Hot Tub Winter - Jay's Precision Pool Services, Saratoga, NY

Operating Your Spa in Winter

This article comes from Jacuzzi.

Operating Your Spa in Winter

Your hot tub is an outstanding addition to your home and family, and proper maintenance will ensure you get to enjoy it for years to come. This maintenance includes making the necessary adjustments to keep your spa operating through the cold winter months.

If you are concerned about the cost of operating your spa and its heater in the winter, you can relax; if properly maintained, keeping your hot tub operating is surprisingly cost-efficient. Here are a few simple steps you can follow to prepare your hot tub for winter.

Drain/Clean Tub

You’ll still want to give your spa a cleaning session. Drain your hot tub and give it a thorough scrubbing, including the vents and filters.

Refill Your Spa

Fill your hot tub with water.

Activate Freeze Protection

If you live in a very cold climate, run your hot tub in F3 “Standard” mode. A sensor will monitor the climate and periodically run the pump when the temperature drops below a certain level, preventing anything from freezing.

Keep Your Spa Covered

If you aren’t using your hot tub, keep the cover firmly on it. This will keep the heat in, preventing you from running the heater continuously and saving you money in the long run.

There’s nothing quite like watching snow drift down from the comfort of your spa. Why not keep it operating in the winter and enjoy it?

Now that you know how to maintain your spa through the winter or how to properly shut it down, you’ll be able to properly manage its care. As long as you look after it, your hot tub will function optimally.

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If you need any further assistant, don’t hesitate to contact us today at Jay’s Precision Pool Services.

Closing Hot Tub For Winter - Jay's Precision Pools Services, Saratoga, NY

Closing Your Hot Tub For Winter

This article comes from Jacuzzi.

Closing Your Hot Tub For Winter

Your hot tub is an outstanding addition to your home and family, and proper maintenance will ensure you get to enjoy it for years to come. This maintenance includes making the necessary adjustments to keep your spa operating through the cold winter months or, alternatively, shutting it down during the cold months. We’ll discuss both possibilities below.

Closing Down for Winter

Hot tub owners often report that they most enjoy using their spas during the winter. However, if your area is bracing for severe inclement weather or you’re leaving town for an extended period of time, you may wish to shut down your spa entirely.

Power Down

You’ll be emptying your spa of water and performing additional maintenance on it, so shut off the heater and turn off the spa.

Empty the Spa

Drain your hot tub of all water. Empty the air blowers, if your spa is equipped with these.

Clean Filters

Remove your filters and place them in a cleaning solution. You’ll want to keep them in a dry place for as long as they’re out of the hot tub. Take this opportunity to clean the filter basket, as well.

Loosen Fittings

If your pump housing has drain plugs, open them. You may wish to rent or purchase a shop vac to remove additional water left inside these fittings.

Blow Jets

Water can get trapped in your jet plumbing and damage your hot tub if it freezes. Make sure this is drained, whether manually or by a shop vac.

Clean the Shell

Your hot tub is empty, so give the entire basin a good scrubbing with a spa cleanser.

Cover Your Tub

Place your cover over your hot tub and lock it down. It will protect your spa during the winter. When spring arrives, you can refill your hot tub and begin enjoying it again.

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If you need any further assistance, please contact us today at Jay’s Precision Pools.

Hot Tub Activities - Jay's Precision Pools, NY

5 Exercises You Can Do In Your Hot Tub

This article comes from Jacuzzi.

5 Exercises You Can Do In Your Hot Tub

The time you spend relaxing in your hot tub or spa can be used for many activities like reading a book, listening to music or simply indulging in your backyard oasis.

If you would prefer to use your spare hot tub time to strengthen and tone your body, then we have five hot tub friendly exercises you can try. Remember, it’s very important to consult a physician before beginning any exercise regimen. Make sure to take plenty of time to rest and drink lots of fluids.

1. Toe Pushes

What does it strengthen?

Calf Muscles

While sitting comfortably in the seat of your hot tub or spa hold your toes against either a wall, other seat or the floor. Once you have found your most comfortable position, you can begin. Push your toes against the hot tub with a comfortable amount of force and hold the position for three seconds. Repeat this exercise three times. At your own pace, you can work your way up to holding the position for ten seconds.

2. Arm Crossovers

What does it strengthen?

