Pool Pet Health: Minimize your pet’s exposure to swimming pool chemicals
Does your dog or kitty drink from your swimming pool? When kids are splashing in the pool, does Fido jump in to join the fun? Or maybe he dives in to fetch a ball that you toss in the water?Yes to the any of the above means your pet is consuming chemically treated water—or swimming in it. Now, if pool water is properly maintained, the levels of chlorine and other chemicals should be minimal. Therefore, an occasional sip or quick dip should be okay and won't affect your pet's health.
However, since well-balanced pool water isn’t always what your pet is drinking or swimming in, it’s a good idea to limit exposure when possible. Let’s look at three ways to lower your pet’s contact with pool chemicals.
Cutting amounts of chemically treated water that pets consume
Animals see pools like giant, convenient drinking bowls. However, you don’t want Fido or Fluffy relying on the pool as a primary water source. Before letting pets outside near the pool, encourage them to drink water from a regular bowl. Then, make sure to always have plenty of fresh drinking water on hand from an additional bowl that is kept outside.
To reduce the overall amount of water your pets may be tempted to lap up from the pool, take steps to help them from getting hot and thirsty in the first place. Provide shaded areas close to the pool so that your animals have some shelter from the sun, while being close to the pool and the rest of the family.
Saltwater pools help—but have potential drawbacks for pets
Because they do not use traditional chlorine tablets or liquid and avoid some of their nasty side effects, saltwater pools have become increasingly popular. To create a saltwater pool, special equipment uses electrolysis to convert ordinary salt into a type of chlorine. While it's a kinder, gentler form of chlorine (hypochlorous acid), it's still a chemical.
For animals, there is also the issue of the salt itself; although the salt content in these pools is only about one-tenth the level in the ocean. However, if your pet needs to limit sodium in their diet for a health condition (e.g., heart disease, kidney disease), you should recognize that even occasional drinks could impact the pet’s overall level of salt consumption.
Alternative to saltwater and chlorine purification
Another strategy to help reduce your pet’s contact with chemicals is to have fewer of them around in the first place. Whether you are building a new pool or already have one, there is a much better option to chlorine and salt systems: ozone.
Tens of thousands of pools nationwide and in Europe rely on ozone generators and a tiny amount of chlorine to ensure a sparkling-clear swimming environment. A naturally-occurring molecule, ozone is comprised of three atoms of an element we breathe every day: oxygen. Ozone is one of the strongest oxidizers on earth, instantly killing disease-causing pathogens like mold, fungus and bacteria. However, it’s so safe and effective that it’s used to help purify drinking water in major cities and by bottled water companies.
A quality ozone system that provides virtually chlorine-free pool water is your best bet for pets. It spares them from inhaling harsh chemical odors, and Fido’s fur won’t be sopping up any chemically treated water that can dull a shiny coat or dry out his skin. Along with your pets, the entire family will enjoy the healthy, silky soft pool water as well!
Learn more about Ozone, a virtually, chlorine-free purification system.