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Can my dogs swim in an above-ground pool?
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Pool People

The Pool People specialize in family fun for everyone! We’ve been providing Central and Northern Wisconsin with a high-quality selection of swimming pools, spas, and pool tables for over 37 years.

Can My Dogs Swim in an Above-Ground Pool?

Pool owners often wonder, “Can my dogs swim in an above-ground pool?” The answer is that yes, they can, but with certain qualifications and suggestions. Dogs actually have a natural ability to swim, with the term “dog paddle” a testimony to that fact. The fact of the matter is that not all dog breeds relish the idea of entering a body of water, while others take to it with great enthusiasm. So if you have a dog who would love to join you and your family in the pool, how can you make that experience a success for all concerned?

Go Slowly

It is important to introduce your dogs to the pool slowly. Not all dogs love the experience, so if your dog puts on the brakes, he may be telling you that swimming isn’t for him. Take your time and support your dog in the water and see how he takes to it. 

Getting Your Dogs In and Out of the Above-Ground Pool

Getting your dogs in and out of an above-ground pool can be a challenge because of the entry ladders of this type of pool. The steep double-sided ladders of typical above-ground pools are tricky for dogs to climb. You can purchase pool stairs that make it easier for your dog to enter and exit the pool. Constructing a ramp entry/exit is also an option. You will want to practice getting in and out of the pool with your dog until the process is familiar to them.

Provide a Place For Your Dog to Rest

No matter how much your dogs love to swim in your above-ground pool, they will eventually tire of trying to keep afloat. It is essential that you provide your dogs with a place to rest. The pool stairs you got to make it easier for your dog to enter the pool are an option. Some dogs can even learn how to use a pool float!

Don’t Drink the Water

All that exercise will make your dog thirsty. Have a supply of fresh drinking water available and discourage your dog from lapping the pool water. Those pool chemicals aren’t good for Rover’s tummy.

Supervise Your Dogs in and Around the Pool

You don’t want your dogs to have unlimited access to the above-ground pool. Once they discover how much fun it is, keeping them out of the water could become an issue. Fencing around the pool is the solution to this situation. And, of course, it goes without saying that you should never leave your dogs unsupervised in and around the pool. 

Before and After Having Your Dog Swim in Your Above-Ground Pool

One thing about our furry friends is that they are, well, furry. Inviting your dog to take a dip with you shouldn’t have a major impact on your pool filter. However, there are a few things to keep in mind.  Comb and rinse your pet before swimming to get rid of some dirt and loose hair. The amount of hair that is actually lost in the pool will depend on your dog’s breed and how much they shed. Check and clean your skimmer and filter from dog hair after a swim. Shocking the pool as you would after a heavy bather load may be necessary as well. 

And we’ve got to be honest: It is likely that your dog’s nails can damage the pool liner. Keeping their nails trimmed is important, as is for you to discourage your pet from swimming close to the pool walls. Most dogs can be trained not to scratch against the side of the pool, but keep this in mind if you are considering swimming with your pet.

Your dogs are an important part of your family, and inviting them to join you in your above-ground pool can be a great experience for everyone. So, when you wonder, “Can my dogs swim in an above-ground pool?”, know that the answer is yes. If your dog is up for the experience, with proper training, safety precautions, and supervision, they will be thrilled to share the water with you and your family.

The Pool People has all the supplies you need for keeping your above-ground pool in tip-top condition. We’d love to have you stop by any of our four locations if you have any questions and to tell us about your experience of including your dogs in your family swims. Have a happy summer and a great swim season together!


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