Checklist before you buy a pool basketball hoop featured image

CHECKLIST Before You Buy A Pool Basketball Hoop

There are several types of basketball ball hoops ranging in price from under $10 for cheap inflatables to high end, deck mounted basketball hoops for proper play and dunks.

Here’s a few points to consider when buying a basketball hoop for your pool.

  • Age group – Kids will need a hoop that comes lower so they have a chance to score, older kids and adults require a sturdy set up.
  • Safety – Is the set-up sturdy and stable? Can it withstand the kind of abuse when things get seriously competitive. Does the hoop cope with those epic dunks and hanging from the ring?
  • Height of the hoop over water – is it adjustable for kids as well as adults. Or is it more of a kiddie toy?
  • Suitable for above ground or in-ground pools?
  • The durability of the backboard – will the backboard withstand repetitive hits (even if you start out with softer, lightweight balls, there will come a time when a harder ball will be thrown at it)
  • Weather resistance and rust. Saltwater, in particular, can quickly corrode metal and plastic alike. Over time, sunlight can have a deteriorating effect on some materials, making it look dated and ugly.
  • Portability – Do you prefer a portable hoop? How easy is it to move when you want to close the pool for winter or to make room for a party? Do you want the hoop to be a permanent feature at the poolside or possibly to be used elsewhere off-season?
  • Does the basketball set come with a ball? Seems obvious but you may be in for a surprise.
  • Assembly and installation requirements – can you install it yourself or do you need a set up service?
  • Do you have pool sleeves or will the basketball hoop have to be placed on the pool deck or rim of an above ground pool?
  • Price
  • What does it look like at the poolside?
  • Can you hang from the rim? 

Well, we can tell you the answer to the last question right away

No hanging from the rim of portable basketball hoops!

We know it’s so tempting and there seems to be an innate desire to grab that rim if you can but being portable means the whole system is not geared up to safely hold an adult hanging from the hoop.

One of two things is going to happen: either it tips over potentially hurting someone in the process or the rim bends or even breaks.

Before you head of to the store have a look at our swimming pool basketball hoop reviews here. 

Swimming Pool Party Games Kids

14 Perfect Pool Party Games for Preschoolers

These swimming pool games for preschool kids are perfect for a special day like a birthday pool party but can easily adapted for other occasions and family time. Water can be a wonderful, magical playground. Preschool kids love exploring this world and have great fun splashing, jumping and playing.

Let us know which ones work well for you and feel free to add your own in the comment box below.

Contents

Safety first! Have fun but keep these things in mind

swimming pool safety rules for kids

Here are the main safety measures you need to follow and teach the kids to keep everyone safe and happy.

Always, always supervise!

For bigger pools and groups have one person supervising from the side and one IN the pool to be safely at hand. This is especially important for younger kids.

For parties make one adult the Pool Watcher to watch the pool at all times. 
Be Alert! Think ahead and assess and preempt risky situations like dives, slippery pool edges or lively games.   

Mark off the deep and shallow end for non-swimmers. 

Make sure your party guests know your pool rules. Keep them simple like this:

kids-pool-safety-rules

Extra Safety tips for young children

Some kids love being underwater (I know because I was one of them ) and others are more cautious and do anything to keep their faces above water.

If you plan any games with children other than your own do keep in mind that children develop at different paces.

You can easily have an energetic, fearless 3 year old jumping into the deep end and happily doggy paddle back to safety while a shy 5 year old might insist on lowering himself cautiously into the pool using the steps.

Make sure kids have a break after 30 min at the latest.  Have an adult within arms reach all the time.

Perfect Pool Party Games for Preschoolers

Truth is, kids usually love the pool so much they can easily entertain themselves and keep inventing their own games. However, just to make this more of a special day or in case the mood is flagging a little or the kids don’t know each other that well, here are a few ideas to help you out.

The games themselves are pretty easy. It’s your imagination that will add even more spice and fun into the mix. We also give you a few ideas to vary the games but as long as you match the difficulty with the skills of your little party guests you’ll be fine.

Treasure Hunt Pool Games

1. Ball Frenzy

Type of game: slightly competitive, team
Number of children: 2+

You need:   A large bag of ping pong balls or balls from a ball pool pit, about 10 per each participant, so for 4 children about 40 balls. A basket, bucket or bowl for each child to collect the balls.   

How to play: Put all the balls in the pool and a bucket for each child on the edge of the pool. Make sure each child knows which is theirs. The children then need to collect as many balls as possible until there are none left in the water. The child or team with the most balls wins.

Variation/ Level Up for older children: Mark the balls with numbers 1-5. Add up the total instead of just counting the balls to find the winner.

2. Invisible Bottle

Type of game: collecting, slightly competitive, team
Number of children: 2+

You need:  A transparent plastic bottle with a white cap, label removed.

How to play: Fill the bottle with water so it can sink.
Children stand with their back to the pool.
Explain that when they hear the bottle splash they can go and search for it. The first to find and hold the bottle up is the winner.

