The pool at Here Buoy! is a Florida North swim spa, measuring 16′ x 8′ x 4′ tall, and holding nearly 3000 gallons of water. Although manufactured for humans, this pool is ideal for dogs because it allows entry via 6 normal-sized steps, it has no molded seats, and it has a small ledge around the entire perimeter. It has large resting platforms on each side, at a height that large dogs can use to stand on their own. Medium and small dogs can use the resting platforms for their back legs while I support their front legs, or they can use whichever step is appropriate for their height. The steps and platforms also provide the perfect place for a warm water massage!

The temperature of the water is maintained at about 88°F (range 86°-92°). This temperature will keep your dog warm during a session of soaking and massage, but is cool enough to allow dogs to swim a few strokes without feeling overheated. If your dog needs a specific temperature to be comfortable, I will do my best to accommodate that, within the limits of my other clients’ needs.

The swim spa has jets that can produce a current for your dog to swim against, if needed. The jets are often unnecessary; moving in water uses far more energy than moving on land, so even a few minutes of swimming is plenty of exercise for dogs who live a mostly sedentary lifestyle.

The pool water is disinfected 24/7/365 with an ultraviolet (UV) light sanitizer. UV light is more effective and far healthier than chlorine, and it adds NO chemicals to the water. A pump constantly circulates the water through the UV light, and the light instantly sanitizes the water, destroying bacteria, viruses, algae, and protozoa.

UV light sanitizers are increasingly being used to disinfect municipal water supplies, and they produce the amazing clarity of pool water at the Olympic Games (at a cost of up to $100,000 for an Olympic-sized pool) so that TV cameras can show the swimmers underwater.

As a back-up to the UV sanitizer, I maintain a trace amount of chlorine in the pool – less than 1 part per million or PPM (the EPA permits up to 4 PPM in drinking water) – and add ‘pool shock’ about once a week, which dissipates within an hour. This integrated system, along with the technical assistance of the experts at Accurate Pool & Spa, allows the pool to stay clean for 4-6 months. When my water does get changed, it releases no toxic chemicals into the environment.

Please make sure your dog is reasonably clean (eg, not muddy!) before their swim. The pool water contains no more chemicals than normal drinking water, so there is no need to rinse your dog after a swim at Here Buoy!

Grooming tools are available for your use, so your dog can leave looking as good as they feel. ♥

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