Can Dogs Get Dry Skin From Chlorinated Water?

Jul 20, 2020 | Pet Health, Pets, Products

I recently took Jake and Maggie to swim in my sister’s pool and two days later, I noticed dry skin and dandruff on Jake and then Maggie.  This prompted me to do some research as I did not think about the chlorinated water giving them dry, itchy skin.  I know that the dogs should not drink the pool water and also made sure that Jake’s nose was not getting sunburned.  With him being a chocolate lab and having lighter eyes and skin than Maggie, I made sure not to keep them out long.  They wore themselves out and within an hour or two, we were sitting in the shade under the porch canopy.  I rescheduled their grooming appointment to an earlier date and requested an extra conditioning treatment which really helped.  
Jake at the pool
Chlorine can dry out our skin and hair and our dogs aren’t immune either.

Dogs who take frequent dips in the family pool may suffer from dry, itchy skin and a dry, dull coat because the chemicals in pool water strip the skin and coat of their natural oils. Chlorinated water may also have a slight bleaching effect on dark coats, and could even turn lighter coats greenish.

To avoid these nasty side effects, do these simple things.  They will make a noticeable difference in the effect chlorinated water will have on your dog’s coat.

  • During pool season, spray your dog’s coat with coat conditioner before he goes into the pool. This will help protect skin and coat from drying. If you can find one that also contains sunscreen, all the better (because dogs can get skin cancer, too).
  • After every swim—or at the end of each day, if your dog tends to jump in and out of the pool all day—rinse his coat thoroughly with cool water.
  • Rinse longer than you think is necessary to remove all the chlorine and other pool chemicals. Towel-dry or blow-dry if appropriate. If your dog has a medium or long coat, follow the rinse with another spray of coat conditioner and a swipe-through with a comb.
  • Once each week during swim season, comb out all tangles and bathe him thoroughly with a gentle moisturizing shampoo and conditioner that will rid the coat of chlorine residue and restore moisture to a dry coat.
  • For good measure, an omega-3 fatty-acid supplement can help replenish natural coat oils from the inside out.  Don’t forget to clean out their ears to avoid ear infections and clogged water in the ear canal.  For more information, check out the link here: and here:
  • It is so important to properly maintain your pool.  Consider your pet when shocking the water.  If pool chemicals are not measured appropriately, they could cause irritation to the dog’s skin, eyes and airways. Chlorinated pools can release chlorine gas if the dilution is not appropriate, which can affect your dog’s ability to breathe easily.
  • Schedule a grooming appointment for your dog and get them in for a bath, ear cleaning, toenail trim, and extra conditioning treatment.
  • Purchase a portable dog bathing station. has some great options as well as  
  • Or if you are fortunate enough to have a dog washing station in your house, keep it stalked with gentle, organic shampoo and conditioner and all the tools/products to keep your pup happy, healthy, and clean!
  • Ask your groomer or contact a reputable grooming business and ask them what products they use on their clients.  They can recommend something for you as well.

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