This game is not as easy as it sounds but great fun for the kids. Don’t be surprised if they want to do it over and over again.

Variation: For older children use a baby blue cap making it even harder to find.

3. Find the Treasure

Type of game: collecting, slightly competitive, team, diving for older children
Number of children: 2+

You need: A number of plastic or rubber toy figures that sink or diving toys. Marbles and real coins work well for kids who really like a challenge. A basket, bucket or bowl for each child or team to collect their treasures.    

How to play: Decide the teams or let each child search for themselves. Throw the “treasures” in the pool. For young children let them see the treasure beforehand. They’ll find it difficult otherwise to search for something they don’t know. For older children put the figures into the pool while they are distracted with something else. Or let them line up with their back to the pool to add a bit of suspense while you throw in the treasure. Shout “Go!”. Kids have to collect all the treasures. The winner is who collects the most. 

Variation: It doesn’t have to be competitive. It can also be a group challenge to find and collect all treasures.

Tip 1: Count how many items you have beforehand and let the children know the number so everybody knows when the game is over.
Tip 2: Make sure the search area is well marked so kids don’t go too deep.

4. Flotsam

Number of children: 2+

You need: Lots of floating objects like kickboards, corks, plastic bottles, swimming aids, floating toys, etc.

How to play: Divide into two teams. The teams are at the side of the pool while the flotsam floats in the middle. The teams’ task is to collect as many objects as possible and bring them to their “island” (side of the pool). Players are not allowed to steal or push each other. The team with the most items wins.

Races

Three year old kids are usually more focused on themselves to get the task done rather than whether someone else is faster or slower. For them, it’s more about “making it”. Five year olds, on the other hand, can get very excited about races of any kind.

5. Precious Cargo

Number of children: 2+
You need: cotton balls or marshmallows (any little objects that change when they get wet) 

How to play:  Kids have to carry their object to the other side of the pool keeping it dry. Telling an imaginative story to fit your party theme will make it even more fun. The objects could be precious treasures being transported from one island to the next in a pirate theme or magic pieces that lose their magic when they get wet…you get the picture.  

Level up for older kids: Use a foam kickboard board or spoon instead of hands. A floating board could be carried (easier) or be pushed carefully over the water. Experiment first!

6. Don’t touch! Beach Ball Race

Number of children: 2+

You need: 1 ball for each kid racing

How to play: Kids stand on one side of the pool, a ball or small beach ball (10 to 15 inches in diameter) in front of them. They have to guide the ball across to the other end without using their hands. Originally, the game is to only use your face but for 3 year olds you could change this to using their tummy. The winner is the first person or team to finish.

Variations/ Level Up: Older kids can go back and forth (the ball has to touch the other side before coming back).

For a larger number to organize the relay race, the ball has to touch the poolside first before the next person takes over.

Kids hug the ball tightly and kick across to the other side.

7. Relay Races

Number of children: 4+
You need: nothing (optional:  2 kickboards or 2 balls or 2 pool swim noodles etc)

How to play: Divide players into two equally strong teams. Players line up next to the first person to race on one side of the pool.

There are several rounds for a full race. Each round has to be raced in a different fashion. The goal is to race the distance (to the other poolside and back) one after the other. The winner is always the team who finishes the round first. 4 or 5 rounds is is usually enough.

Suggestions for rounds:

  • Running through the water.
  • Running whilst pushing a kickboard.
  • Running sideways or backwards.
  • Running and boxing a ball through the water.
  • Running while holding the hands up in the air.
  • Jumping forward
  • Squatting down so only the head is above water.
  • Running while carrying a relay (diving) stick or another toy that needs to be handed over to the next person etc.

8. Watermelon Relay Race

Using a slippery, heavy watermelon instead of lightweight foam toys or inflatables makes a surprising change for the kids.

Number of players: 2+

You need: 1 watermelon per team

How to play: Divide the kids into two teams. The first kid of each team stands at the side of the pool with a watermelon in front of him.
Shout “Go!” and kids push their melon over to the other side and back. He must not carry the melon. When they reach the other side the next team member pushes the melon back and so on until all kids had their turn.

The first team to finish is the winner.

Sports & general games

9. Pool Basketball

It seems almost no one is too young to play an aim and shoot game and pool basketball is no exception. It’s best to adapt the game for 3 to 5 year olds, though, because they are a bit too young to play this as a team sport.  

Type of game: team
Number of children: 2+

You need:  An inflatable basketball goal (or a pool noodle taped into a ring will do)

Plenty of balls in two different colors – balls from a ball pool pit are brilliant for this.

How to play: Each team lines up to one side of the pool. Tell each team their color. The balls are scattered on the water. Players need to get their balls as quickly as possible into the hoop. The first team to do this is the winner.

