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Dogs love to swim, and when buying a pool, you should keep in mind the needs of your furry friend. It is possible to find pools that meet the needs or your canine companion while also looking beautiful and inviting for humans. As you search for the perfect pool, here are some essential points to consider:
1. Inground or above ground pools?
Above ground pools are popular because they are relatively inexpensive and easy to set up. However, these pools can be hard for dogs to get into, and unless you know your dog can climb ladders, you should consider an inground pool.
Additionally, above ground pools are often made with relatively unstable walls, making them prone to falling down when bumped or poked by your dog. That wastes water, and it can break the pool.
Inground pools are preferable for dog owners, but if you have a tight budget and don’t mind the risk that your above ground pool may only be with you for a season, go ahead and get one. It may be better than nothing.
2. Type of liner?
If you decide to invest in an inground pool, you need to consider the type of liner you get carefully. Unfortunately, vinyl liners are typically not strong enough to stand up to the scratches of a dog, making them not the ideal choice.
Concrete and fibreglass, in contrast, are both durable and won’t be affected by your dog. Concrete, sadly, can be abrasive, and it can hurt your dog (or your children) if they bump into the sides of the pool while swimming. Fibreglass is smooth and nice, and ultimately, it is the best option.
3. Extra features?
Whether you opt for a fibreglass or decide to risk the abrasiveness of concrete, you may want to think about extra dog-friendly features when choosing your pool’s design. Consider the stairs very carefully. Unless your dog is always going to jump into the pool from its side, he or she needs a gentle, easy-to-navigate staircase leading into the pool.
Many dogs also like to have a shallow area where they can just relax. While one of the steps of the pool can work for this activity, many people also like to build dog decks which are simply shallow areas for the dog to rest in the water.
4. To chlorinate or not?
All pools need some kind of chemical to keep them relatively clean, and for decades, chlorine has been the traditional choice. However, it’s important to remember that dogs have more sensitive ear, nose and eye tissue than most humans, meaning that the low levels of chlorine that don’t really affect humans can irritate dogs.
Instead of using chlorine, consider using bromine. Otherwise, just create a routine of rinsing off your dog after he swims, and take steps to help your dog avoid drinking the pool water. Swallowing a bit of chlorinated water won’t debilitate your dog, just as it doesn’t really hurt a human if a small bit of pool water is accidentally swallowed. However, you don’t want your dog taking giant gulps of pool water, so supply a bowl full of clean water next to the pool at all times.
5. Filtration methods?
There are several different types of pool filters, but the two main ones to choose from are sand or cartridge filters. Even short haired dogs have a lot of hair, and when you let a dog swim in your pool, it is akin to having dozens of people with long hair swim in it.
Cartridge filters may need to be cleaned almost daily if your dog swims regularly in your pool. If you want to avoid that task, consider a sand filter. Sand filters can go for months without cleaning them – periodically, however, you need to hire a backwashing company to come clean the hair and body oils out of these filters for you.
Keep these tips in mind as you select your pool, and work with an experienced company like Riverina Pools & Spas to make the best choice for your needs.