Can Dogs Drink Pool Water?

Hi humans! If you have a dog, and you also have a swimming pool, you might notice that sometimes your dog likes to drink from the swimming pool water.

I sometimes do this in my house too. My humans got really worried when they found out because they weren’t sure if that could harm me or not.

You’re probably worried too! But don’t worry, I’m really good at explaining things so I’ll answer all your doubts! (My humans always give me treats when I’m good and helpful!)

So, can dogs drink pool water? Well, if we’re only drinking really small amounts of pool water, now and then, there should be nothing to worry about. Drinking very little amounts isn’t enough to cause any harm to us, so we should be safe! 

However, if the chlorine balance in your pool is wrong, then it gets a bit more worrying, even in small amounts. If there’s too much chlorine,  then the chemicals are too high and it could cause us harm.

And if the chlorine is too low, then lots of different types of bacteria and microorganisms begin to grow in the water, and that’s just as bad! 

But even if the pool water is properly balanced, drinking excessive amounts will lead to your dog being harmed. It can cause us to have vomiting, nausea, irritation in the gastrointestinal tract, and erosion to the esophagus.

I don’t know about the last two things but my humans say that it’s very bad and that it can make me really sick. So that’s why I’m not allowed to drink from the pool! 

Basically, it’s okay if I forget and drink a little bit of pool water now and then. But it’s really important that I don’t do it often and that I stick to drinking my nice fresh water from the dog bowl. 

Can pool water make a dog sick?

Drinking small amounts of pool water won’t make your dog sick, so there’s no need to go into a panic if you catch us doing it once or twice.

But drinking pool water in larger amounts, and more often, can definitely make us sick. (That’s why I’m not allowed to drink from the swimming pool, and neither should other dogs!) 

The main consequence of drinking pool water is an upset stomach. This means that we’ll start vomiting, and we won’t feel well at all. This will usually stop after a few days, but if we’re still drinking pool water on the regular, then it can turn into chronic vomiting!

And that can very quickly become very dangerous. Not only will we feel sick all the time (and be sick all the time), the constant vomiting can also lead to dehydration, and that can be lethal. 

Pool water in excessive or regular amounts can also cause other things. Such as irritation in the gastrointestinal tract, and erosion to the esophagus.

I’m not a doctor dog, but I do know that those are bad and that we can be left with permanent damage and issues long term!

Once I got told all this I made sure to not drink as much pool water. Besides, my normal water tastes better anyway! 

Can chlorine water kill a dog?

The amount of chlorine that can be found in a swimming pool is usually too low to actually be lethal, although I’ve already mentioned how drinking pool water is not good for us and can lead to us getting very sick. 

However, if the chlorine in your pool is found in very high levels, then it can become a lot more toxic for us, as we’ll be drinking a higher amount of chlorine. 

And what happens if we drink or eat a high concentration of chlorine? I’ve never done it. But I’ve been told that the dogs that have, started drooling and coughing.

Then they had difficulty breathing, and they were really dehydrated, and they were sad and sick and depressed. Then they suffered kidney and liver damage, and eventually…they died. 

Chlorine is really really bad! Although, if the swimming pool has a too high level of chlorine, we will usually be able to smell and taste how toxic it is, and will naturally stay away.

But just in case, it’s important that you make sure that the levels of chlorine in your pool are safe, and that you teach us to avoid drinking from anywhere other than our special drinking bowl. 

How do I stop my dog from drinking pool water?

If you teach your dog that drinking from the swimming pool is bad, then he’ll begin to understand and will eventually stop doing it. My humans taught me and now I almost never drink from the pool, I’m such a good dog! 

The first thing you need to know is that punishing or screaming at your dog for drinking pool water won’t help at all. We’re just drinking, so we won’t understand what we’ve done wrong, and we’ll get sad! 

Instead, you need to use positive reinforcement to teach us what is right, and set us up for success by preventing us from drinking from the pool! 

Positive reinforcement

With positive reinforcement, you’re basically praising us and giving us treats for doing the right thing, so that we eventually understand that you want us to do that, instead of other things. 

So if we’re drinking from the pool, just lead us away calmly, and take us to our own water bowl. If we drink from there, then you praise us and give us treats!

The trick is to be consistent and to do it again and again. Until, in the end, we realize that drinking from the bowl is what makes us good dogs! 

Prevention measures

You can also set up measures to ensure we’re not as tempted by the pool water. You have to understand that sometimes we simply forget what you’ve taught us! 

So to stop us from drinking from the pool, you can make sure we can’t get to it. Maybe by having some sort of barrier that stops us from getting to it unsupervised!

You can also make sure there is plenty of nice fresh water in a bowl outside, close to the pool. So if we get thirsty when in that area, we can go to the nearby bowl instead of being tempted by the pool!