Dogs love the water, and if you've just put in a swimming pool, you probably know that already. But having dogs as pool guests raises a few issues--cleanliness is one (dogs carry fecal matter and large amounts of dirt), and the hairy mess in your filter basket is another. Dog dirt depletes chlorine and the hair obstructs the filter, leaving your pool at serious risk of an algae infestation. Thorough, methodical cleaning is the best remedy.
Protect The Filter
Use a skimmer sock. This device fits in the filter basket, and its job is to catch the fine material that the filter would otherwise suck through the basket holes. For a cheaper alternative, some pool owners use nylon stockings to line their filter baskets.
Turn Up The Power
Turn your filter or your jets on high to agitate the water. This will help bring the hair to the surface, so you can collect it with a hand skimmer. Hand-skim the pool immediately after a dog leaves the water.
Use a hand vacuum with an internal filter. While your main pool filter is running, help it do its job by using a handheld vacuum. These operate independently of the filter and will suck in dog hair that has sunk to the bottom or settled in a corner.
Some dogs simply shed too much for a normal filter's ability. According to the Association of Canine Water Therapy, swim spas with powerful filters are best, especially for those who train and rehabilitate dogs using swim therapy. But for everyone else, the organization advises working with a pool contractor to install the strongest circulation system possible.
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