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Can swimming pool chemicals poison a dog?

Updated on February 18, 2012

Dog owners have to provide the first line of defense against poisonous substances for the pet. For the well being of the pet, owners have to make the environment pet friendly. Even new dog owners would realize that these affectionate and entertaining companions are food motivated.

Dogs have the compulsion to eat anything – edible and non edible. Because of this habit poisoning is one of the major concerns of pet owners. Summertime is just around the corner. Summertime means long hours in the pool. A pet owner can never be more careful. Accidents can still happen. Non-swimming dogs can drown. Dogs can also be poisoned by swimming pool chemicals.

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Swimming pool chemicals

Swimming pool and swimming pool chemicals go hand in hand. Swimming pools cleaners are necessary to remove calcium, grease and stains from the vinyl and tiles. A pool filled with untreated water will be dangerous to its users. Bacteria and other pathogens will thrive and cause diseases to the pool users. Swimming pool chemicals were specifically formulated to kill and to prevent the buildup of algae and bacteria. Chlorine is the most common disinfecting agent. Chlorine in solid or liquid form will react when added to water to form hypochlorous acid that will kill pathogens and bacteria. Because swimming pool cleaners commonly contain harmful acids and oxidizers users commonly use protective gears.

Harmful effects of swimming pool chemicals

Swimming pool chemicals are listed as one of the top ten substances poisonous to dogs. Dogs, like their human friends normally do not have a negative reaction to treated pool water. Of course some dogs would have skin irritations. The fur can be damaged by the strong chemicals as well. This is why it is advised to give the dog a quick bath after swimming in the pool to thoroughly rinse the chemicals from the fur. Not all dogs can swim. A dog that accidentally fell on the pool will drink lots of pool water. Large amounts of chemically treated water can cause diarrhea and vomiting. Pool cleaners and pool disinfecting agents are highly toxic. Ingestion of these chemicals can result to the death of the pet.

Symptoms of chemical poisoning

A dog that has ingested chlorine or other swimming pool chemicals will have breathing difficulties. The chemical will cause swelling and a burning sensation on the throat. Severe pain in the abdomen will be felt by the dog. Diarrhea and vomiting are other symptoms. The dogs can seize and die if treatment is not administered at once.

Ensuring the safety of the pet

Responsible dog owners would dog proof the home. Dogs are naturally inquisitive animals. Chlorine fumes may be abhorrent to the noses of humans but it would be a different matter to the dog. Fido may be enticed to smell and to get a taste of the tub of swimming pool chemicals lying around. It is responsibility of a dog owner to keep the environment safe for the dog. Swimming pool chemicals and other poisonous substances must be tightly sealed and kept out of reach of the dog.

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