10. Kickboard Battle

Number of children: 2+ (aged 5)

You need: a bodyboard or air mattress

How to play: Use two players per raft, have them position themselves at opposite ends of the raft. Whilst kicking as hard as they can the players then try to push their opponent backwards. The winner is the player who manages to push his opponent back by 2 to 3 feet.
Tip: This is a very tiring game and it’s best to pronounce both players a winner if they stay in one place for about a minute

11. Crocodile

Number of children: 2+

You need: An energetic parent or older sibling

How to play: The parent is the crocodile. S/he glides through the water and tries to catch the kids to throw them in the air. Being a polite crocodile he first asks whether the kid wants to be thrown in the air or not. For some kids, the thrill of the catch game is plenty enough, but being thrown into the water might be too much. 

This can also be a great game at the end of the party. Caught children are being carried to the poolside and aren’t allowed back in. 

12. Fill the Bottle Game

Number of players: 4+
You need: 1 sponge per player and 1 small plastic bottle per team

How to play: You need at least 2 members per team.  One child is standing outside the pool next to the bottle waiting for their teammate to throw a wet sponge. The sponge is squeezed out to fill the bottle and thrown back while other teammates throw the next wet sponge out etc. The winner is the team with the fullest bottle after a set time. 5 min is a good start, but you might have to adjust according to players’ speed and ability.

Variation: Each team member has a sponge and races back and forth between pool and bottle. This is better for little children who can’t really throw it yet. Older children, on the other hand, love the splatter and thuds of wet sponges flying around.

13. Submarine

Number of players: 2+
You need: several buoyant objects like small swimming aids or big empty plastic bottles with lid

How to play: Each team is standing next to their pile of items. On “Go!” they have to transport the pieces to the other side but the objects have to stay underwater all the time. If an object bounces up the player has to go back to start. 

The first team to have all objects on the other side wins.

14. Conveyor Belt

Number of players: 6+ (at least 3 per team)
You need: 1 kickboard, 1 plastic cup, 1 bucket per team

How to play: Divide into two teams. The teams form two parallel lines with members of each team standing side by side to form the “conveyor belt”. The buckets stand on one end of each conveyor belt. The player on the opposite end of the conveyor belt has one kickboard and one cup.

Give the start signal. The first player fills the cup with water and puts it on the board. The board is then pushed by one kid after the other to the end of the line and emptied into the bucket. If the cup tips over before reaching the last player in the line it has to go back to the start and filled again.

The winner is the team to have the most water in their bucket when the time is up. 

Cool basketball dunks post featured image

Cool Pool Basketball Dunks

Do you remember the swimming pool basketball dunk phase back in 2014? A few kids and teenagers managed to leave their phones behind – at least long enough to make some pretty cool videos in their backyard pool.

Check out the video below!

Pool Basketball Insane Dunks and Shots 2

Say your teenager wanted to do the same, what would he need?
I spotted the following props:

  • Swimming pool and a pool basketball hoop (duh!)
  • Diving board
  • 2 Mini Trampolines
  • Gym ball
  • Large trampoline
  • A GoPro digital recorder and/or digital camera
  • A pool slide

…And a pool shed and balcony if you really want to do it up big time!

All the stuff you could probably find in your house or borrow from someone else, right?

If on the other hand, you want to do it like the pros, well I can help you with that, too. (Hint: the list of props and peeps is a little longer.)

See my list below the video.

Turkish Airlines Euroleague Epic Pool Dunk

What do you need for a commercially done Epic Pool Dunk? Here’s a basic list:

  • A swimming pool and basketball hoop
  • Some professional players
  • 3 big inflatables
  • A Water JETPACK (Technically, it’s a flyboard, costing around$5.500 the last time I checked)
  • A producer and crew
  • 2 cranes!
  • A green screen for video editing and effects

In the making of the clip, executive producer Rob Steiner sums up the challenge:

It’s a one-shot ad—30 seconds. We’ve got two cranes, 12 players—four pros—all of whom have to be synchronized and choreographed perfectly. We’ve got one day to shoot this, but in reality, we’ve got four hours because the professionals are only here for that time.

It took them a whopping 22 takes until they had the perfect 30 sec run through and the results you see here.

But for all the money that’s gone into the commercial, I still prefer Pool Ball Insanity! How about you? Which one do you prefer? Let me know below in the comments.

Featured image for pool safety tips for dogs

5 Pool Safety Tips for Dogs

Contents

1. Don’t leave your dog unsupervised by the Pool

People often think every dog is a natural swimmer. Truth is, dogs know how to instinctively “dog paddle” but not every dog takes to the pool like a duck takes to water.

And just because they can paddle doesn’t mean they stay calm and relaxed when in water.

In fact, drowning is by far the biggest risk when it comes to dogs and pools. This includes every dog from puppies to “water dogs” to non-swimming breeds and elderly and sick dogs.

Any panicking dog can drown regardless of what makes them panic. An accidental fall during play, not being used to the water, not finding their way out because it’s dark or having water in their eyes – all of that could have fatal consequences!

Many owners of “non-water dogs” and geriatric dogs get a life vest for them to be on the safe side.

2. Teach your dog where to leave the water

Dogs may have trouble finding the exit when they panic, especially in the dark. White exit ramps will be visible for a dog even in the dark, pool steps aren’t.