Forearms, core

Begin by sitting up straight in your seat with your abdominals tightened to help with balance. Hold both arms out straight in front of you with your palms facing downwards. Quickly cross your arms over one another while alternating which one goes on top of the other. Do three sets of arm crossovers for roughly 30 seconds each.

3. Side Leg Extensions

What does it strengthen?

Legs, abdominals

Begin by sitting back in your seat so that you are comfortable and relaxed. Feel free to hold onto any available rails or ledges for support if needed. Simply stretch your legs out forward and keep them as straight as possible. Slowly and steadily spread them apart as far as your body is comfortable with and then bring them back together. Keep your torso and abdominals comfortably flexed to keep yourself balanced and posture correct. Do three sets of these for about 30 seconds each and make sure to drink plenty of water and rest in between sets.

4. Leg Lifts

What does it strengthen?

Abdominals

Begin your leg lifts by sitting back comfortably in the seat of your hot tub and hold your abdominals tight. For additional support, hold onto any nearby ledges or rails. Stretch your legs out in front of you and keep them as straight as possible. Lift your legs upwards in a steady motion until your toes are poking out of the water. Hold this position briefly and then slowly bring them back down in front of you. After you have done ten leg lifts, take a break and relax. Complete a set of ten leg lifts three times. This exercise can be a tricky one, so feel free to take it slow and steady until you feel comfortable. You can always turn on your jets and take a break if needed!

5. Bicycle Kicks

What does it strengthen?

Abdominals, legs

First, sit comfortably on the edge of your seat inside of your hot tub. Support yourself firmly by holding onto a nearby rail or ledge of the spa. Once you are properly supported you can begin your workout. Begin by lifting both of your legs straight out under the water. Once you are safely balanced it’s time to start ‘cycling! Use your legs to pedal as if you are riding an imaginary bicycle. Do three sets of bicycle kicks for approximately 30 seconds each. Start out at a slow pace and work your way up as you go. Luckily you are inside of your hot tub, so resting in between sets will keep you relaxed and comfortable. Keep an eye on your breathing and overall energy level, you don’t want to tire yourself out!

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Hot Tub Winter - Jay's Precision Pools, NY

Benefits of Using a Hot Tub During Cold Months

It might come as a surprise to you, but not everyone who owns a hot tub or spa keeps it running during the Fall and Winter months. For those of you that choose to close your spas during these months, check out these benefits to keeping your spa open from Jacuzzi.

Benefits of Using a Hot Tub During Cold Months

During the cold winter months, soaking in a hot tub gets even better. The heat of the crystal-clear water becomes a delicacy and your escape from the cold weather. Of course, there are many more benefits than simply thawing your frozen feet.

1. Exercising in the hot tub

When it’s cold outside, it can become more difficult to exercise. The days of simply throwing on a pair of running shoes and heading outside for a run or hike is temporarily a thing of the past. Winter can make going to the gym even more difficult for those who don’t wish to travel during snowstorms or when the roads are covered in snow and ice.

Your hot tub is the perfect place to exercise in the comfort of your own backyard when it’s cold outside. There are many exercises that can be done inside your hot tub that help improve toning, weight management, and overall health. The buoyancy of the water creates an environment to exercise that is much easier on your muscles and joints. You can begin your exercise regimen with a comfortable warm-up, or some yoga, and finish with luxurious, post-workout relaxation.

2. Escape the cold weather

A fresh snowfall can have a beautiful aesthetic appeal. Unless you are all bundled up or watching from inside, it can be hard to truly enjoy the beauty of nature and your surroundings. Even when you’re wearing all the necessary winter gear and accessories, you can still get cold and risk getting sick. Hot tubs provide a warm, jet-infused environment that is perfect for absorbing the serenity of a clean, white snowfall while helping your immune system naturally.

You are given the opportunity to increase the temperature, turn on the jets, grab a book, or listen to music, while you truly enjoy the outdoors. From the inside of your hot tub, you won’t have to experience the negative aspects of the freezing winter weather while you enjoy the peaceful setting of your backyard retreat.

