Can Dogs Safely Use Hot Tubs? Exploring the Risks and Alternatives


Hot tubs are a popular source of relaxation for many people, but can our furry friends join us in this indulgence? As responsible pet owners, it’s important to consider the safety and well-being of our dogs before allowing them to swim in hot tubs. In this article, we will explore the potential risks involved and provide alternative ways to include our dogs in water activities.

Why Dogs Shouldn’t Go in Hot Tubs

Hot tubs provide a relaxing experience for humans, but it’s important to understand why dogs should not be allowed in them. Here are some key reasons:

  1. Temperature Regulation and Overheating Risks: Unlike humans, dogs cannot easily regulate their body temperature. They primarily cool down through panting and sweating through the pads of their paws. In a hot tub, the high water temperature, typically around 102 degrees, can quickly lead to overheating in dogs. This can result in heat stroke, which is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition for our furry friends.
  2. Chemical Sensitivity and Irritation: Hot tubs require the use of sanitizing chemicals, such as chlorine, to keep the water clean and safe for human use. However, these chemicals can be harmful to dogs. They can irritate their skin, eyes, and respiratory system. Additionally, some dogs may be tempted to drink the water, which can be harmful due to the presence of these cleaning chemicals.
  3. Safety Concerns and Potential Damages: Hot tubs are often designed with high walls and can be slippery. This can make it difficult for dogs to enter or exit the tub safely. Dogs may scramble to get out if they feel uncomfortable or scared, potentially causing injuries to themselves or scratching the hot tub shell. Additionally, dog hair and contaminants can end up in the hot tub water, leading to more frequent filter cleaning and potential damage to the hot tub’s system.

Considering these factors, it is generally recommended to keep swimming hot tubs a pet-free zone to ensure the safety and well-being of our canine companions. However, there are alternative ways to include dogs in water activities and provide them with a comfortable space near the hot tub. Let’s explore these alternatives in the following sections.

Safety Concerns and Potential Damages

When considering whether dogs can go in hot tubs, it’s important to be aware of the safety concerns and potential damages that can arise. Here are some key points to consider can dogs go in hot tubs:

  1. Slippery Surfaces and High Walls: Hot tubs are designed with smooth surfaces, which can be slippery for dogs. This poses a risk of them losing their footing and potentially injuring themselves while trying to enter or exit the tub. Additionally, the high walls of hot tubs can make it challenging for dogs to climb out on their own, increasing the risk of accidents.
  2. Potential Injuries and Damage to Hot Tub Shell: Dogs may become anxious or scared when in the hot tub, especially if they are not accustomed to the environment. In their attempt to escape, they may scratch or damage the hot tub shell, leading to costly repairs. It’s important to consider the potential harm to both your dog and the hot tub itself.
  3. Increased Maintenance Due to Dog Hair: Dogs naturally shed hair, and if they are allowed in the hot tub, their hair can clog the filters and affect the water quality. This requires more frequent cleaning and maintenance of the hot tub’s filtration system. Additionally, dog hair can reduce the efficiency of the filters, potentially leading to damage or malfunction.

To ensure the safety of your dog and the longevity of your hot tub, it is generally recommended to keep dogs out of hot tubs. Instead, consider providing a comfortable space for your dog to relax near the hot tub, where they can still be a part of the experience without the associated risks.

By keep your dog and being mindful of these safety concerns and potential damages, you can make informed decisions regarding your dog’s interaction with your hot tub.

Hot Tub Alternatives for Dogs

While it’s generally recommended to keep dogs out of hot tubs for their safety, there are alternative ways to include them in water activities. Here are some options to consider:

Creating a doggy hot tub of their own:

  • Set up a small pool or tub specifically for your dog’s use.
  • Fill it with clean, fresh water at a comfortable temperature.
  • Supervise your dog while they enjoy their own water space.

Introducing dogs to water and overcoming fears:

  • Gradually introduce your dog to water activities, starting with shallow pools or calm bodies of water.
  • Use positive reinforcement, treats, and toys to create a positive association with water.
  • Be patient and allow your dog to progress at their own pace.

Using a tub or container with fresh water as a safe alternative:

  • Fill a large tub or container with fresh water and allow your dog to cool off and play in it.
  • Ensure the water level is safe for your dog’s size and that they can easily enter and exit the tub.

Providing a comfortable space for dogs to relax near the hot tub:

  • Set up a designated area near the hot tub where your dog can relax and be part of the experience.
  • Provide a comfortable bed or mat for them to lie on.
  • Ensure the area is shaded and has access to fresh water.

Remember, even with these alternatives, it’s important to prioritize your dog’s safety and well-being. Always supervise them during water activities, provide fresh water for drinking, and be mindful of their comfort levels. By considering these alternatives, you can still enjoy water activities with your dog while keeping them safe and happy.

Ensuring Safety and Well-being

When it comes to hot tubs, it is important to prioritize safety and well-being, especially when it comes to our furry friends. Here are some measures you can take to ensure the safety of your pets and loved fur ones around hot tubs:

  1. Keeping hot tubs pet-free: It is crucial to keep pets away from hot tubs to avoid accidents and injuries. While it may be tempting to let them join in the fun, the high temperatures and lack of proper thermoregulation can be dangerous for their health.
  2. Preventing small dogs from drowning or getting exhausted: Hot tubs can pose a drowning risk for small dogs, as they may not be strong swimmers. It is important to supervise them closely and ensure they do not enter the hot tub unattended. Additionally, be mindful of their energy levels and avoid letting them stay in the hot tub for extended periods to prevent exhaustion.
  3. Trimming and rounding dog’s claws: Dogs’ sharp claws can easily scratch and damage the surfaces of hot tubs. To avoid any potential harm to the hot tub, regularly trim and round your dog’s claws. This will help prevent any accidental scratches or damage.
  4. Using hot tub covers: Hot tub covers serve as a protective barrier, preventing pets and children from falling into the hot tub. Make sure to always keep your hot tub covered when it is not in use. This simple step can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and ensure the safety of everyone around the hot tub.

By following these safety measures, you can enjoy your hot tub while keeping your pets and loved ones safe and secure. Remember, their well-being should always be a top priority.

While it may be tempting to share the same hot tubbing experience with our dogs, the potential risks and safety concerns outweigh the benefits. It is best to keep hot tubs a pet-free zone to ensure the well-being of our furry friends. Instead, we can explore alternative water activities and create a comfortable space for our dogs to enjoy alongside the hot tub. By prioritizing their safety, we can all continue to enjoy the relaxing benefits of hot tubs.


  • Jason

    Jason is an experienced writer, having contributed to many popular websites over the years. He currently writes for Big Hot Tub, a blog about everything hot tubs. When he's not writing or working on his blog, Jason enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.