3. Teach your dog HOW to exit the pool

If there is even a slight chance for your dog to get into the swimming pool do show him where the steps or the ladder to get out are.
In this video, a dog jumps in and then orients herself towards the ladder and climbs out. Good girl!

Better video of Abby in the pool

What if your dog can’t handle the ladder?

Beware, that not every dog can climb a ladder like that. In fact, getting water in the eyes or swallowing water can quickly lead to stress and the dog may not find the ladder or even the steps in that situation or at night. One of the best solutions is a safety ramp :

Skamper Ramp Stop Dog Drownings

4. Set Boundaries – Entering the pool only with permission

If you are considering getting a dog why not setting boundaries right from the beginning? Training your dog to enter the pool only with permission will decrease the risk of accidents, especially if your dog is often unsupervised.

5. Give your dog a rest

Dogs can overdo exercise, and just like people end up with sore, fatigued and stiff muscles. So make sure you increase the amount of activity slowly and steadily.

Some dogs can become obsessed with the fetch game and it’s then up to you to stop as soon as they get tired. 

How do you spot tiredness?

You’ll notice that the rear is hanging lower resulting in less powerful swimming.

Another sign to look out for is overexcitement and stimulation. The dog moves about at a crazy pace with wide eyes. That’s the point where you need to stop and allow your dog to calm down.

Heatstroke is a real danger in hot summer weather. Even though the water helps to cool the body, energetic play like chasing after toys can increase the internal temperature to really dangerous levels, even while being in the water.

Do all dogs swim?

No. Whether a dog swims comes down to two things: breed and personality. While all dogs instinctively “doggie paddle”, not all of them can actually keep themselves afloat. And some, even if they can, just don’t want to.

Labradors, poodles, Newfoundlands, German shorthair pointers, Brittany spaniels, Chesapeake Bay retrievers, water spaniels, and Golden Retrievers are very good swimmers. They lie flat in the water and swim very efficiently.

Compare these with short-legged breeds like the dachshund or bulldog and it’s easy to see how their butt hangs low and their leg length just isn’t up to swimming.

Short-faced breeds like the pug can usually swim, but not for long because they get tired very quickly.

Breeds aside, some dogs just don’t like to go into the water.

And some do go into the pool …and like to walk! Watch, it’s hilarious.

My dog standing and walking in the pool!

Or, do nothing…

Hilarious dog deadpans in a pool full of playful pups

Read more about dogs and swimming on animalplanet.com

Save Animals from Drowning in Swimming Pool

Read more here: Dogs and chlorine pools

Small Pools and Spas for Small Backyards

A small freeform pool with water spouts and luscious plants turns a narrow plot into an airy, living space and could also be used to cool off on a hot day.

What do you call a cross between a spa and a swimming pool? A SPOOL!

Make it smaller and have something better?! It works for electronics – but can it work for swimming pools, too?

Just imagine owning a smaller, more economic swimming pool – that’s right, for real swimming workouts – packed with functionality, ready for anything: spa experience, aquatic exercise and gorgeous to look at right there at the back of your house.

Something smaller, yet better would be fantastic!

Contents

What exactly is a spool or cocktail pool?

Forget ‘exactly’. When it comes to truly great overall design you will hardly find a spool off the shelf. Instead, it is usually a bespoke solution to difficult and contradicting requirements.

These could be:

A gorgeous, inviting pool BUT there isn’t much space.

A private pool to exercise in BUT not enough space for a lap pool.

A swimming pool and a spa and a lovely place to entertain guests BUT the backyard is tiny.

Want all of the above BUT worried about upkeep and maintenance?

Small built-in pool outside of a home

A minimalistic concrete pool painted white brings a sense of space into this tiny backyard. A shower next to it adds practicality. Image via <a href=”https://www.happilygrey.com/uncategorized/maldives/” rel=”nofollow”>HappilyGrey</a>

Believe it or not, with advanced technology and the know-how of a good pool builder these dreams can come true. And they don’t necessarily have to be outrageously more expensive than a typical swimming pool.

A spool is somewhat larger than a spa tub but not quite reaching the size of an average residential pool. So, usually somewhere around 13’x13’.

On the face of it that’s just enough to stretch out and soak in and take a bit of gravity off your body and hardly seems worth the effort.

However, a spool of that size could also easily become a restful people magnet and luxurious background for entertaining and adds a touch of harmonious well-being.

Can it get any better than that? Oh, yes!

You could have the enticing and relaxing benefits of a well-designed spa and a place to do real workouts, and not just swimming but running or cycling and of course aquatic exercise, too!

How do you make a spool into a spa?

It’s possible with spa jets – pure heaven!

The type of jets has a direct impact on how much relaxation and enjoyment you get out of a spa and most of them can just as easily be installed in a spool.

A spa jet is a stream of air and water to achieve different massaging, soothing and relaxing effects. A variety of spa jets could allow you to choose from:

water-jet

  • Vigorous muscle-penetrating massage loved by athletes
  • Massaging pressure points in shoulders, neck, back, calves, and feet to release tension, increasing circulation
  • Therapeutic, deep-tissue massage to relieve pain in joints
  • Uplifting massage through effervescent bubbles

What about exercise pools?