3. Hot tubs and stress relief

Often, the winter months come with a variety of added stress. Constantly shoveling snow, cleaning snow and ice from vehicles, driving on icy roads, and performing any car maintenance outside can put stress on the body. For some, winter is also the holiday season. With the holidays comes shopping, traveling, cooking, and planning. The pressure of the holidays on top of regular life and winter weather can add even more unwanted stress.

Over the course of several months, this can take a toll on your physical and mental health. Spending regular time in your hot tub to simply relax and experience the healing properties of the bubbling water during hydrotherapy treatments can help to relieve stress, improve sleep patterns and soothe sore muscles and aching arthritic joints.

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Swimming Pool Safety - Jay's Precision Pools, NY

Home Pool Drowning Liability & Prevention Guide

This article, originally written by Anne Dennon on Reviews.com talks about home pool drowning liability and how you can prevent it.

Home Pool Drowning Liability & Prevention Guide

If you have a pool or hot tub on your property, whether in-ground or above-ground, implement a safety plan before tragedy strikes. Then make sure you’re holding the right insurance. You may need to purchase extra personal liability coverage to cover your pool’s costly risks.

How to prevent pool accidents

There are two distinct high-risk groups for drowning: children under the age of five and boys ages 15-19. Take the following measures to keep pool-users safe — and make your pool less inviting to youths when adults aren’t around to supervise.

Educate young swimmers

The three top safety tips from Pool Safely, a governmental public education campaign by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, all deal with kids in the water.

  • Never leave a child unattended in or near water.
  • Teach children how to swim.
  • Teach children to stay away from drains.

Kids should have a healthy respect for any body of water, even if it’s the small, kidney-shaped one in their backyard. Swimming lessons are paramount, but there’s more to learn than knowing how to float and stroke. Educate kids about the dangers of water, both drowning and getting hair or jewelry caught in drain suction, as well as how to spot when others are having difficulty in the water.

Importantly, drowning doesn’t always look as dramatic as movies make it appear. Kids could look like they’re just playing underwater, but open mouths, glassy eyes, or efforts to swim without making progress all clue you into danger.

Know CPR

If you have a pool, you should know CPR. Find a class through the Red Cross or a local organization, then keep CPR literature near the pool for the benefit of guests. Note that there’s different CPR protocol for infants, kids, and adults.

While the quick administration of CPR can be life-saving, a child who has experienced drowning is not out of the clear as soon as he or she is out of the water and breathing. Secondary or dry drowning can strike hours or days after the incident, aggravated by leftover water in the lungs. Prolonged coughing, difficulty breathing, extreme fatigue, and loss of bowel or bladder control (among other symptoms) should alert you to bring your child to the ER.

Establish pool rules

Any kids who use your pool should know the rules. The top rule: No swimming without adult supervision. The Center for Injury Research and Policy states that when watching children in the pool, you shouldn’t have the distraction of a book, a phone, or a conversation. And the younger the swimmers, the closer you need to be: Toddlers should never be beyond an arm’s length from you in water.

Build a fence

A high, locked fence that surrounds all four sides of the pool is your best bet. Four feet is probably tall enough (five-year-olds stand about 3’6” at most) but consider going higher to block out the view of the pool and deter older kids from climbing. On the subject of climbing, vertical posts are better than horizontal. The gate should remain locked when not in use; consider installing an alarm that responds to tampering.

Use safety features

A covered pool is simply not as alluring as an open, sparkling blue surface — and that’s the point. Safety covers fit snugly over your pool, creating a visual and physical barrier that can deter impromptu visitors.

In addition to covering your pool when it’s not in use, be sure to clear away pool toys. The pool should look “closed” when you or another adult isn’t around to supervise use.

Lastly, keep a life ring with rope in a secure, nearby location, as well as a shepherd’s hook.

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Winterize A Pool - Jay's Precision Pools, Saratoga, NY

How to Winterize a Pool & What Happens If You Don’t

As much as we don’t want to think about this, the Fall season is only days away, and that means Winter is right around the corner. With Summertime winding down, it’s time to start thinking about closing your swimming pool. This article from Realtor.com has important information about how to winterize your pool and what can happen if you don’t.

How to Winterize a Pool & What Happens If You Don’t

To help protect your pool from harsh conditions so you can jump right into the summer fun next year, here’s a handy guide on winterizing it.

When should you winterize?

