Taking a dip in the hot tub is a great way to kick back and relax, however, did you know that it may not be suitable for your pet? While some pups appreciate splashing on the beach in the lovely warm weather, soaking in heated water can pose considerable risks.
In this article, we will unearth what dangers are associated with dogs enjoying spa time – along with the evidence-based tips recommended by veterinary nurses so your pup stays safe!
Hot tubs when fully heated can reach soaring temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). Temperatures this high can be extremely harmful to dogs, as their normal body temperature only ranges between 38-39 degrees Celcius (101-102.5 degrees Fahrenheit).
What most dog lovers and owners fail to realise is that dogs, especially small breeds and those with thick fur coats, are prone to overheating and developing hyperthermia in hot tubs. These complications can often lead to physiological shock and damage to their vital organs, making hot tubs an extremely dangerous hazard for your dog.
Unlike humans, dogs don’t have sweat glands, so they rely on panting and drinking water to regulate their body temperature. Unfortunately, heat exhaustion for dogs can often occur quickly, leading to serious health complications such as dehydration, heatstroke, organ failure or even death.
Risk of Cleaning Chemical Exposure
While enjoying a relaxing soak in a hot tub may seem harmless, it’s important to be aware of the potential dangers that certain hot tub cleaning chemicals can pose to your pets.
Dogs in particular are susceptible to the harsh and irritating chemicals such as chlorine,bromine, or other chemicals found in many hot tub cleaners and hot tub shocks, often resulting in uncomfortable symptoms such as itching, redness, and even vomiting. In addition, the chemicals used to keep your hot tub clean can irritate your dog’s nose, skin, eyes, and ears, thus we urge all hot tub and pet owners to keep their dogs out of their hot tubs to avoid an extreme reaction or any unwanted emergency treatments.
In a 2021 article published by the Liverpool Echo, a bulldog puppy had to undergo emergency treatment after inhaling chlorinated water from a hot tub which caused him to suffer an extreme reaction resulting in serious inflammation on his lungs. The 13-year-old pup was fortunate to make it out alive after this accident, but this miracle was massively attributed to the quick thinking and fast reactions of his owners combined with expert care from the vets and vet nurses involved.
Can my dog damage my hot tub?
Did you know that your pup can be a danger to more than just themselves when it comes to hot tubs? Unwittingly, they may cause expensive trouble with broken covers or small objectsgetting stuck inside the filter!
Potential for clogged filters
Not only can hot tubbing be dangerous for your dog, but it can also lead to serious issues with your hot tub’s filtration system! Dogs have a lot of hair and dander that can easily clog up the hot tub filters that work to keep the water clear and sanitised. This can cause the filters to work harder, resulting in decreased energy efficiency and potentially even damage to the system.
Additionally, dogs may also introduce bacteria and other contaminants into the water that can impact the overall water quality and lead to you having to drain your hot tub more often than recommended. It’s best to keep your furry friends out of the hot tub and instead let them enjoy the outdoors in a safe and appropriate manner.
Hot tubs can provide a great and relaxing soak, but not everyone considers the potential damage their furry friends might cause. If you’re used to taking your dog everywhere with you, remember to leave them OUT of the hot tub.
Not only can a dog’s claws scratch and mar the surface of the tub, but their fur might also clog the jets and filters which are more than likely going to cost you in hot tub service fees.
A large proportion of dog breeds also tend to shed, which can create a whole host of additional problems with the inner plumbing. Pay attention to these potential dangers and you can keep both your hot tub and your pet happy and healthy.
Bacteria-Ridden Hot Tub Water
Owners of dogs should be especially cautious when allowing them to hop into warm and bubbly chemically treated waters. Even the cleanest and best-behaved dogs can easily cause dirty or foamy hot tub water in a matter of minutes.
Their fur, dander, and debris can also fall off and mix with the water, resulting in a murky and unsanitary hot tub. If your dog has been frolicking in the dirt or grass, it could also be carrying nasty bacteria on its paws, which can easily transfer into the hot tub water.
Alternatives for Dogs Who Love to Swim
If your dog loves to swim, but hot tubs are not safe for them, there are alternative options. Consider taking your furry friend to a dog-friendly beach, shallowriver, or calm lake where they can swim and play safely in the natural spring or salt water that won’t aggravate your dog’s skin. Alternatively, you could invest in a dog-friendly pet pool, or simply treat your pooch to a nice cool hose down on a scorching hot day.
It’s essential to keep food away from the area surrounding your hot tub; this simple act can help protect any pets you may have. The chemicals in the water used for cleaning can be toxic if ingested by animals, so making sure they don’t venture outside or into your filled spa is key! Enjoy any nibbles when the dogs are locked inside, but be sure to clear all the leftovers before bed to help keep any outdoor pests or animals away from your outdoor oasis.
Invest in a quality hot tub cover or Covana
Keep your hot tub safe and secure – invest in a quality spa cover, seal it properly after each use, and consider installing a gate around the area if your pup can be mischievous. These small steps will help you protect your equipment from curious pets or unwanted critters as well as prevent premature wear-and-tear due to family members or friends using the spa for an extra seat!
So, can a dog go in a hot tub?
Hot tubs may seem like a fun activity for your dog on the surface, but as we’ve learnt they can pose significant risks to their health and safety.
We recommend the owners of both dogs and hot tubs refrain from introducing their pets to their tub. It’s crucial to take necessary precautions and follow the tips provided in this article to ensure your dog’s safety while you can relax worry-free.
Remember always to supervise your dog in any type of water and ensure that the water temperature is safe, and if you have any further doubts or concerns, don’t hesitate to consult with your veterinarian.
We don’t recommend that any dogs are exposed to any kind of hot tubs, hot tub water, or swim spas containing chemical cleaning products due to the health risks. However, for dog hydrotherapy, warm water around 29-32°C (85-90°F) provides the most comfort and relief; yet every dog is different!
If you’re considering hydrotherapy treatment for your pup, keep their size & breed as well as any medical conditions in mind – it’s always best to consult with a vet or qualified professional before getting started.
Can my dog drink hot tub water?
Even though hot tubs contain treated water that helps maintain a hygienic environment for humans, this isn’t the case for our four-legged companions. As discussed, chemicals inside hot tubs and pools can have adverse effects when ingested by pets, potentially leading to life-threatening situations like heat exhaustion or even stroke! Play it safe: keep your dog away from your tub during your soaks to avoid any unwanted vet bills!
Get your FREE copy of WhatSpa? Hot Tub Magazine
Find the best hot tubs across every price range with the WhatSpa? Hot Tub Buyer’s Magazine. The latest edition includes the latest WhatSpa? Hot Tub Best Buy Awards. Request your free magazine now!
I am the Content Writer and Marketing Officer at WhatSpa? Magazine. I have worked at WhatSpa? for over 8 years, and I recently graduated with Distinction from Northumbria University with a Master's degree in Occupational and Organizational Psychology.
My role at WhatSpa? is to ensure that all hot tub lovers can easily access the highest quality and most up-to-date content, news and information from within the UK wet leisure industry.