Water with its resistance, buoyancy and cooling effect offers a unique environment where everybody regardless of age and fitness level can safely improve their strength and stamina.

Moving in water has proven to be so beneficial, no wonder there are now a number of solutions available to tone and condition your body while in the pool.

People who would not be comfortable running or exercising on land often find water to be their best friend to get into an enjoyable and effective routine without putting strain on their body.

But not everybody has access to a larger pool to swim full lengths or attend aqua classes.

There are several possibilities to turn your small pool into a home gym.

Swim Spa

This is like a treadmill for swimming. A strong, adjustable current allows you to swim on the spot. You could swim a marathon without leaving your backyard. How cool is that?

There are a number of ready-made options where the whole swim spa comes with all jet systems built-in, for inground as well as above-ground installations.

Or, a swim jet can be installed into an existing or a custom pool.

Either way, these can be quite pricey solutions. If a swim spa is above your budget, you could still swim in a small pool by putting yourself on a leash, sorry tether. It’s low-tech and does the job of keeping you on the spot while your arms and legs work against the water.

Underwater treadmills for running

Image showing example of underwater treadmill

Originally used in rehabilitation and therapy water treadmills offer great benefits to everyone wanting to get an efficient workout, especially, but not only for people suffering from aching joints, recovering from surgery, as part of a weight-loss exercise regime or to spice up your normal running routine.

The buoyancy of the water minimizes the impact of each step on your joints. In addition, the water has a soothing and cooling effect. In very deep water bodyweight is somewhere around just 20% of what it’s on land, eliminating the impact of steps.

Aqua jogging gives joints and ligaments the freedom to move pain and injury-free. A spool is unlikely to be deep enough for deep, deep water running, though.

A portable treadmill placed in about chest deep water is a very good alternative designed to be taken in and out of the water when needed.

Endless Pools and Swimex are leading companies offering fully built-in treadmills.

Aqua Cycling

An Aquabike allows cycling in water on a stationary bike. Moving your legs in water in a rotating motion can be a gentle form of exercise or a pretty hard workout.

Aquabikes need of course be built for pool use and ideally be easy to lower into and retrieve from the spool.

Aquatic Exercises

Image showing example of aqua dumbells

The simplest way to turn your spool into a gym is by using Aqua weights.

Simple foam dumbbells can be a surprisingly effective means to shape and tone your muscles. Unlike dumbbells made for land exercises power is needed when pushing against the water, so usually downwards or sideways.

Small pools save on heating and cleaning cost

More economic – Really?!

Well, depends on what you are comparing!

A spool, especially one with extra features is not necessarily much cheaper to build.

Where it scores better is in care and maintenance cost. A bigger pool requires practically daily vacuuming and monitoring of chemical levels at high season. Its large surface will naturally collect more debris and dust and allow more water to evaporate which needs to be replaced.

Also, the more water in the pool the more the pool pump has to work, meaning either the pool pump has to work longer or a stronger pump system has to be installed causing higher initial cost and energy consumption per pump hour.

So, reducing the size of the pool means lower energy and water bills, less pump time and, quite frankly, overall less hassle to keep everything pristine and inviting.

Complete fiberglass spool or in-ground design?

A number of companies offer ready-made complete spa and exercise pools. These pools are clearly designed for functionality and you can be sure that jets, pumps and heating systems work really well and as advertised.

However, for a more individual look and feel and if you would like your pool to be seamlessly integrated into the yard a local pool builder will be your best choice.

Dog Chlorine Pool Water

Dogs and Chlorine Pools

A sparkling swimming pool, a tennis ball and a dog or two. Fetch! – Splash. A shower of drops as the dog shakes the water off. Expectant looks.

And again! … Hours of fun.

Or is it?

Those in favor of dogs sharing the pool with people wouldn’t want to miss the play and joy that comes with it. Pure quality time – as simple as that.

They will also argue that dog swimming is a good, low-impact exercise. And they may even tell a story about a family dog rescuing a toddler from drowning.

But not everyone is a big fan. Those who don’t want pets in the pool usually have good reasons, too. Let’s find out what you need to know…

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We love dogs so we need to get the facts to protect them

Dog jumping into pool

A dog may be man’s best friend and more often than not a very important member of the family but they are animals. And for some people some places, like the pool, should not be shared with a dog for hygienic as well as for safety reasons.

So, what’s really important to know about pools and dogs? Are there any risks you should know about? Can all dogs swim? Is pool water safe for dogs?

Read on so you can make sure you can have all the fun and keep your pooch safe, too.

Swimming Pool Water for Dogs and Humans

Dog owners often wonder whether chemicals in swimming pool water can harm their dog. It’s an interesting question revealing their mindset and care about their dog.

But could dogs in the pool actually cause recreational water illnesses (RWI) in people?

Swimmers, people as well as dogs contribute to water contamination. Dogs will bring with them more hair and potentially more faecal matter. Could this lead to any infectious diseases? And what can you do about it?

