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When temperatures climb, nothing beats a refreshing dip in a swimming pool. You can take a couple of laps or float around. The water keeps you nice and cool, easing tension and heat alike. With so many benefits for you, why not let your dog enjoy a watery retreat as well? Dog swimming pools let your canine family members escape punishing heat and humidity.
Most dogs know how to swim. (It isn’t called the “doggie paddle” for nothing!) Give them a chance to jump in the pool, and they’ll happily oblige. If you already have a pool in the backyard, there’s no reason to deny your dog access. However, with any pool, you need to take a few precautions to keep your dog safe.
Most people keep chlorine levels in the family pool reasonably low (compared to public pools). Your dog’s mucus membranes (the delicate tissue around their eyes, nose, and mouth) are sensitive to chlorine. Too much exposure, and you’ll see irritation. Make sure you limit pool time.
Once everyone’s finished with the pool, you need to rinse that chlorine off. Have cool, clean water handy for a thorough rinse. (You shower after the pool, right? Same idea) This prevents your dog’s skin from excessive drying. Also, they won’t accidentally ingest the chlorine when they groom themselves.
Your kids don’t go into the pool alone, right? Same with your dog. Dogs can have trouble navigating steps to exit pools. Steep sides present more trouble. You want to stay outside so you can help them out whenever needed.
Even strong swimmers get exhausted. Your dog may want to keep playing, especially if everyone’s having a great time. As they grow tired, they inhale more water. If they continue to do so, they may drown. You need to step in before this happens and put an end to the swim session.
Types of Dog Swimming Pools
If you don’t have a pool of your own, you’re in luck. Dog swimming pools provide an easy way for your dog to cool off, splash around, and even take a short swim. Depending on the type you choose, you can repurpose the pool during colder months into a ball pit. This often justifies the cost of the pool. Plus, it gives your dog a way to play when snowdrifts hamper outdoor fun.
- Folding Pools: Folding pools check the portability box. These dog swimming pools feature semi-rigid panels that collapse down when not in use. Water pushes the boards out, keeping the pool’s shape. The durable material holds up against most abuse, even teeth.
- Inflatable Pools: Inflatable pools are the lightest and easiest to store. Regardless of size, when you deflate the pool, it folds into a compact size that tucks away on a shelf. The plastic is sturdy, but if you’re not careful, dogs can chew or puncture the sides with their nails. You can patch them, but it takes time.
- Rigid Pools: Rigid pools resemble children’s splash pools. You won’t find a more durable dog swimming pool. The heavy-duty plastic holds up to teeth and claws; even regular scratching won’t puncture through. However, they don’t fold or collapse. This means you need A LOT of space to store them when not in use. They’re also the heaviest of the three pool types.
Choosing a Dog Swimming Pool
You need to take a lot of things into consideration before purchasing a dog swimming pool. Depending on where you live, you may have to haul the pool out for half or even the entire year. Make sure you’re keeping these things in mind before you call the contractor to start that in-ground pool.
- Durability: How much does your dog love water? If you have a super-exuberant dog, you need a dog swimming pool that can handle the abuse. Not every pool is created equal, and you want the top of the line.
- Materials: Hand-in-hand with durability are the materials going into the pool’s construction. If you want a pool to last, look for the following:
- Polyurethane: This polymer lines truck beds. Designed to hold up against concrete blocks and timber, it’ll handle dog nails.
- PVC: PVC blends toughness with flexibility. A lot of folding dog swimming pools like to use PVC.
- Metal: Metal, in a swimming pool? Sounds crazy, but coated metal is weatherproof and rust-resistant (valuable any time you’re around water). There aren’t many metal dog swimming pools out there, but they WILL hold up to abuse.
- Storability: Odds are you’re going to want to put the pool away at some point. How easy will that be? You don’t want to have to buy a shed just for the pool. If you leave the pool out through the colder months, you WILL get leaks.
- Size: You want the dog swimming pool to work well for your size dog. Small breed dogs don’t need an Olympic pool. You’ll find sizing charts with most pools.
- Drain: That water has to get OUT of the pool eventually. Drains make emptying the pool easier. However, be careful about WHERE the drain’s located since dogs like to chew drain caps.
Best Dog Swimming Pools
A refreshing dip makes anyone feel better. If your dog likes the water, providing them with a dog swimming pool is one of the nicest things you can do during hot weather. They can splash, lay down in the cool water, or even take a short swim. Pick a pool big enough, and you can join in on the fun!
