Your Dog in a Hot Tub: It Might Be Fun but is it OK?
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As a pet owner, you probably love spending time with your dog. In fact, Fido might do pretty much everything with you. Could this include hot tubbing? Well, let’s discuss.
First, a s much as we dog lovers may not want to hear this, dogs are not people. You must be aware of a few things to protect your hot tub, yourself, and your pet. Here are a few things to think about and remember when deciding whether or not to take a dip with your dogs.
Keeping it Clean
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Before bringing your dog into the hot tub, you must consider cleanliness. You may bathe your pet regularly and keep them inside, but all dogs pick up small bits of dust and debris in their coat throughout the day. When your dog gets wet in the hot tub, there is a good chance that any dirt, grime or debris within its coat will get into the water, not to mention the hair that is shed. This can tax hot tub filters or make the tub a bit less pleasant for you and the other humans in the household.
If you want to take a soak with Fido it is advisable to rinse him or her off vigorously with a garden hose prior to jumping in. Coincidentally, a good rinse prior to hot tub use is also advisable with people, although you don’t need to resort to the hose for your own cleanliness. A shower works better.
You also want to be aware of any flea or tick shampoos or sprays you might use on your pet. These can separate from the dog’s coat and mix with your hot tub water. Although your filtration system will remove these things, it can take time for the water to be entirely circulated and cleaned after your dog takes a swim.
Damage to Hot Tub Surfaces
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If you intend to hot tub with your dog you also have to think about the damage that could be done to your spa. Many dogs panic when they get into a hot tub. Some seem to dislike the walls on all sides. Your dog’s first instinct might be to attempt to climb out. Your dog’s claws can scratch your acrylic hot tub surface and cause damage to other parts of the spa. Keeping claws trimmed and rounded and making sure you’re always present if the dog is swimming can help you avoid this.
You should also consider your filtration system when considering possible damage. Even if you don’t think that your dog sheds, there is a chance that a significant amount of its hair will release into the water in your hot tub. Dogs that are confirmed to shed a lot can cause a filtration problem. Frequent filter cleaning and potential filter replacement may be necessary.
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When you own a hot tub you must think of safety for everyone. This includes your pets. Be sure to keep a hot tub cover on your unattended spa at all times. This will keep your pets, as well as children from accidentally falling in.
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If your plan is to swim with your dog, even when you’re there, you must consider it’s safety in the water. Even if you think that your dog can swim well, you never know what could happen. You would surely be heartbroken if your dog drowned or were injured in your hot tub. If you insist on bringing your dog in the hot tub, you may want to consider a dog floatation device. These simple dog life jackets can help your pet stay afloat and feel safer in the water.
You should also think about the heat issue. As you probably already know, hot tubs are typically kept at temperatures of around 102 degrees or so. Although this might feel good to you, it can cause your dog to get overheated very quickly. Any dog could be at risk of getting overheated in temperatures this high, but those that are overweight or particularly susceptible to the heat can suffer even more quickly. Your dog could potentially develop heat stroke or even be at risk of death in a shorter amount of time than you think.
You should also consider how your dog might be affected by the sanitizing chemicals in your hot tub. For example, your dog’s skin could be adversely affected. Also, many dogs have the temptation to drink the water that they’re swimming in. This may not be good for their health.
Create a Dog Hot Tub of Their Own
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One alternative to sharing your human hot tub with your dog is to create a doggy hot tub of their own. Even dogs that don’t generally like the water can enjoy a nice warm soak. In fact, this is a great way to introduce dogs to water and to help them overcome a fear of jumping in.
A dog hot tub all their own will keep you, your hot tub, and your pet safe, happy, and relaxed.
Probably Best to Avoid Dog Hot Tubbing
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Although you might wish that your dog could spend a bit of time with you in the hot tub, you should at least think about the risks and reasons why it may not be a good idea. It is always up to you as a responsible pet and hot tub owner, but, with all these things considered it’s my opinion that it is better to keep your hot tub a pet-free area. Also, I advise hot tub and dog owners to keep their spa covered with a high-quality locking cover when not in use. This will keep your dog safely out in the yard.
Keep in mind that even though your dog may not be joining you inside the hot tub you can always encourage your dog to hang out alongside the hot tub so that it can be part of the festivities and can keep you company while you’re taking a soak. There have been many games of fetch played while I’ve been enjoying the spa and my dog enjoys the yard and companionship.