Depending on size and breed a dog’s contribution to water contamination may equal anything from 10 to 50 or even 100 times that of a human.

However, as alarming as this sounds, most of the debris can be filtered out and most harmful bacteria will be killed in chlorinated water, even when the chlorine level is as low as 1ppm (1 part per million).

Just to be clear, chlorine is the most time-tested, cost-effective and reliable way to kill most (but not all) germs that could cause infectious diseases. Naturally, this doesn’t happen instantly. If water is contaminated it can take anywhere between a few minutes and a few hours until water is completely safe again.

However, as with a lot of things in life, it’s useful to balance benefits and risks.

How high is the risk?

Yes, there may sometimes be a slight chance of an infection, but the overall risk of infection from sharing a pool with a dog is very low, especially if the pool is well maintained.

Washing well before swimming and making sure the dog’s coat is not stained with faecal matter will make a big change in the quality of the water.

But even when taking precautions, as mentioned before, a dog will introduce more contamination compared to a person and it’s best to monitor and adjust chlorine and pH-levels more frequently and clean the pool which you can do manually or use an automatic pool cleaner like this one.

More than anything, one of the most important rules to remember is that anyone – people and dogs – should not enter the water for two weeks after a bout of diarrhea!

Safe Pool Water – Checklist

Here’s a list of things to keep in mind that can present serious causes for water-borne sickness:

  • Sick dogs (just like people) don’t belong in the pool.
  • Dogs who shed infectious agents like salmonella and Giardia must be kept out of the pool.
  • Only allow dogs without faecal staining on their coat to enter the pool.
  • No pool for two weeks after a case of diarrhea!

Is Chlorinated Pool Water Bad for your Dog?

On the contrary, chlorine is what makes pool water safe because it kills germs.

While there is no pool water that is 100% safe, a well-maintained pool is very much as close as you can get to a safe swimming environment.

Normal chlorine levels in swimming pools will not harm your dog. The chlorine is so diluted and its concentration simply not high enough to cause any irritations; neither externally on the skin and the eyes nor internally.

However, that’s not an all-out sure thing: some people who don’t correctly maintain their pool may use too much clorine which can cause dogs discomfort or stomach sickness.

Where do skin irritations and red eyes come from?

According to the CDC, it’s not chlorine but a chemical called chloramine that can cause this kind of effect. Chloramine can form when body waste such as urine and sweat combine with chlorine and then leave the water as a gas.

However, this is only a concern if the concentration of chloramine is high in the air above the pool water, i.e. it’s very unlikely to be a problem in an outside and hence open space, residential pool.

Skin

Even though there are differences in human and canine skin they can equally have rashes, itches, infections and skin irritations. It’s best to rinse off any pool water just like people take a shower after swimming.

Ears

Some dogs may have more ear infections when swimming regularly. However, this is not caused by chlorine but prolonged dampness in their ears. Your vet can advise you about a suitable drying solution to be used after swimming.

Hair

Very frequent visits to a pool can dry out skin and hair. A protective conditioner applied before the swim will reduce the drying-out effect of salt or chlorinated pool water.
In addition, spray your dog with a hose after swimming to rinse off as much of the chemicals as possible. Then towel dry and spray with conditioner and he’ll look and smell just perfect.

Dogs in the Pool – Safety for People

Opponents of dog swimming will point out how dogs can get carried away when playing and retrieving toys and balls from the pool. As a friend recently put it:

“Dogs take no prisoners when in the pool!”

It can indeed get rowdy very quickly. What’s fun for one party though can be very scary for nearby toddlers and kids, especially when they are being held onto, dunked and accidentally scratched by a dog.

The best way to keep animals and people happy is to make sure a dog only enters the pool with permission so the dog owner has control at all times.

He should also be well trained to keep away from people when in the water, especially from little kids and strangers.

Lastly, when sharing a pool with other families, ask first whether they are okay with your dog in the pool.

5 Important Pool Safety Tips for Dogs – Click here

Your dog loves to swim? Great!

BUT can your pool take it? Read more here.

Save Animals from Drowning in Swimming Pool

dog jumping into swimming pool

Dog Hair in the Pool – Help!

Oh what wonderful fun! Go fetch – Splash – And again! 

But dog hair floating on top of the water – few people are not disgusted. Even those loving their dogs to bits have a hard time with this one.

It’s not just an unpleasant sight. It easily and quickly clogs pool filters. Rinsing dog hair out of a cartridge filter takes a long time. More care and maintenance is required and, seeing that you are reading this you probably wonder whether there are any solutions.

Something that is easy to implement and not expensive.

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Understanding the dog hair problem

By the way, have you ever imagined (maybe secretly wished for?) having not just one but five Golden Retrievers? Watch the video below to get an idea what that would mean for your pool.

“The outlet grid gets covered in dog hair. It needs to be cleared every 6 to 8 hours for a couple of days after you let the dogs swim in the pool.”

Dog hair and Intex pool.

The video shows how fluff drifts to the drain where it can be plucked off.

