Just like people, dogs like swimming or being near water—especially in the summer. However, due to their dense fur coats causing them to heat up in all of that sunshine, they may find themselves more thirsty frequently and resort to drinking water from the pool if they’re unable to easily access any fresh drinking water. The question is today is about what should you do in such an instance. How can you put a stop to it?
You can stop your dog from drinking pool water in various ways, including providing clean water along with short water-drinking breaks, using a muzzle, installing a dog ramp (if they’re ingesting water accidentally when struggling to get in and out of a pool), keeping your dog’s mouth full with toys and treats instead, keeping your pup entertained, and more.
Let’s discuss some of the possible ways to stop dogs from drinking pool water.
Ways to Stop Dogs from Drinking Pool Water
Dogs drinking from pools is a problem that occurs all around the world in many homes. There are, however, relatively few remedies or procedures that actually work. Luckily, here are a few tactics that you may try to use to discourage your pup from consuming pool water from the pool.
1. Increase the accessibility of fresh water
Not having access to fresh drinking water is one of the main reasons a dog would drink pool water. Thirst is one of the primary factors that contributes to this behavior.
When our pets are engaged in high-intensity activities, we pet parents are prone to forgetting to provide them with fresh water to rehydrate well. Therefore, when dogs look at a pool, they perceive it to be a large bowl of water to both drink from as well as play in.
You can help your dog avoid drinking from the pool by placing a container of fresh, dog-safe drinking water near the swimming pool.
2. Prevent the dog from having access to the pool
Pool water is obviously not something your dog should be ingesting in large quantities. In order to prevent your pup from getting near the pool area, you may want to consider purchasing confining equipment to keep your dog at a distance if they’re unable to stop themselves from drinking from the pool.
It is also wise to instruct your dog to stay away from the pool for water-drinking as well as safety reasons. Many humans activities may be fun for dogs to join in as well, but there are plenty that come with risks to our furry companions. If your dog cannot play in the pool water without drinking it, it has officially become a health risk for them.
3. Offer something to eat in order to keep your dog’s mouth occupied
Some canines enjoy “chewing” on the water because it is entertaining! This is especially true of running water, sprinklers, and any water hoses that may be involved.
Allowing your dog to chew on a favorite toy may help minimize the amount of water he or she would consume when in the presence of a pool. Make sure that you keep the toy interesting in your dog’s mind by playing with it frequently; otherwise, your dog may become bored and will want to go straight back to the water.
When choosing to use this tactic, it is also a good idea to consider getting a brand new “special” toy that your dog will receive only when the pool is in use. By doing this, he or she will become excited to have that one special toy instead of playing in the water and drinking any of it. This is a great way to use positive distraction with your pup.
4. Consider using a muzzle
A well-fitted muzzle (shop now) should prevent your canine companion from drinking as much pool water. Muzzles are designed in a way that dogs wearing them can still easily breathe, pant, and drink water; however, the water-drinking part becomes quite a bit difficult, so this may be a possible method to help discourage the habit of your dog drinking pool water.
5. Install a dog ramp
For dogs that are welcome in the family pool, some dogs may ingest water on accident when having difficulty getting into or out of swimming pools.
If it’s not intentional and this is the situation in which your personal pup is consuming unhealthy pool water, you can install an above-ground pool dog ramp that can be set up in a certain location to make climbing or leaping simpler for your dog. This will lessen the chance of your dogs unintentionally swallowing water or suffering aspiration.
For them, having a ramp only increases the enjoyment of swimming and playing as well.
6. Use canine pool equipment if your dog is a swimmer
It is also possible that dogs may ingest pool water during swimming, especially if they are sinking down or struggling. A dog may drown in just the same way as a human would, so if your dog is having trouble with swimming and keeping its head above water, it is strongly recommended that you purchase adequate pool equipment for your canine to aid him or her and prevent possible drowning.
