Nothing sounds better during a crisp summer night than time in the hot tub. It’s time for you to relax and enjoy spending time with friends and family.

For many of us, our dogs are important members of our family, and we try to include them in many of our activities. Maybe you have considered letting your dog join you in the hot tub. It seems like harmless fun, right? But, while it may be tempting, the hot tub or spa is not the best place to spend time with your dog.


Before you let your pet jump in, consider these five reasons why your dog is better off not joining you in your hot tub.

  1. Your dog could easily overheat
  2. Cleaning chemicals can be irritants
  3. Potential for clogged filters
  4. Discomfort for your pet
  5. Spa Damage

Read on for more details on why you shouldn’t let your dog go in the hot tub.

Heated Spa Water Can Cause Overheating

Did you know that dogs don’t regulate their body temperatures in the same way that we do? When we overheat, we sweat to help our body lower its temperature. But, because dogs are covered in fur, they don’t sweat in the same way. They can sometimes use the pads of their paws to perspire, but in a spa, those pads are underwater and unable to do their job. 

Dogs primarily will pant in order to cool themselves down. Most hot tubs are heated to a standard temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit. If your dog is panting in an environment like this, they would likely tire themselves out instead of cooling themselves down. Without a way to regulate body temperature, your dog could suffer heat stroke. I’m sure a vet visit is your ideal ending to a relaxing night!

Chemicals in the Water Irritate Your Dog’s Skin

The smell of chlorine in your pool and spa water is unmistakable. It helps keep the water clean and safe for us. But those same chemicals can be harmful to your dog. If your dog is prone to drinking water whenever he can, then time in the spa is particularly dangerous.

But even just sitting in the spa water can irritate your dog’s skin, eyes, and ears. Those areas are more sensitive for your dog, and too much time spent exposed to chemicals like chlorine can cause dry skin, red-eye, and ear irritation. Save your dog the feeling of itchy skin, aching ears, and sore eyes!

Dog Hair Can Clog Your Filter

I know how much dog hair gets on my floors every day, and I can’t imagine finding that in my spa. Dog hair floating on the surface of the hot tub does not seem like it would add to the relaxing experience I’m seeking in the spa. But then where would it go? Right into the filter!

Dog hair in your spa filter is going to require more frequent cleanings, and you may even encounter problems if it’s not cleaned appropriately. When your filter is working harder, or at a lesser efficiency, you can cause lasting damage to your hot tub. This could lead to dirty water, more debris in your spa, and ultimately, broken mechanical parts. Bringing your dog into your spa could end up costing you a lot more money than you realize.

What’s So Relaxing About It?

What do you enjoy most about sitting in the hot tub? Leaning back and letting the bubbles surround you? The warmth of the water? Which of those things do you think your dog would enjoy?

It’s not in your dog’s nature to just sit back and relax in the bubbling water. I know that my dogs would certainly not enjoy it. Most dogs would likely try to swim which would be tiring, especially in warm water. Before you decide to include your dogs in spa time, think about why you would want them to join in. What would they truly get from the experience? 

Damage to Your Spa

Since it’s pretty likely that your dog won’t be sitting back and enjoying the warmth of the spa, think about what they would be doing. Moving around the spa, swimming, and resting on the seats is probable, and for a dog who doesn’t enjoy swimming, they may even attempt to jump out. All of this gives the potential for damage to the lining of your spa.

Many spas now are made from acrylic, but some may have a liner made from vinyl. A dog’s nails could cause a lot of damage even when neatly trimmed. 

Flickr/Russell Harrison Photography

So what can you do instead?

You can still enjoy a relaxing summer evening with your dog. If your dog enjoys water play, a run through the sprinklers or a quick dip in a chlorine-free kiddie pool could be fun. You could also create a relaxing space for your dog to rest while you barbecue and enjoy a meal with your friends.

Avoiding the spa does not mean avoiding time with your pet. But it does mean that your dog will have a much more enjoyable experience. They’ll thank you!

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