Is My Pond Safe for My Pet?

Dog watching fish in pond
If you ask us, “Is my pond safe for my pet?” We will say, “It depends on which style of pond you have.”  If you have an ecosystem pond, the answer is “YES!”  Ecosystem ponds mimik nature in the way they use filtration systems, plants, fish, and beneficial bacteria to stay clean and clear. 
If you are using a system other than an ecosystem pond, check before letting your pet drink or swim in your pond.  Chlorine, salts, or other chemicals are used to clean ponds but are not safe for pets.
Even though your pond may be safe, you may not want your pet in your pond.

Before letting your pet enjoy your pond, check the liner.  Make sure there is a layer of gravel on the liner. This will protect the rubber from toenails. It also provides an excellent home for beneficial bacteria.

Make sure your pond has gradual steps into it if your pet has trouble entering or exiting the pond.  This also creates great spots for plants to be placed. If you have water lilies, a dog may knock the leaves around or rip them while swimming.  Established plants can handle rough water but new plants will not do well and should be protected from pets.

Fish should be safe around domestic pets. You should observe your pet to see if they become aggressive with any fish in your pond.  If they are aggressive, offer some form of protection for the fish like a fish cave or heavy plant cover or remove the pet.  Offer a sprinkler for the pet or a kiddie pool to swim in rather than your koi fish pond.
After asking yourself these questions, you should be able to determine if your pond is pet safe. Enjoy playing with your pet in the pond this summer!


By Becky Chudek, lead horticulturist for Minnesota Waterscapes


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