If your dog has any healthy issues or is especially heavy, dense, or old, it may be wise to avoid allowing them in a full-size human pool altogether. Instead, consider purchasing them a small “kiddie pool” for safer use so they can enjoy the water in the summer too without any risks to their health.
7. Keep your dog occupied, busy, and entertained
If you’re not in the pool at the time that your dog keeps going out there to drink from it, spending quality time with your dog should help keep it entertained and uninterested in drinking from the pool. The chore of providing constant entertainment for a canine can be difficult for working adults with dogs who have needy or mischievous personalities. However, sometimes simply turning on the television for them and lavishing them with a plethora of interactive toys may be sufficient to keep them blissfully occupied for short periods of time.
For dogs who need more stimulation to stay out of trouble, there are plenty of neat dog puzzle toys, treat toys, and other complex dog-safe devices to help keep their minds and bodies busy and out of your hair.
8. Use treats and treat-training with your dog
Using treats to train dogs is an excellent strategy since it helps them understand that their owner is pleased with them and that they are doing the correct thing.
Every time your dog sips from its bowl instead of a pool, reward it with its favorite treats. However, make careful to limit the quantity of treats you give it because giving a dog too many treats can cause it to become ill.
9. Take frequent water breaks
Whether you’ve tried everything else already or simply want to start with this method, you can also try “pool training” your pooch, showing them to take a brief water break during which you take your pup to a natural source or their usual bowl to drink fresh, safe water.
A dog that stays well-hydrated when playing and swimming should be far less likely to drink water from the swimming pool, but taking the water breaks regularly is an important part of preventing this problem.
Dogs Should Not Drink Pool Chemicals
To keep swimming pools clear and bacteria-free, most swimming pool owners use a variety of chemicals daily to maintain their pools. People utilize algaecides, water cleansers, and metallic sequestrants on the delusional notion that no one (including no animals) would ever possibly drink those chemicals. Dogs, on the other hand, never seem to get the message!
Here is a list of several common pool chemicals that should be avoided at all costs. Remember, while all of these chemicals are theoretically acceptable for use in pools, they are not intended to be consumed by your canines.
Chemicals Found in Pool Water:
- Aluminum sulfate
- Sodium bisulfate
- Copper sulfate pentahydrate
- Quaternary ammonium
- Diammonium sulfate
- Copper ethanolamine complexes
- Muriatic acid
- Sulfuric acid
- Sodium bicarbonate
How is Pool Water Harmful to Dogs?
An unclean or chemically-treated swimming pool that is not properly maintained is harmful to dogs. It very likely may have some of the following harmful consequences for your dog.
It is Likely to Cause Stomach Upset
Stomach distress is the most prevalent issue that occurs when dogs consume pool water. The unusual and unsafe chemicals present in pool water increase the likelihood of stomach-related troubles in canines. Dogs who drink pool water to fend off dehydration (i.e., the ones who drink significant amounts when trying to rehydrate) are more likely to have stomach upset than other dogs who may only consume smaller amounts.
The Chemicals Contain Toxins
Swimming pool water includes various pool chemicals responsible for keeping the pool clean and free of algae and other undesirable bacteria and organisms.Although these chemicals are useful for pool upkeep and may not bother humans are badly, they may certainly represent a threat to a dog’s overall health when actually ingested.
Because dogs swallow pool water by mistake regularly, the levels of these toxins have been purposefully kept low in most cases to avoid harm from occurring. When dogs drink a little bit of pool water every now and then, they are unlikely to develop any health concerns. However, drinking huge volumes of pool water may cause inflammation or scorching to the esophagus as well as digestive issues.
If your canine companion is allergic to any of the chemicals in the pool, this may also result in a life-threatening response to those chemicals.
Microorganisms May Make Your Dog Sick
The bulk of the chemical treatment in pools is used to limit the growth of microorganisms, whether fungus or bacteria, that are very commonly found in swimming pools. Even in the best-kept pool, though, trace levels of these organisms may still be present, and your dog ingesting them may lead to sickness and other unpleasant symptoms.
