Are Hot Tubs Dog-Friendly?

Jennifer Rhodes

By Jennifer Rhodes · Updated

Are Hot Tubs Dog-Friendly?

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Even if you and your dog do everything together, you might want to make sure that he waits outside the hot tub instead of joining you. Why?

Hot tubs are not dog-friendly. Dogs' bodies are not built like ours to withstand that amount of heat, so it would be unpleasant, and even possibly unsafe to let your dog get in a hot tub.

There are many other dog-friendly activities you can do with your dog before or after your dip in the hot tub. Play with them in the yard beforehand and set up their bed next to the hot tub so they can still feel like they are a part of the experience without being in there with you.

Why shouldn't I bring my dog in the hot tub with me?

Dogs can't sweat

When dogs overheat, they pant. They are not capable of sweating from their pores like their human friends, so the only option for them to regulate their body temperature is to open their mouths and pant.

Although panting does a great job of helping dogs cool off, it may not be enough to cool them down when they're in 104-degree hot tub water.

The temperature of your hot tub may feel wonderfully relaxing to you, but it is way too much for your dog and could make them very uncomfortable or even sick.

Dog hair can damage your hot tub

Something else to think about before bringing a dog in your hot tub is the dog hair. If your dog sheds at all, they are going to be releasing their fur into the hot tub.

Depending on how much hair comes off and how thick it is, the dog hair could build up in the jets, filter, or other parts of the system and cause problems to the balance of your water or components of your tub.

Dogs could easily drown

Not every dog is a natural swimmer. It's easy to assume that every dog will just do the "doggy paddle" when placed in water, but unfortunately, that isn't always true.

Not all dogs have that instinct or skill to swim, so placing them in any water that is too deep for them to stand in is very dangerous.

Hot tubs are not very deep for humans, but for most dogs, the water would be far over their heads. There is a real risk of them drowning—even if you are in there with them—just due to the depth.

Hot tub chemicals could be bad for your dog

It takes a lot of chemicals to keep a hot tub clean and functional.

Chlorine or bromine, and other water balancing products are needed to keep your hot tub running well. While these chemicals are mostly well-tolerated by humans, that is not always the case for dogs.

The concentration of chemicals combined with the heat makes it a less than ideal situation for your dog. Also, most dogs may even see it as a giant water bowl—and hot tub water is not generally safe to drink in large quantities. Hot tub chemicals could cause your dog to have respiratory issues like coughing or sneezing, or make them sick if they ingest too much of the water.

How can I keep my dog away from the hot tub?

If your pup won't leave you alone while you're trying to relax in the spa, there are a few things you can try:

  • Put a dog bed or comfortable blanket near the hot tub
  • Use toys to lure them away from the hot tub
  • Avoid eating in the hot tub so your dog doesn't beg for food
  • Keep the hot tub covered at all times when not in use

Why not fill up a plastic kiddie pool next to the spa and let your fur babies splash around in that instead?

If all else fails, you'll just have to shut your pet inside during spa time.

Final thoughts

So many dogs love water and want to follow you into the ocean or even your swimming pool, but it's best to keep them out of the hot tub. They are just not built to handle that kind of heat, so you could harm your pet if you let them spend time in the spa.

Stick to dog-friendly activities like taking them to the beach or river, or playing with toys at home in the yard—and keep the spa for humans only.

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