Are Chlorinated Pools Safe For Your Pet?

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As the temperatures rise in the summer and your furry friend is in the mood for summer swimming, you might find asking yourself – Is it okay for my pet to go for a swim in the family pool? It is only natural for you to wonder whether it is possible for your pets to get chlorine poisoning. Read on to know all about it.

What exactly does chlorine do?

When you add it to the water, chlorine breaks down into hypochlorite ion and hypochlorous acid. These chemicals oxidize the microorganisms that are present in water by breaching their cell wall and destroying the structures inside. If you don’t add chlorine to your pools, they will turn black or green due to the buildup of bacteria and algae in the water.

Is it toxic for pets?

The hazards of exposure to chlorine are dose dependent. Pool water has very diluted levels of chlorine and is unlikely to end up poisoning you or your pet. From the standpoint of risk management, your pet is much more likely to fall ill from dunking in a stagnant pool of water, or from a lake that contains unknown microorganisms like amoeba.

Chlorine tablets

However, chlorine in its concentrated form poses a risk to both people and their pets. If you have chlorine tablets, make sure that you store them in their original containers. Keep it away from the reach of children and pets. Chlorine gas can be poisonous if inhaled accidentally, and direct contact with concentrated chlorine can damage both the eyes and the skin. It is not usual for a cat or a dog to ingest the tablets as their scent is very unappealing, but better be safe than sorry.

What are the risks of your pet’s exposure to chlorinated water?

Consuming chlorinated water can irritate the GI tract, but beyond that it does not cause any major issues. If your pets swim in chlorinated water for a long time, they will exhibit minor symptoms of sensitivity like itchy skin or red eyes. Pools that have high chlorine levels can irritate the airways due to the release of chlorine gas, especially if the ventilation is poor.Frequent swimming in chlorinated water can lead to ear infections. While you might wonder if it is because of the chlorine, recurrent infections result from damp ears and not from the chlorine. Your pet’s vet can recommend

a drying solution to clean the ear

of your pet after swimming if he is prone to recurrent infections.

Are there alternatives?

Bromine is the most common alternative to chlorine for spa and pool use. It is less pungent and the side effects are not as severe. While it has milder properties, it is also more expensive than chlorine and less stable when exposed to sunlight, making it a bad choice for outdoor pools. Talk to a pool care professional to know if bromine is a good choice for your pool.

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