Can Dogs Go In Hot Tubs? Potential Risks & Safety Concerns

Having your dog join you in the hot tub might seem like a fun idea at first, but it’s best to think twice before you invite your four-legged friend to jump in. From damage to the actual hot tub to the risk of heat stroke, having any animal in such hot water is a recipe for disaster.

Dogs shouldn’t go in hot tubs. They could scratch the lining in a lined or inflatable hot tub, and their fur can clog the filter. They’ll also be at risk of heat stroke and drowning in such hot water. Cover the hot tub when not in use, install a fence, and clean up any food or drink near the tub.

So, as you can see, hot tubs aren’t for dogs. Let’s take a closer look at why that is, including the various risks to your pet and the hot tub itself. We’ll also look at some ways to keep your dog from getting in when you’re not watching.

Can Your Dog Go in the Hot Tub? 

A dog, or any pet for that matter, shouldn’t go in a hot tub. Not only does it have the potential to hurt the animal, but it can also cause lasting damage to your hot tub.

A hot tub is expensive to purchase and maintain to begin with — and adding an animal into the mix can create a much larger expenditure than you expected.


Dog in a hot tub

Keeping a hot tub clean is expensive enough with just people using. Adding another layer of dirt, grime, and flea prevention medication can prove expensive and overbearing for the hot tub. You might wash your pet regularly, but every dog has dust and debris that remains on their coat from the day’s events.

There’s also the fact that dogs shed — and some breeds do it quite a lot. This can be especially taxing for the hot tub filter, and it’ll make the hot tub less enjoyable for you.

A clogged filter can make the hot tub work harder, which could burn the motor or cause it to run less efficiently. This could cause lasting damage to the hot tub.

Besides all that, no one wants to get out of a hot tub covered in wet dog hair!

Surface Damage

Many dogs panic when placed in deep water, such as a pool or a hot tub. A panicking dog’s instinct is to try and climb out of the water by any means.

In such a situation, the dog’s claws could easily scratch the lining of the hot tub or damage the mechanical parts such as the filtration system.

Even if your dog’s nails are trimmed, most hot tubs have a vinyl liner that can still be easily cut and damaged.

Can Hot Tubs Hurt Dogs?

Beyond the potential for damage to occur to your hot tub, your dog’s health is also at stake.

Chemical Irritant

The smell of chlorine is always thick when you uncover your hot tub, and while it’s generally okay for humans and keeps the water clean, it can be a severe irritant to a dog. And it’s not just chlorine in a hot tub, but also bromine and other cleaning chemicals that can injure an animal. 

The hot tub water can hurt a dog’s skin, eyes, and ears, and it cause problems such as dry skin, red-eye, and ear irritation. If the lungs become irritated with the smell, it can also cause difficulty breathing.

There’s also the dangerous possibility that your dog drinks the hot tub water and ingests all that chlorine. As we all know, dogs drink pretty much any liquid they can find, and hot tub water is no different. The issue is that this water can cause severe damage to the health of your pet. 

High Temperatures

While hot bubbling water might be relaxing for us, it isn’t for your dog. The high temperatures of a hot tub are too hot for a dog. Think of all that fur on them! 

Dogs don’t function quite like humans, and they might not notice if they’re getting too hot and need to get out. Heat stroke is a very real danger, and it happens quicker than you think. 

There is also the stress of being surrounded by bubbles and the heat that could cause them to panic and hurt themselves in the hot tub.

Smaller breeds may not be able to reach the seating in a hot tub and will have to tread water, which, combined with the high temperatures, could be a recipe for exhaustion and, in turn, drowning. Even if you have a larger breed that can reach the seats, they probably won’t just sit there and relax but instead try to swim.

So, to summarize, having a dog in a hot tub won’t be relaxing for you or for them.

How Do I Protect My Dog From the Hot Tub?

Woman rest with a dog at mountains

As we’ve established, a dog in a hot tub is a bad idea for both their health and your hot tub. Maintaining proper safety protocols can help prevent unnecessary accidents. Here are some tips:

Use a Spa Cover

Having a strong and sturdy spa cover (on Amazon) will help protect both your dog and the hot tub from accidental dips. A cover can keep other animals out as well, such as squirrels or the neighborhood cat. 

Properly cover your hot tub after every use and regularly check the cover for any damage that comes with age and usage. Investing in a strong spa cover will also help extend the life of your hot tub, so it’s a win-win purchase.

Install a Gate

Another step you may want to take is to fence off the hot tub area and install a gate that can lock. Not only will it prevent your dog from entering a potentially dangerous situation, but it could also keep children and other animals safe.

Hot tub accidents can happen and having a gate installed can easily prevent certain life-threatening situations.

Clean Up the Area

If you’re in the habit of enjoying food or drinks while in the hot tub, then it’s always a good practice to clean up after you are done.

Doing so will make the area less appealing to dogs and other wildlife that might come along. A dog is less likely to go and investigate an area if it doesn’t smell something delicious. 

Get a Doggie Pool

Instead of letting your dog in the hot tub, why not provide them with a wading pool (on Amazon)?

A small plastic pool or old bath tub with warm or cool water could offer them the joy of playing in the water and a way to cool off from the summer heat. It allows them to safely get in and out as they want, and with the shallow water, they shouldn’t panic or hurt themselves.

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