Hot tubs have quickly become a popular garden feature.
And with the glorious weather over the last few weeks, it’s been a no brainer to spend the sun-soaked afternoons relaxing in them.
While it can be tempting to let your pooch in on the bubble-filled action, this can be very dangerous.
TeamDogs chatted to one of the UK’s top vets to find out what the risks are when dogs are put in hot tubs.
Dave Leicester, head of telehealth at Vets Now, said: “Whilst it may seem harmless to let your dog have a little cool off, especially with this spell of lovely warm weather, hot tubs can be extremely dangerous to dogs and we’d advise owners to always keep your dog away from a hot tub and stick to a nice cool hose down instead.
“Hot tubs are really dangerous for dogs – not only can the chlorine, bromine or other chemicals cause irritation to sensitive areas like their skin, eyes and ears, but dogs can also suffer an extreme reaction through inhaling treated hot tub water into their lungs.”
He added: “The chance of a life-threatening reaction increases in brachycephalic – or flat-faced – breeds, like bulldogs, as they struggle more with breathing in general.
“Also, because of their relatively small size, the extreme temperature change of a hot tub can cause dogs to rapidly overheat, leading to physiological shock and potentially damage to vital organs.”
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Dave also warned dog owners about the dangers of their pets ingesting hot tub water.
He said: “Treated hot tub water that is swallowed may be highly toxic, and the vortices caused by spa jets could increase the risk of a pet inhaling or swallowing water, or suffering death through drowning.
“We’ve had dogs present to our clinics struggling to breathe after inhaling hot tub water. Those pets only survived due to the fast reactions of their owners, in getting them to our emergency clinic or hospital quickly, and also due to the experience and skill of our vets and nurses involved in their treatment, which can be complex – needing oxygen support as well as medication.”
An English Bulldog called Boris had a close call last summer after he fell into a hot tub.
The pup was only 13-weeks-old when the incident happened in Durham.
Boris’ owners Sarah and husband Kyall rushed him to an emergency Vets Now practice where he was treated for inhaling chlorinated water into his lungs.
The vets had to give him oxygen through a special catheter in his nose to help stabilise him.
“The chlorine had caused inflammation on his lungs as well, so we gave him medication and continued with the oxygen and, overnight, his temperature and colour very slowly began to improve,” said senior vet nurse Ashley Wemple, who was part of the team who saved Boris’s life.
“The fact he’s a bulldog puppy means he struggles with breathing at the best of times. This made him a very challenging patient. He was still wheezy the following morning and by no means out of the woods.
“Thankfully, by Saturday lunchtime, his prognosis was guarded but good. In reality, he only survived thanks to the fast reactions of his owners and the skill and professionalism of the vets and vet nurses involved in his treatment.”