It all depends on where you live. Homes in sunny Southern California or Arizona probably won’t have to close at all. But if you live where it gets frigid, your pool will need to be winterized before temperatures dip to 32 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent water from freezing. Try to aim to have it shut down in October, or by Thanksgiving at the absolute latest.

If the temperatures unexpectedly plunge to 32 degrees or below before you close, you can run the pool pump for a full 24 hours. As long as the water is moving through the pipes, it won’t freeze.

Clean before you close

Start by removing any debris from the pool. Since the water won’t be filtered or treated chemically during the winter, it’s critical to ensure the water isn’t dirty when you open up the pool in the spring.

Take your skimmer net and remove any leaves. If you leave organic material in the pool for months, it can stain the surface of the pool. Be sure to store equipment like ladders or toys, too.

Next, ensure all of your pool chemicals are in the recommended range for your individual pool. Take a water sample to your local pool store if you don’t already know the recommended ranges.

Lower the water level

Lower the water level about 1 to 6 inches below the skimmer on the side of the pool, with the waterline below the tiles. Why? If the water freezes, the tiles can crack.

However, you don’t want to drain the pool entirely. A swimming pool with little or no water can become unstable due to hydrostatic pressure from underground water.

Treat the water

After you’ve cleaned the pool, consider adding chemicals to help prevent an algae bloom. Since algae eat phosphate, experts suggest adding a phosphate remover treatment and a stain prevention product too.

Winterize the equipment

All of the plumbing needs to winterized, including the pump, heater, filter, and underground pipes. To do this, use a wet-dry vacuum or compressed air to remove water from the line.

Afterward, antifreeze may be placed in the pipes. The equipment should then be plugged to prevent water from getting inside.

With the right tools, winterizing is certainly something a pool owner can handle, but if you don’t feel confident, hire a pool professional.

Add a cover

After you’ve treated the water and winterized the gear, cover the pool. This can help prevent leaves, debris, and even animals from getting in the pool.

One reliable option is a winter pool cover, which is made from a plastic fabric and is held in place by anchors surrounding the pool. These covers do a great job at keeping out dirt, leaves, and other debris. You can also use a tarp cover that’s held down by water bags surrounding the pool, but it could be a drowning hazard.

No matter what cover you choose, it’s a good idea to take a leaf blower and use it to get rid of excess debris on the cover.

Peek during the winter

Peek under the cover once a month to make sure nothing is amiss. Meece also advises pouring about a gallon of chlorine or household bleach in the pool once a month to help prevent bacteria and algae from growing.

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Hot Tub Terms - Jay's Precision Pools, Saratoga, NY

Things You Should Know if You Own a Spa

This article comes from The Spruce.

Hot Tub Terms: Things You Should Know if You Own a Spa

Isn’t it about time you got to know your hot tub better? Owning a spa means you’ll need to know the words and terms that accompany it, whether you maintain the tub yourself or hire a professional.

Acid

A dry or liquid chemical that lowers pH when added to water.

Air Switch

A pneumatic-mechanical control device that is used to safely operate spa and hot tub equipment. To operate, a button that is located in or near the water is depressed, sending air pressure along with a hose to an on/off switch.

Alkalinity

The characteristic of water that registers a pH above neutral.

Aluminum Sulfate

An additive for sand filters that helps prevent sand from combining and hardening; thus, not filtering impurities from water.

Bromine

A sanitizer similar to chlorine and one of the original hot tub sanitizers.

Biguanide

A sanitizer which is part of a water treatment system.

Digital Programming

Popular controls used to manage such features as water temperature, filtering cycles, light and even accessories such as stereo and TV.

Fiberglass

A material shaped to form hot tub shells.

Fiber Optics

A lighting system in which light is generated at a remote source and transmitted along fibers.

Filter

A porous, fibrous material in cylinder form that’s called an element. It allows water to pass through while it collects particles, organic matter, oils, lotions and foreign debris that accumulates in hot tub water.

Flow Monitor

Gauges how fast and how much water is flowing.

Flow Rate

The measure of how many gallons per minute pass through a hot tub pump. A better measure of water movement than pump horsepower.

Heater

The method by which hot tub water is warmed electrically. Some custom hot tubs have gas heaters.

Click here to view the complete list of terms.

