Dogs in swimming pools lead to fur clogging the filtration system. Get tips on keeping your pool clean when your four-legged best friend won't stay out of the pool!
Most dogs love water, and if you own a home, dog and swimming pool, you’d better get used to adding the occasional doggy paddle to your regular walk routine. Water play makes for great low-impact exercise, not to mention fun for master and best friend alike.
The downside? Most dogs also shed and are sure to leave a residue of dander, fluff and loose hair in and around the pool. This residue isn’t just unsightly. It can wreak havoc on your filtration system and make it more expensive to maintain your pool.
Luckily, you can minimize your dog hair problem and prevent it from spoiling pool time by following a few simple tips.
De-shed dogs before you let them into the pool.
There is a wide array of brushes and other grooming tools to choose from. Be sure to select a de-shedder that is appropriate for your dog’s coat. Long-haired breeds may require a different kind of tool than short-haired breeds.
Hand-skim the water surface as soon as your dog exits the pool.
Use a pool sweep.
This device operates off the suction generated by your pool pump. As water is sucked into the skimmer, its filter traps any debris — including dog hair. Simply clean the skimmer basket once it has completed its cleaning cycle.
Place a skimmer sock over your sweep's skimmer basket.
The sock’s fine mesh can stop hair from passing through the large skimmer basket holes and into the pool’s filtration system. You can even DIY this solution by making your own skimmer sock from a hairnet or using the nylon from a pair of old pantyhose. Again, make sure you clean the skimmer basket regularly to remove any accumulations of dog hair.
Use a hand vacuum equipped with an internal filter.
These operate independently from the pool’s filtration system and can reach any clumps of dog hair that may have drifted to the bottom of your pool.
Use a robotic pool sweep.
These self-contained systems run on electricity rather than water pressure. The self-propelled unit sucks up debris and scrubs your pool’s hard surfaces. Because they clean both at and below your pool’s waterline, they’re also great at collecting dog hair that may have settled at the bottom of your pool.
Install a stronger filtration system.
If you own a dog that regularly uses your pool, the Association of Canine Water Therapy recommends working with a pool contractor to install the strongest filter and water system available.
Of course, the more swimmers use your pool, the more they alter its chemical balance, particularly when some of those swimmers are of the four-legged variety. Shock your pool periodically by raising its chlorine level to 10 ppm (parts per million). (You can use a smartphone app to help track chlorine levels.) The shock will help kill bacteria, algae and other microscopic life forms that can make your pool unswimmable. Just remember: the chlorine level must drop to 3 - 4 ppm before it’s safe for you and your dog to reenter the pool.
Finally, it doesn’t hurt to always keep a few pool safety tips in mind. Continuously monitor dogs while they are in the water and supervise play if multiple dogs are using the pool simultaneously. Also, consider outfitting your dog with a life jacket or swim vest for pool use. And place a plant or other large object near the pool steps to help dogs find their way back to dry land.
If keeping your pool clean requires some extra work from your pool sweep, it's important to keep it in good shape. In the event of a pool sweep motor breakdown, American Home Shield provides optional pool coverage to keep you protected.
With some preventive maintenance and a little caution, sharing the pool with your dog doesn’t have to be unpleasant. So, grab that favorite toy and go romp!