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Anna, Teacher, writer, biologist
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What health risks are involved in sharing a swimming pool with

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What health risks are involved in sharing a swimming pool with my friend's dog. She has taken a liking to swimming and is often in it having fun. Will the chlorine kill the parasites etc?

There is actually more risk of getting sick from the bacteria other humans introduce to the pool, than from the dog. The risk is greatest in public pools where toddlers may defecate or vomit in the pool. A private pool is much safer, whether it's shared with dogs or humans. Many bacteria are species-specific. In addition, if the pool is properly chlorinated, most organisms will be destroyed.

A few precautions should be taken. just as you wouldn't want a sick human to swim, if the dog develops diarrhea, vomiting, or infected skin, she shouldn't be allowed in the pool until after she's been treated and has recovered. Other than that, there are no big concerns. This site has more detailed information on the subject:

Dogs in Pools

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