Are Saltwater Pools Safe for Dogs?

by Christina Stephens
    Let your buddy beat the heat in a saltwater swimming pool.

    Let your buddy beat the heat in a saltwater swimming pool.

    Hoby Finn/Photodisc/Getty Images

    When your buddy is a true water pup, it’s often safer to let him enjoy the wet stuff from the safety of a controlled swimming pool. Harsh waves and rip currents be gone -- saltwater swimming pools are a dog’s best friend when summer starts to scorch.

    Saltwater pools use salt, as opposed to chlorine, to cleanse and sanitize pool water. Much less corrosive than mass amounts of chlorine, saltwater pools are safer for your pets than traditional chlorinated pools, if well-maintained of course. However, don’t expect the pool to taste and feel like the ocean; saltwater pools have a salt content of approximately 3,200 parts per million, while ocean water’s salt content is roughly 35,000 ppm. Still, it’s a good idea to give your pup a good freshwater rinse once he’s done swimming.

    Salt can be toxic to your dog in large quantities. Always provide plenty of fresh, cool water for your buddy to drink as he frolics, so he’s not tempted to lap up the salty stuff. Stay vigilant for signs of salt poisoning. These include initial vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, stumbling, excessive thirst or urination, tremors and seizures. Seek immediate veterinary treatment if your dog shows signs of salt poisoning.
    Also, dogs can tire quickly when swimming. Never leave your dog unattended in water of any kind, and always have an accessible escape route out of the pool. If your dog becomes overly tired, he'll need your help to get him out of the water.

    Photo Credits

    • Hoby Finn/Photodisc/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Christina Stephens is a writer from Portland, Ore. whose main areas of focus are pets and animals, travel and literature. A veterinary assistant, she taught English in South Korea and holds a BA in English with cum laude honors from Portland State University.

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