I have always been a dog person. I remember my first dog, a gift for my 7th birthday, a very smart and friendly beagle. That little beagle was my best friend for years, until he finally passed away – from exhaustion I would bet, because we never stopped exploring our world together.
Dogs and swimming pools are a perfect match, and depending on the breed, some dogs will stay in the pool all day and night. Labs in particular love the water, but also we see a lot of Goldens and German Shepherds as well. An inground fiberglass swimming pool, is clearly the best choice for dog owners.
We have built many fiberglass pools where the owners wanted their dogs to have regular access, and because the pool is fiberglass, it is just not an issue. If you own a vinyl liner pool, you probably have already learned that your dog is almost certainly going to tear the liner. Of course you can train your dog to be careful, and in some cases I know of, a vinyl liner pool has had a dog swimming for years with no problem. For most vinyl liner people, however, a dog’s claws on the side of the pool will eventually tear the liner, and the resulting cost will be significant.
Inground fiberglass swimming pools, are so resistant to a dog’s claws, that the pool’s walls will never be a worry. But there are a few other things to consider as you are planning your pool. A large dog, will probably not have a problem getting out of the pool, and will quickly learn how to exit when he wants, but sometimes dogs might become stressed, or fall in the pool at night, and start trying to climb out over the coping – that won’t hurt the pool but it might cause the dog some trauma on paws and claws scraping the concrete coping.
One solution is to find a product that will let dogs exit from the side of the pool. We have had a number of customers recommend “Scamper Ramp” ,and it comes in small medium and large sizes. These are great ways for your dog to feel confident getting in and out of the pool.
You should take care to understand that when a dog is in the water, and a family member is also in the pool, the dog will often attempt to climb onto the family member. This can be frightening to a child that might never have a concern on dry ground but is now in a pool and treading water. The dog is really just trying to join in the fun, and if the children are taught what to do, it should be no problem. The easiest way to avoid the problem is to just push the dog away, but we often have fun by ducking under our Lab and making her look for us. If children understand not to be afraid, and to just duck or push the pet away, there is usually no problem, but be aware the dog might be persistent, and if it might be a problem just take the dog out. If the dog is a Lab, you might lock it up in a soundproof room, because Labs loooove water.
Throwing things into the pool for the dog to retrieve is sometimes a way to provide hours of fun and laughter. Some dogs will fetch until they are exhausted, so take care to rest your dog, and also be cautious the dog doesn’t jump in on someone’s head. Our Lab will jump after a tennis ball and sometimes go completely underwater, and we have often see her duck her head into the pool to grab something on the bottom of the pool. Your dog just cannot hurt your fiberglass pool, so take off the leash and join the fun.
While you should always be aware of the chemical balance of your pool, remember that a dog in your pool is the equivalent of seven humans – dogs will shed in the pool, and leave oils and whatever else is hanging on their body, so when you are finished for the day, you should shock your pool, or if you have one of our salt systems, hit the “boost” button, to keep the water clear and clean. Also be aware that prolonged exposure to chlorine can remove necessary oils from your dog’s coat and make his skin dry and itchy, so limit the exposure. And drinking pool water is not good for dogs – or humans.
If you have a fiberglass pool, or if you are considering a fiberglass pool, and there is a family dog that will want to join in, never worry about your pool – fiberglass swimming pools are tough, durable, and smooth on the skin – and paws – and you can hardly imagine how much fun it is to let your pet join in.