom and native plants for her nursery. She has authored research-based scientific/technical papers, plant care sheets and magazine and newspaper articles. Blackstone studied botany and microbiology at Clemson University and is a former University of Georgia Extension Master Gardener Coordinator.

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