Best Foldable Dog Swimming Pool
Foldable dog swimming pools are the most common on the market. They’re easy to store, easy to set up, and easy to fill. The water pushes the reinforced sides out, retaining the pool’s shape. You’ll find varying sizes to suit your dog. Hesitant on the cost? These pools work great as ball pits during the colder months!
Jasonwell created an environmentally-friendly dog swimming pool. The high-density fiberboard walls sit inside of thick PVC. EVERYTHING is recyclable! (You don’t find that often!) The bottom is slip-resistant to protect your dog during play. A drain on the outside makes emptying the pool a cinch. You have a variety of sizes to choose from, including a massive option for large dogs (or your entire dog family). Dogs have no problem stepping over the sides, even if they’re a little on the senior side.
Downsides? While we love recyclable materials, the PVC won’t hold up to chewers. People also noted the sides tended to bulge outward when the pool was full. Leaning dogs also caused the sides to fall, spilling water out of the pool.
YAHEETECH also uses durable PVC for its foldable dog swimming pool. You have three sizes to choose from, with the extra-large accommodating German Shepherds and other large dogs. The segmented sides fold flat for easy storage. The drain plug makes it easy to empty the pool when your dog’s finished for the day.
The downsides? This dog pool is a little on the expensive side. They strictly warn you to trim your dog’s nails to prevent punctures. People also felt it took a little longer to drain the pool.
Fuloon uses heavy-duty PVC in the construction of their dog swimming pool. A built-in compression system ensures the pool retains its shape throughout use, preventing the sides from leaning out, even when the pool’s full or your dog pushes against them. A non-slip bottom prevents accidents during the water play. The pool weighs almost nothing when empty, and it collapses down for easy storage.
So what are the downsides? Once again, people noticed scratches and tears if they didn’t trim their nails. Also, this pool isn’t recommended for heavy chewers.
Pecute also uses sturdy PVC over its compression wood boards. The boards keep the pool’s sides upright throughout your dog’s swimming activity. Knowing that dogs can be exuberant when playing in the water, Pecute includes a free PVC repair kit with every purchase, just in case. (You also get a free dog brush!) The pools come in sizes large enough to include your kids, just in case you only wanted to buy a single pool for the warm weather.
Downside? Pecute’s customer service is NOT good. People hated waiting for responses for faulty pieces.
Best Inflatable Dog Swimming Pool
Inflatable dog swimming pools present a few challenges. First, you have to inflate them. Unless you’re looking for a lung workout, make sure you have an air pump handy. Always trim your dog’s nails before letting them access the pool. However, storage requires little more than a spot on the shelf. The pool weighs next to nothing (when empty – don’t try moving it when full!). For calm dogs, inflatable pools are a great option.
While the Mandarin Swim Center isn’t specifically a dog swimming pool, it works great for the canine set. The vinyl sides are durable and puncture-resistant. The sides are reinforced, retaining shape even when a heavy dog leans against them. The water won’t escape, either, something that can happen with foldable swimming pools. There’s plenty of room for your dog to splash and play. If you want, there’s even room for you and the family to join in! We have this pool, and it comfortably fits the two of us and our Greyhound (and our cat in her lifejacket).
Downsides? It takes up a lot of space in the yard. Also, those sides are HIGH. Our Greyhound finally figured out how to step in, but it took a while. Shorter dogs would need help getting in and out.
Best Frame Dog Swimming Pool
Frame swimming pools aren’t typical for dogs. Mostly because these are human swimming pools. However, they work well for your canine family members. Depending on the size you choose, these pools allow your entire family to enjoy a break from the scorching heat.
Intex uses a galvanized steel frame with foam padding around the beams for comfort. The pool itself is sturdy vinyl that makes the entire pool lightweight. The pool collapses down, aiding in storage. A drain helps you empty the water when everyone’s finished playing. Intex knows tears can happen, so they include a handy repair kit, on the off chance you’ll need it.
Downsides? While the pool DOES collapse, the frame’s still large and takes up a lot of space. The bottom isn’t non-slip, so your dog could potentially slide around and fall.
Whether your dog uses your pool or you get them a dog swimming pool of their own, water provides a great way to keep them cool during the hottest part of the year. Make sure you supervise all pool time to keep your dog safe. If you have your pool, rinse the chlorine off at the end of the day.
Now, hit the pool and get your splash on!