Aspiration and Drowning
Aspiration occurs when water or other foreign substances enter the lungs and stay there. Pets consuming pool water may inadvertently ingest water due to an incorrect drinking position or just the sheer volume of water accessible to them.
Aspiration is generally accompanied by coughing, gagging, and regurgitation of the liquid that was ingested. Aspiration pneumonia is a dangerous medical condition, and animals exhibiting symptoms such as breathing difficulties, irregular breathing, nervousness, trouble with appetite, fever, or unusually bluish-colored skin should be taken to the veterinarian immediately.
Pool Hazards for Dogs
Swimming pools are a terrific way for dogs to get some exercise and have some fun, but various things are capable of going wrong.
Swimming in pool water aggravates allergies and infections, and consuming an excessive amount of water can result in stomach issues and many other concerns. Similarly, overexcited dogs may aspirate water into their lungs, which can be lethal. Additionally, drowning is, without a doubt, a scary prospect for any animal.
Some other issues your dog may experience that are associated with consuming an excessive amount of pool water are as follows:
If you find that your pooch is vomiting severely after drinking pool water, it is very likely that the chemicals in the pool water have upset his or her digestive system. If the vomiting continues for more than two days, it might indicate a more serious problem.
The most effective strategy to manage to vomit caused by pool water consumption is to keep an eye out for any additional severe symptoms and ensure that your dog is getting adequate fresh water to help flush the toxins out of its system. Drinking even more pool water even after vomiting may cause your dog to become significantly dehydrated, and this can be deadly in severe cases.
Vomiting will nearly always be accompanied by diarrhea, which should only last a few days at the most. In general, dogs have diarrhea when they consume something—or, in this case, drink pool water—that disrupts their digestive lining and their organs’ abilities to process foreign chemicals; hence, diarrhea is a very natural response and shouldn’t be considered a medical emergency unless your dog is having other severe symptoms or it doesn’t resolve on its own after a few days.
The most effective strategy to assist your dog in getting over diarrhea is to withhold meals for a short period of time or only to offer your dog bland and easily digestible foods, such as cooked meat and white rice. Similarly to when your dog is vomiting, making sure your dog receives a proper amount of water to stay well-hydrated is critical.
However, if you discover that your pup is also sickly, sluggish, or has blood in his feces, it is then very likely that he or she has a more serious illness or is having a much worse reaction to the pool water than would be typical. In this case, you should take your dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
Stomach Aches and Pains
In addition to vomiting and diarrhea, your dog may also feel stomach aches and pain, which may not be as obvious as the other symptoms. Symptoms of stomach ache include your dog refusing to eat and lying about, as well as loud gurgling noises. He or she may also be more irritable, especially if touched around the midsection.
If your dog is experiencing stomach pain, give him some cooked chicken and white rice, and make sure he has enough fresh drinking water available. If the condition persists, you need to consult with your veterinarian immediately.
Is it safe for dogs to drink a tiny amount of pool water?
It is unnecessary to be alarmed if your dog consumes a tiny bit of pool water. The chances are good that your pup will be alright, especially if the chlorine (or other chemical) levels in your pool are in a safe range for your pooch.
However, if your dog drinks a huge amount of pool water that is unhygienic or full of chemicals and cleansers, he or she is much more prone to illness and some serious issues, including digestive issues or water intoxication.
Is it okay for dogs to drink from the hose?
Animal specialists have warned against dogs drinking from garden hoses for numerous years. This is because hoses can contain harmful toxins, depending on the material from which they are produced and the sort of fittings they are fitted with. One such example is lead, which is well-known for causing plenty of health problems. With this being a concern, always try to avoid giving water from hoses to your dogs.
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Family Dog Expert Author
Hi there! I’m Stuart, a devoted dog lover and family dog expert with over a decade of experience working with our furry companions. My passion for dogs drives me to share my knowledge and expertise, helping families build strong, loving bonds with their four-legged friends. When I’m not writing for SirDoggie, you’ll find me hiking, playing with my beautiful dog, or studying music.