The Benefits of Dogs in Pools:

Just like for people, swimming for dogs is a great, low-impact total body workout. Swimming is easy exercise on your pet’s joints and limbs, which is terrific for both young pups and aging dogs alike. Swimming pools can be a fun place to play with the family in the water, or a rehabilitation method for a dog recovering from a procedure.

Swimming is an excellent workout for your dog’s cardiovascular system, as well. According to Dr. Arleigh Reynolds, a Veterinary Surgeon and Canine Physiologist, “1 minute of swimming is the equivalent to 4 minutes of jogging.” Not only is your dog getting a low-impact workout, it is getting more of a workout in a shorter period of time. However, just with any workout, it is best to slowly build your dog’s swimming sessions up in length. Short bursts of swimming at first, can gradually grow into longer workouts.

This is not to say that swimming is a substitute for all on-land workouts. It’s important to have a balance because running, jogging, and walking exercise helps maintain strong bone density.

Swimming pools are also a great way for your pup to cool off on a hot summer day. It’s always best to make sure that the water isn’t too cold or too warm as to not shock your dog as he or she enters the pool as this can frighten them. There’s no better way for your dog to cool off on a hot day than taking a plunge into cool water. From an exercise perspective, warmer water is better for your dog’s muscles to help promote a full range of movement and blood flow, which allows them to warm-up quicker and prevent muscle spasms.

Here’s a list of 10 Dog Breeds that are Great Swimmers:

  1. Chesapeake Bay Retrievers
  2. English Setters
  3. Irish Setters
  4. Irish Water Spaniels
  5. Golden Retrievers
  6. Labrador Retrievers
  7. Newfoundlands
  8. Nova Scotia Retrievers
  9. Portuguese Water Dogs
  10. Spanish Water Dogs

Here’s a list of 10 Dog Breeds that are Not-Great Swimmers:

  1. Alaskan Malamutes
  2. Basset Hounds
  3. Bulldogs
  4. Chows
  5. Dachshunds
  6. Doberman Pinschers
  7. Pekingese
  8. Pugs
  9. Siberian Huskies
  10. Shih Tzu’s

Dog Hair and Nails in the Pool:

They say a dog is equivalent to about 50 people in the pool at one time. Crazy, huh? Notwithstanding, although dog hair and such is harder on a filter system, by no means are they known to do damage either. Your strainer basket will do most of the heavy work and you may need to do some extra skimming the following day once the hair settles. All-in-all, dog hair is a manageable byproduct that most pool owners find to be a minor inconvenience to letting their dog share in the joys of pool time.

Another concern that many pool owners initially have is whether or not their dog will scratch or tear their vinyl liner. If your dog is tall enough to stand on the pool floor, their nails are not known to damage the liner.  Most dogs try to exit the pool the same way they came in, so scratching at the sides of the pool wall is not something that typically occurs. Through my online research I was not able to find any tales of dogs accidentally causing damage to pool liners.

Dog Ear Infections from Swimming:

Last but certainly not least of our pros and cons list for letting your dog swim in your pool is the increased potential of your dog getting an ear infection. Swimming pools, no matter how well maintained, can be home to bacteria or other infection-causing germs that could create problems in your dog’s sensitive ear canals.

However, a little effort can go a long way to protect your pup’s ears from infections by simply cleaning and drying their ears thoroughly immediately after a swim with a cotton or wool towel. An extra-preventative measure would be to use HappyTails deodorizing ear wipes around the ear canal after a swim.