Is Dog Hair Bad for Pools? What to Do About It

Is Dog Hair Bad for Pools

If you are a pool owner and also the owner of a hairy dog, then you need to consider the impact that your furry friend has on your pool.

Dogs love to go swimming in the summer because they can feel the heat too. In fact, since they can’t take off their fur the way we can take off our clothes, they really need to cool down and what better way than by swimming in your pool?

Don’t worry about safety; dogs are natural born swimmers and can take care of themselves without any swim lessons. Instead, this article will focus on another problem: dog hair clogging your pool filter and pump.

So how can you reconcile letting your dog swim in your pool, but potentially clogging or even damaging your pool filter and pump? There are some tips you can follow to minimize the damage: lettingyour dog de-shed first, upgrading to a stronger filtration system, adding an extra layer of filter over the skimmer basket, and manually vacuuming any excess hair.

In this article, we’ll cover how dog hair affects your pool as well as provide tips on how to limit the amount of dog hair in the pool.

Why dog hair is bad for pools

Pool filters can get clogged with just human hair, especially if there are many long strands. How much faster do you think the filter will get clogged when you add dog hair into the mix.

Dogs have more hair than us, and so they also shed more hair than we do. Some dogs shed more than others, and you can easily find clumps of hair around your home. Imagine all of that going into your pool. They would get into the filtration system through the skimmer and ruin your pool pump.

The skimmer’s job is to filter out larger bits of debris such as sticks and leaves so that they don’t get into the filtration system. Unfortunately, smaller fragments, such as hair can make it past the skimmer.

When the skimmer picks up hair, the pump sucks the hair into the filtration system where the hair can clog the filter. As the filter clogs up, it will negatively affect how the pump releases water back into the pool.

Without proper circulation in your pool, the cleaning chemicals are not being distributed evenly, and can result in an algae and bacteria problem.

Additional concerns

You know that dogs love to roll around on the ground, right? Whenever they do so, their hair can pick up plenty of dirt and debris.

Unless you give your dog a shower before allowing her to swim in the pool, the dirt and debris in the fur will come off in the pool. Aside from the fact that this is not hygienic and can cause chlorine to be used up rapidly, it introduces more debris that will clog your filter and ruin your pump.

How to deal with dog hair in the pool

Let your dog de-shed first

If you anticipate your dog shedding a bunch of hair into the pool, then you just need to make sure the shedding happens out of the pool.

This is very straightforward to do. Simply brush their fur with a de-shedder so remove the weaker hair that likely would have otherwise shed into your pool.

You will be surprised at how much hair can be removed by doing this. You could potentially brush off enough fur to form a pile as big as your dog. Do not skip this step if you have a very hairy dog.

Not only is de-shedding the fur good for your pool pump, but it also keeps your dog’s hair from tangling when wet.

Wash your dog

As mentioned, if your dog has been rolling around on the ground, she could have picked up a bunch of dirt and debris.

The dirt and debris can stay trapped in the fur and get shed into the pool, or it can just fall off in the pool, but either way it contributes to more contaminants that could clog the filtration system.

By showering, you can not only get rid of this debris but it is also just a hygienic thing to do. You’re going to be swimming in the same pool of water, and as effective as chlorine is, wouldn’t it give you more peace of mind if you took some extra precautions to ensure the water is clean?

Equip the pool with a stronger filtration system

Have you had issues with your current filtration system clogging up too quickly, or not filtering out all of the debris in the pool? If you have the cash to spare, then consider upgrading your pool filtration system.

Of course, I am not saying that a new filtration system will solve your dog hair problem. You still need to do constant maintenance to ensure everything is running smoothly.

The new system will be able to keep the pool cleaner for longer even with dog hair in the mix.

Use skimmer socks

If too many fine fragments of debris or hair are passing through the skimmer basket, you can add an additional filter over it.

You don’t need anything fancy; an old pair of pantyhose, a hair net, or anything with a fine mesh material will do. This extra filter will catch strands of hair that may have otherwise passed through the holes of a skimmer basket, helping keep the filtration system from clogging up.

Otherwise, you can purchase and use skimmer socks to do the job.

Use a hand vacuum

Even if your pool is equipped with a strong filtration system, you should always have a hand vacuum on standby ready to do some cleaning. Ideally, it should have its own filter.

You can use the hand vacuum to manually remove clumps of dog hair that are at the bottom of the pool. This will remove some of the pressure from the filtration system so that it can work smoothly.

You can also invest in a robotic pool cleaner. Yes, it is expensive, but robots are the future and this one gets the job done by cleaning both above and below the surface of the pool.

Keep these tips in mind for the next time your dog goes swimming in the pool. You don’t want to leave your good boy or girl out of the fun, but you also need to take care of your pool so that the filtration system and pump doesn’t get damaged. Thankfully, you can have the best of both worlds if you’re smart about it.