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What Kind Of Swimming Pool Is Best For Dogs?

Anyone who has owned a dog knows just how quickly they become part of the family. Like your very own panting, furry little child. And just like any member of the family, you'll want to be sure that your pool is perfect for your pooch, just as you'd like it to be for everyone else. Now, we should start off by mentioning that most dogs aren't fussy. If my family's Rhodesian Ridgeback is anything to go by, a murky puddle in the middle of a damp field looks like an aromatic bathhouse to dogs. The point is, they'll likely swim in anything as long as it has some resemblance to water. But with that said, there are definitely some choices that you can make while deciding on your pool that can definitely make it more dog-friendly. So we're going to go over what those choices might be and why your furry friend will thank you for making them!

What Pool Material Is Best For Dogs?

There are a great number of factors to consider regarding what material to choose for your pool, but if you're sitting on the fence then this might help! The three most common pool types to choose from are of course gunite (concrete), vinyl and fibreglass. For humans, they all have their pros and cons. But for dogs, the winner is pretty clearly the fibreglass option.

Why Fibreglass?

Fibreglass pools sit nicely in the middle of the trio when it comes to durability. You might be thinking 'why wouldn't I want the most durable option available?'. Which is a fair question. But the issue with choosing gunite — the most durable overall — is that the surface of that material can cause scratching and discomfort on your dog's paws. This can even be exacerbated with tiling and some of the imperfections that can come with it. Don't get us wrong, your pooch is going jump in regardless. But dogs tend to do that with anything, and if it hurts then they'll cross that bridge when they come to it.

The issue with vinyl pools is that they're considered to be the least durable of the three. Yes, they're quick to install and are often the most cost-effective option, but the sharp claws of some dogs can pose a risk of puncturing the vinyl surface. Which would definitely put a damper on the summer fun. 

Fibreglass solves both of these issues. Their smooth surface is very pet (and human) friendly, and they tend to stand up to the claws of our canine pals without being scratched or damaged.

What Sort Of Design Features Are Best For Dogs?

The thing about dogs is that most of them love the water, but definitely not all of them. For the slightly more cautious dogs around, giving them an easy method of dipping a toe in until they're comfortable entering the pool is a nice touch. For this, choose a pool with a beach entry that leads to a nice, shallow area before the deeper stuff. Failing this, just having fairly wide steps that your dog can take one at a time will probably suffice. It's important to remember that while most of us can stand in the shallow parts of the pool, most dogs cannot. And constantly swimming takes effort for them — just as it does for humans. Wide steps give them the chance to perch on the first or second one so that they can cool down in the summer heat, without having to use energy in order to do so. 

What To Expect From Having A Dog Around The Pool

While we're on the subject of dogs around pools, it's worthwhile going over what to expect from owning a dog around a pool. As mentioned earlier, not all of them will love the water straight away, especially if they're puppies and have not been exposed to it before. It's a common belief that dogs just instinctively know how to swim. For most of them this is true, but it certainly isn't the case for all of them. Helping to lift them and encouraging their kicking motion can really help them to gain confidence. Additionally, there are plenty of dog-specific floatation devices available for those beginner pups. The other thing is that a lot of dogs will be shedding in the warmer months, and it's a pretty unavoidable fact that you'll likely get dog hair in the water. Check with your local pool professional to make sure your pool filter is capable of dealing with this. 

So there we have it! If you're looking at getting a pool that's as dog-friendly as it is people-friendly; fibreglass pools, wide open steps or beach entryways and a considered approach to puppy pool training are excellent ways to keep everyone happy! Get in touch with Pool Spa Life for more!

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