Bugs In Swimming Pool - Jays Precision Pools, Saratoga, NY

How to Prevent Water Bugs in a Swimming Pool

This article comes from Home Guides.

How to Prevent Water Bugs in a Swimming Pool

There are few summertime pleasures that beat time spent in the water. Surprise — there is any number of spiders, beetles, and bugs that agree. Even bees can hone in on your swimming pool and invite their buddies to join them. If the sight of bugs sharing your pool isn’t bad enough, some of the culprits actually bite. Convince unwanted swimming pool water bugs, and other insects as well, that your pool is closed for the season. Like any unwanted guest, it takes denying them food and making the place unlivable to them, but ideal for you.

Two Likely Suspects

From ladybugs to caterpillars and every bee, spider, fly or bug between, most any insect can end up in your swimming pool water. After all, it’s outside, in the open, where there are millions of insects both seen and unseen. All of them see your pool as a source of water. But there are a handful of bugs that target your pool specifically. They live, eat, breed and die in your water if allowed. Of these, two are notorious: water boatmen and backswimmers.

The Life of a Water Bug

The aptly named water boatman is only about 1/4 inch long with a thin, grayish-brown body. Long, flattened legs on the rear of his body rapidly propel him through the water where he lives. Usually seen underwater, the water boatman feeds on algae, dead organic matter, mosquito larvae, and other microscopic life. You may almost consider boatmen beneficial, and in fact, they make excellent fish food or bait and are even a delicacy in parts of Mexico. Backswimmers seem to agree. Slightly larger, with beetle-like legs and front mandibles designed to pierce their prey and suck out their insides, backswimmers eat boatmen and other small organisms such as tadpoles. You can always tell a backswimmer by the way he zips, upside down, across your pool surface — and bites you, feeling almost like a bee.

Kicking the Bugs Out

The best way to get rid of water bugs is to eliminate what they eat. Since water boatmen eat algae, and backswimmers eat boatmen, attacking the algae is the place to start. Wiping down the pool walls will eliminate slimy algae growths. Skimming and vacuuming will gather more. Finally, shocking the pool repeatedly or using a double shock treatment — 2 to 3 pounds of calcium hypochlorite for every 10,000 gallons of water — will kill the rest of the algae and likely many bugs, too. Another brush down and vacuum job and thorough skimming and filtration should remove dead algae and bugs. Adding shock during the night prevents the sun from dissipating it too quickly.

Keeping the Bugs Away

After killing the food source, several steps will help keep backswimmers and water boatmen away. An algaecide, used as directed, will inhibit algae growth. Without boatmen, backswimmers — the worst of the lot — have no reason to stay. Using swimming pool covers, spraying invading insects with a soapy water mixture to kill them — and in the case of bees, prevent them from bringing back a crowd — and other tactics will help. The most important thing, however, is to keep your water balanced with proper pH and chlorine levels. A quality pool water test kit used constantly, is essential.

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Hot Tub Vs. Spa - Jay's Precision Pools, Saratoga, NY

Comparing a Hot Tub and Spa

This article comes from The Spruce.

Comparing a Hot Tub and Spa

Like a spa, a hot tub has built-in jets to provide warmth, relaxation, and a massage-effect on people’s muscles and joints. Both are used for therapeutic reasons and socialization. In the early days—the late 1960s and early 1970s—hot tubs were made from wood, including cedar, redwood, cypress, teak, or a composite. In the mid-1970s, the technologically advanced portable acrylic spas were introduced, replacing the wooden tubs in popularity.

Hot Tub, Spa, or Something Else?

Today, the terms hot tub and spa are used interchangeably. Let’s throw in another one: jacuzzi.

Although it’s a company that has been around since the 1950s, when it started making pumps that could be submerged in bathtubs, people often use the word to describe a spa or hot tub, even if it’s another brand. All describe a large tub that is used for relaxation, hydrotherapy, warmth, and entertaining. All are equipped with built-in jets for targeting bathers’ sore muscles.

Basically, there are two types of hot tubs and spas: portable and custom-built or in-ground. Portable models can accommodate anywhere from two to eight or more adults. They can be inflatable latex or vinyl, which are usually less expensive; fiberglass; acrylic; polyethylene; or another type of plastic. Some hot tubs are built in traditional wood or even out of recycled materials, such as metal bins or barrels.

