It’s that time of the year when Insta and TikTok are filled with cute videos of dogs jumping into swimming pools, lakes and rivers to cool off and have some fun. You can’t blame them, because I wouldn’t want to have to wear a thick fur coat in the summer weather! But what about jacuzzis? Can dogs go in hot tubs, or should we do our best to keep our animals away from them?
Can Dogs Go in Hot Tubs?
The short answer is no, and for several reasons.
Dogs can overheat
1. Hot tubs are heated, which can make your dog’s body temperature rise without them or you realising it. Think about what happens when you’re inside the hot tub – you get used to a higher temperature the longer you’re in it. You perhaps only realise how hot you are until you step out of the water and into the cooler air. Most hot tubs are set between 36 and 38 degrees Celsius, which can cause a dog to start overheating. Unlike humans, who sweat on the surface of their skin to cool off, dogs sweat through their paws — something that’s hard to do when the paws are underwater. Dogs also pant excessively to cool themselves down, but panting could lead to swallowing water, making them ill.
2. Hot tub owners use chemicals to help balance PH levels and to help keep the water and filters clean from germs or algae. Bromine and chlorine are two of the most commonly added sanitisers and can irritate a dog’s eyes and skin. There’s a terrifying story, too, reported in the Metro about a bulldog puppy that got into a hot tub, inhaled chlorinated water and couldn’t breathe. Only the owner’s quick thinking in getting the dog the emergency care it needed saved the animal’s life. Dogs can also get gastric upset from swallowing chlorine and chemicals.
Difficult to escape
3. Hot tubs can be difficult for dogs to climb out of, especially smaller breeds. The sides are slippery, and the jets can make it challenging for pets to get out quickly. Snub-nose breeds like pugs can easily drown due to their short legs and respiratory issues. You can also find several reports online of owners saying that similar breeds often freeze in water, so don’t assume dogs can automatically swim. Dogs with snub noses tip their heads back to stay above water, making it harder for them to float
Dogs can ruin a hot tub
4. Keeping dogs out of hot tubs isn’t only for their benefit. Hot tubs aren’t cheap, and if you want yours to last longer, then it’s a good idea to keep your dog well away from them. Dogs can pop inflatable jacuzzis, scratch their claws along the permanent ones and ruin the finish, and they’ll clog up the filters with their fur.
How to Protect a Hot Tub From a Dog
A robust and sturdy cover is an excellent way to keep dogs from getting into the hot tub. You might also consider adding a gate and barrier around it so that your dog isn’t tempted to jump in when you’re in it. Always remember to supervise your pets when the hot tub is being used. It only takes a moment of distraction for disaster to strike.
There are also plenty of other suitable options for dogs, including small paddling pools that will help keep your pet cool in the hot weather without putting them at risk of harm (although, you should always supervise your pets in water).