Ever wonder why your dog loves to jump into the pool, particularly in the summer? That’s because unlike humans, dogs don’t have clothes they can take off to cool off. To make matters worse, dogs have significantly fewer sweat glands than humans do (mostly located in their paws), so they can’t rely on sweat to cool themselves off.
If they are feeling hot, their only recourse is to release heat through their nose or tongue. So, if you notice your dog is panting like crazy, it’s a sign of distress most likely from overheating. When summer is in full swing and the blazing heat of the sun is scorching the earth, you can bet that the pool looks very appealing to your furry friend.
This is all well and good for your dog, but unfortunately for you, your furry friend is going to shed a lot of hair into the pool. The dog hair can form clumps and compromise your pool’s filtration system. It’s also just generally gross to be swimming around and to grab a clump of hair, so how can we prevent this?
You can minimize the damage by allowing your dog to de-shed prior to entering the pool. Furthermore, you can install a strong filtration system in your pool that can handle dog hair. As an additional layer of protection, you can add another filter over the skimmer basket of your sweep. You can also use a pool sweep to catch all of the fur (and other debris) floating around the pool.
In this article, we will go over each of these tips in more detail so that you can get rid of all of the dog hair in your pool and prevent it from clogging the filters.
Why dog hair and pools don’t mix
If you don’t own a dog or your dog doesn’t shed very much, then you may not realize how much of an issue leaving dog hair in the pool is. Unfortunately, not all of the hair moves to the outlet or gets collected in the skimmer basket.
A surprising amount of hair will simply sink to the bottom of the pool after a hairy dog, such as a Golden Retriever or Labrador, has a swim in it. Hair can also enter the pool by being blown in from the poolside or deck. Plus, there will be other debris you need to worry about as well, and adding dog hair to the mix just makes things worse.
At some point, enough dog hair will find its way to the pool filter and promptly clog it up. Not good. If you are like me and want to reduce the number of times you need to clean the pool filter (and giving up your dog(s) is NOT an option, obviously), then here are some steps you should follow to drastically decrease the amount of dog hair in the pool.
How to keep dog hair from clogging up the pool filter
De-shed your dog before letting them in the pool
De-shedding your dog is a good idea in general, not just to keep dog hair out of the pool, but so that there isn’t fur all over your house. It isn’t difficult to do, and you will be absolutely gob-smacked by how much loose fur you can brush off.
The first time I did it, I was shocked at how much fur I removed. It was like I removed enough fur to create another dog entirely out of the shed fur. For a brief moment, I thought I had done something terribly wrong and got rid of too much (I didn’t), but the first time will truly be an eye-opening experience to just how much a dog can shed.
Using a deshedding tool (such as this one), you can catch every single hair that otherwise would have ended up in your pool filter (or carpet, furniture, car, etc.) before it’s even a problem. After deshedding, your normally bushy dog will look significantly smaller, but they will love you for removing all of that heat-trapping fur.
Hand-skim the water
Hey, don’t knock it if it works. Literally just skim the surface of the pool with your hand and you can easily grab clumps of hair that was left behind. It’s not very pleasant, so you might want to consider wearing gloves. This is an absurdly easy (and free) solution that might already solve your problem. If not, then let’s move down the list.
Use a pool sweep
Pool sweeps are placed at the bottom of the pool or wherever water is sucked through the filtration system. It is a handy device that keeps dog hair and other nasties from floating all over the pool. Remember to clean the pool sweep occasionally so that it continues to work efficiently.
Use a hand vacuum
Vacuuming is an essential part of keeping your pool clean, especially if your dog swims in it often. A pool vacuum will help you clean up the clumps of dog fur that are at the bottom of the pool, not caught in any filters. Ideally, the vacuum should have its own interior filter. By vacuuming the pool, your filtration system will have an easier time.
Use a pool robot
Not a fan of manually vacuuming the pool? No worries, if you have the funds, you can get yourself an automatic pool cleaner to stay on top of this mess for you. Of course, this costs a pretty penny, so it’s off the table for more frugal-minded pool owners.
Install a strong pool filtration system
Try as you might, you are still going to contend with dog hair (and other debris) so you may as well install a stronger filtration system. This will ensure your pool can continue to clean itself even with the presence of debris. While we’re on this topic, make sure you are routinely maintaining your filtration system.
Add an extra layer filter over the skimmer basket
You can use a household item such as a hairnet, pantyhose, knee-high stockings, or anything with a fine mesh material. Alternatively, you can also use skimmer socks. You can usually buy them in a large pack so the price comes down to $0.50-$1.00 per sock, which should last you a while.
This finer filter will keep hair from going through the bigger holes of the skimmer basket, preventing both dog hair and even human hair from clogging up the filtration system.
The great thing about this solution is that you can easily put it on and take it off. Even if you don’t have a dog – perhaps a friend has brought their dog over or something – you can easily place the fine mesh material of your choosing over the skimmer basket and easily clean the pool after the dog gets out.
Keep your dog out of the pool
Worst case scenario, if your dog seems to shed fur infinitely or if you feel that the pool is dangerous to your dog, then the safest option is to keep your dog out of the pool.
Now, I understand this is a controversial decision. Ask a hundred dog owners whether they should let their dog into the pool or not and you may get just as many in favor as there are against it.
However, if you cannot seem to stop your dog from shedding so much and are getting fed up with cleaning the pool filters so much, then keeping your dog out of the pool is the only surefire way to stop the problem.
Last update on 2023-11-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API