In-ground or custom styles are usually referred to as spas.

They can be attached or adjacent to an in-ground swimming pool and are often placed near each other as a warm-water-and-cold-plunge-type of therapeutic experience. Others are stand-alone hot tubs but set into the ground or custom-built. Some are sturdy portable models (not inflatable) from top manufacturers that are installed to look like they are custom-built in-ground models that can be positioned upon a raised platform, sometimes under a pergola or a gazebo. Others actually are custom-built and constructed of the same materials that pools are made of, such as concrete, fiberglass, or gunite, along with stainless steel, tile, or copper.

The word spa is often associated with a health resort where people stay overnight or longer. Spas or day spas are also commercial establishments where patrons receive aesthetic services, such as deep-tissue massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, body wraps, salt glows, and other pampering treatments.

The term hot tub is more specific in describing that tub with many strategically placed massaging jets and has experienced a resurgence in usage to distinguish it from a day spa.

Small hot tubs that accommodate two adults and are designed for a more intimate experience measure about three to four feet high by five feet across and hold approximately 500 gallons of water. Larger hot tubs measure around four to five feet high and six feet or more in diameter and are built to accommodate up to eight adults or more. They hold about 850 gallons of water.

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Chlorine in Pools: Is it Safe for Pets?

This article comes from Pet MD.

Chlorine in Pools: Is it Safe for Pets?

As temperatures rise and a hairy creature’s thoughts turn to summer swimming, owners across the country are asking themselves: is it ok for my pet to take a dip in the family pool? As pet owners become more educated and inquisitive about the effects of various chemical exposures in their pet’s day-to-day life, it’s natural for people to wonder if chlorine poisoning is possible in pets. Here’s what you need to know:

What is Chlorine and What Does Chlorine Do?

When added to water, chlorine breaks down into hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite ion. These chemicals oxidize microorganisms in water by breaking down the cell wall and destroying the structures inside. Without chlorine, pools quickly turn green or even black as algae and bacteria build up in the water.

Is Chlorine Toxic for Dogs and Cats?

Like many chemicals with the potential to be dangerous, the hazards of chlorine exposure are dose-dependent. Pool water contains very dilute levels of chlorine and is unlikely to cause chlorine poisoning in humans or animals. From a risk management standpoint, a pet is more likely to become ill from a dunk in a standing pool of water, or a lake filled with unknown microorganisms such as amoeba, than they are from swimming in a properly maintained pool full of chlorinated water.

Chlorine Tablets: Keeping Your Pets Safe

The biggest risk to both pets and people are related to handling the chlorine in its concentrated form before it is placed in the pool. Chlorine tablets should always be stored in their original containers and kept in a safe place inaccessible to pets and children. Chlorine gas can be dangerous if inhaled, and direct contact with undiluted chlorine can damage skin and eyes. It would be very unusual for a pet to ingest chlorine tablets as the scent is often unappealing to dogs and cats, but proper storage should eliminate the risk of chlorine poisoning entirely.

What Are the Risks of My Pet’s Exposure to Chlorinated Pool Water?

Drinking chlorinated water may cause minor GI irritation, but it should not cause serious issues for pets. Pets who love to gulp water as they paddle should be discouraged. Fortunately, most symptoms related to chlorine are minor. Pets who swim for long periods in chlorinated pool water may exhibit some signs of sensitivity, such as red eyes or itchy skin. Pools with high levels of chlorine may cause irritation to the airways due to the release of chlorine gas, particularly in poorly ventilated areas.

Pets who swim regularly may experience more frequent ear infections. While owners may wonder if this is related to chlorine exposure, recurrent infections are more likely related to damp ears than the chlorine itself. Your veterinarian can recommend a drying solution to use after swimming if your pet is prone to recurrent ear infections.

Other Pool Safety Risks for Pets

When it comes to swimming, the biggest health risk for any pet is drowning. Although people mistakenly assume a dog’s instinctive paddling behavior means all dogs are water-safe, dogs can panic, tire, and drown in any body of water, chlorinated or not. Owners should always supervise pets when swimming, which allows you to spot any minor problems before they become major ones, whether it’s a cough, exhaustion, or red eyes. With a little monitoring and attention to your pet’s behavior, there’s no reason you can’t all enjoy a nice summer dip.

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