However, not all of the stuff moves straight to the outlet or gathers in the skimmer basket. A large amount will sink to the bottom of the pool after your Golden Retriever or Labrador was in the water.

It will also be blown in from the deck and surroundings of the swimming pool.

Short story is, eventually, the dog hair will find its way to the pool filter.

Not good.

If you leave everything as is you will either need to spray the cartridge filter or backwash the sand filter more often.

But, if you are like me, you would rather reduce the number of times they have to clean the pool filter NOT do more of it.

Here are a few steps to cut down the number of times you have to clean those.

Ways to deal with dog hair in your pool

Use a de-shedding tool like the Furminator

Tackle the problem right where it originates. If you haven’t used a de-shedding tool before you’ll be amazed how much you will brush out.

Every single hair you catch there could otherwise end up in your pool filter (or in the house, on carpets, furniture or the car for that matter). Don’t be surprised if your dog looks like she has been on a diet :).

FURminator deShedding Tools for Dogs

You could reduce the amount of hair the dog loses randomly everywhere including in the pool by up to 90%!

And spending enjoyable time together.

Keep the dog out of the pool!

Obvious, yet highly controversial, I know. Ask your friends and you probably find just as many in favor as against a pooch in the pool. If you are still making up your mind you might want to go and read more about it here.

For now, in the interest of a clean pool no dog in the pool is the best solution.

But if that decision has already been made let’s look at options to save your pool filter.

Check the skimmer and pump basket more frequently.

However, this is only a first-aid type of measure.  Most skimmers and pump baskets are not fine enough to retain all dog hair. Which means you need to take…

3 Extra measures to stop dog hair reaching the pool filter

As we said before, the best way to save your pool pump from clogging up and yourself from overly frequent maintenance work (backwashing) is to prevent dog hair from making it into the pool filter in the first place.

How?

1. Skimmer socks

Place a finer mesh over the skimmer basket. Skimmer socks are available commercially and do a very good job of keeping debris out of the pump filter. However, such a sock costs at least $1 and most socks deteriorate and tear easily in chlorinated water.  

It might be a good solution, though, if you don’t own dogs and only have the occasional visitor with a dog. Beware that this only works as long as the pump is switched on. As soon as the pressure is off clumps of hair will float back out and sink to the bottom and be sucked into the filter that way.
So you need to scoop everything out before switching off the pump – or have a pool cleaner working independently on the bottom of your pool.

2. Hairnet, knee-high stocking or pantyhose

Yep, that’s right. One of the best, cheap and cheerful solutions to the dog hair problem is a hairnet or similar nylon mesh over the main drains and the skimmer basket. In principle the same as a skimmer sock – only much, much cheaper. 

You can get hairnets in packages of 100 like thesefor a low price and pantyhose doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg either.

Pantyhose in the Pool

“Just roll up the knee-high, stretch it over the mouth of the skimmer basket…Place it back into the return – easy peasy!”

3. Use a pool cleaner or pool robot

Use an automatic pool cleaner to vacuum the pool for you, picking up every bit of debris including dog hair and saving your main pool filter. The Aquabot Turbo T-Jet even filters particles as small as 2 microns.

That’s even better than a DE filter!

You’ll be amazed at the water quality and could have a sparkling clean swimming pool regardless of what your dog or plants and trees throw at it. 

Dogs and Swimming Pools …Read more Here

Save Animals from Drowning in Swimming Pool

Image of people aqua jogging in swimming pool

Aqua Jogging – A Cooling Buoyant Workout

Ever wished to have all the feel-good benefits of a good workout without the sweat and without your body complaining afterwards?

Ever considered running … in the pool?

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What is Aqua Jogging?

In a nutshell, it’s jogging or even running in deep water, usually in a swimming pool with all the benefits running on land would give you: a good cardiovascular workout and a boost of your fitness. All of that without risking to become a victim of stress injuries resulting from running on pavement.

Unlike running on land, moving in water reduces the risk of injury practically to zero. This opens up great opportunities to get moving even when you are too uncomfortable on land to do so.

Aqua jogging offers huge benefits for pregnant women, injured or healthy amateur and high-performance athletes and people wanting to shed pounds.

Running in water is like having a little support team around you.

Water Buddy No 1: Buoyancy

Water jogging makes use of the water’s natural buoyancy and resistance. Buoyancy is the upward force that decreases your weight in water depending on how deeply immersed you are.

A person standing in water up to his hips will only weigh half of his weight on land. In deep water, this is reduced even more. With just your head above water, your weight will go down to a featherweight of just 10 to 20 percent of what you usually see on the scales.

Example: A person weighing 180 pounds will be only 18 to 36 pounds when in water with the head sticking out, i.e. when standing or walking in deep water.

Every step, be it walking or jogging or running in water will have much, much less impact on the musculoskeletal system, avoiding the stressful impact of exercising on land.

When not touching the floor there is no weight for your body to bear and no shock to absorb and transmit which is why a pool or lake is perfect for recovery and injury prevention, for people of all fitness levels.

Interestingly, buoyancy also allows an increased range of movement benefiting better joint mobility and flexibility.

Still not sure? 

Think about this: gravity pulls as much on your blood as on your whole body, constantly driving everything down to your feet.

When the gravity is reduced in water buoyancy gives the blood a lift on its way back to your heart. Your heart needs to do less work and the heart rate is comparatively lower during exercise. In other words, the same effort and workout but less strenuous for your cardiovascular system.

If buoyancy makes everything easy how can water jogging be useful to increase your fitness level?

Water buddy no 2: high resistance

You will not get fitter – if you just float. But as soon as you start moving you’ll feel the resistance of the water. The harder you push against the water horizontally or downwards the more effort it takes.

Using that resistance to build up endurance, strength and more flexibility without the risk of injury works at every fitness level. Every person can benefit from this kind of no-impact high resistance training, from rehabilitation to professional athletes.

Water Buddy No 3: it’s cooling!

It seems obvious, but the cooling effect of water can make a big difference between enduring and enjoying a workout. You can simply go for longer without feeling you are about to overheat and explode.

Being in the water is very soothing, calming and relaxing!

Is it for you?

With all three buddies at your side what’s not to like?

Well, let’s be honest: This is not for you if you worry about what other people might think of you. Depending on your technique you will either look like a paddling duck who lost her ducklings or like someone putting way too much effort gaining way too little speed.

If you go to a public pool be mindful of other swimmers. You will be the slow snail in the pool. Choose your pool time when there is open swimming without lanes and fast swimmers.

This is paramount for you to be able to do your quiet exercise without getting into anyone’s way.

HOWEVER, if you don’t mind all of that you could give your body a great workout, increase your endurance and strength without putting a strain on your body. It is, therefore, no surprise that many people feel attracted to water jogging for a variety of reasons.

On one end of the spectrum are people, young and old,  looking for a gentle, comfortable and safe way to lose weight and increase their fitness level or to recover from an injury or surgery.

Pregnant women love taking the weight off their feet this way as much as anyone suffering from arthritis or back pain.

Endurance athletes, especially runners start considering water jogging when running has become uncomfortable due to injury.

However, jogging in water could be more than just a phase in times of discomfort. Some serious runners integrate weekly workouts into their training knowing that a workout in water offers several benefits.

Besides adding a bit of variety people also find pool running better in the cool-down phase compared to cooling down on a treadmill. You could also do exercises to safely increase your flexibility.

How do you water jog?

Everybody remembers how hard it is to run even when only halfway immersed in water. It usually doesn’t take long and balance is lost and you topple over.

The deeper the water the bigger the challenge to stay upright when trying to jog forward.

If you just want to see whether you like aqua jogging it’s best to wrap a pool noodle halfway around your chest and hold it under your armpits or use another buoyancy device to keep you upright.

Some pools even have an aqua jogging belt for you to borrow. If you are in for several sessions it’s worth buying your own, they are not that expensive.

Once equipped with a floating piece move to the deep end of the pool so your feet don’t touch the floor. Just like running on land there are several ways to run, from jogging to faster run to sprinting.

What’s the best technique?

It will take a little time of trial and error to get the most momentum but once you figured it out you’ll find it’s well worth it.

Here are 6 technique tips to get going quickly:

  • Move to the deep end of the pool so your feet don’t touch the floor
  • Keep your upper body upright, really vertical with your shoulders above your hips. Ideally, have someone observe you because quite often our perception of how vertical you are is not right and most people tend to lean forward.
  • Move your hands as if you are running on land, a light fist or pointing your fingers slightly upwards will help you to keep your shoulders relaxed.
  • Exaggerate your strides with your knee higher and foot stretching forward more coupled with a longer back push of the trail leg than you would do on land.
  • For general fitness get a waterproof mp3 player or find a friend to keep you company
  • For a more ambitious workout, it’s best to do intervals, alternating between full out stomping and arm movements and shorter, relaxed movements. It’s a good idea to use and slightly adapt (shorter recovery breaks) your normal interval running practice.

Do you need extra equipment?

Do you need a water jogging belt, noodle or aqua jogging shoes?

A buoyancy aid to keep your head safely (and conveniently) above water is a must so you can focus on your movements underwater. A belt is about $13 to $40 but makes water jogging really more comfortable.

Shoes, dumbbell-shaped floats or even gloves are optional for when you want to get really serious and increase the resistance.

How do you know you’re doing it right?

You should notice that you breathe quicker which means your heart rate has gone up. How much depends on your level of fitness and effort you put in.

After the session, when stretching you very likely feel your muscles’ response to the work they put in. And yet, you will feel great just like after a workout on land only without the aches and pains from all the absorbed shocks when exercising on solid ground.

In addition, many people notice how the water exercise leaves them happily relaxed, energized and satisfied. And if you ever get bored of aqua jogging, there are more ways to explore.

Ever heard of aquacizing, aqua Zumba or even aqua biking?

Those are similar but slightly different types of water exercise you can enjoy, too!