For your dog, staying cool under the hot summer sun is more than just a relieving experience. It’s life-saving. Dogs are particularly prone to overheating (and its ill-effects), as they can’t regulate their body temperature as well as we can.
That’s why it’s important you ensure your beloved companion always has a way to cool themselves off whenever they’re playing outside. While giving your dog access to a water bowl and shade will go a long way, a dog pool will allow them to cool off easily and quickly, and it’ll also provide a space where they can have some fun water play!
- What You Need to Know About Dog Pools
- Top 10 Best Dog Pools 2022
- 1. Best Overall Pick: Jasonwell Dog Pool
- 2. Best Premium Pick: Intex Rectangular Frame Pool
- 3. Best Budget Pick: Dione Lane Dog Pool
- 4. Best for Puppies: Step2 Play & Shade Pool
- 5. Best Slip-Resistance: Pecute Dog Pool
- 6. Most Innovative: Alvantor Pet Pool
- 7. Most Chew-Resistant: One Dog One Bone (ODOB) Bone Pool
- 8. Best for Water Play: Zen Laboratory Splash Pad
- 9. Best for Families: Intex Inflatable Lounge Pool
- 10. Best Accessibility: Alcott Inflatable Pool
- Guide to Buying the Best Dog Pool
- The Final Dive
What You Need to Know About Dog Pools
Today, we’ve compiled a list of the best dog pools available on the market. But first, to make sure you don’t feel like a fish out of water, we’ll explain the most vital information you need to know about dog pools.
Types of Dog Pools
Just like dogs, there are various types of dog pools. The main types are foldable, inflatable, and one-piece.
Usually metal-framed or made of sturdy hard plastic, a one-piece pool is the most durable type, making it an ideal option for dogs that love to chew, scratch, or play roughly. However, a one-piece pool is bulky and it doesn’t fold up, so it’s not the easiest to store. It’s also on the expensive side.
A foldable pool’s sides are basically individual yet connected sturdy panels that can be folded up, allowing for easy storage. It’s also effortless to set up a foldable pool – you simply “unfold” the sides and add water.
Typically, each panel contains a piece of thick board; medium-density fiberboard (MDF) or high-density fiberboard (HDF). This gives this pool greater durability than an inflatable pool, which relies on air.
An inflatable pool is made up of air, making it exceptionally lightweight, and as it can be deflated and made compact, it’s very convenient to store no matter its size. Although easy on the budget, an inflatable pool is not as durable as a one-piece or foldable pool; an energetic dog would have no trouble puncturing it. Inflatable pools come in a wide array of colors, shapes, and styles.
Factors to Consider in a Dog Pool
We’ll now go over the vital features you need to think about when purchasing a pool for your pooch.
A dog pool with poor durability won’t be able to withstand a playful pup’s nails, teeth and energy. If your dog is a hardcore chewer, you’ll certainly need to invest in a pool with exceptional durability.
Dog pools are typically made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), mainly due to the fact that PVC is waterproof, reasonably tough and low-maintenance. That said, some dog pools forgo PVC entirely, instead opting for materials like polyethylene.
When buying a dog pool, you need to ensure it’s size-appropriate for your four-legged friend – a German Shepherd won’t be able to cool off or even make a splash in a pool that’s sized for a Dachshund!
You also need to consider how much water the pool can hold. The average dog pool is shallow – this lets your dog cool off and splash about with little to no risk of them drowning. A deep pool is best suited for extra-large dogs or dogs that enjoy swimming and playing in water.
It goes without saying your dog should be able to easily get in and out of the pool. It’s best to avoid a pool with tall sides unless you own a large dog or you’re willing to purchase a ramp.
A dog pool can have various features, like a built-in drain or slip-resistant bottom. Some pools even come with handy, complementary accessories. It’s worth considering what sort of features are right for you and your pup. For example, while a drain will allow you to quickly empty out the water, a dog that chews will likely see the drain and its protruding cap as their own personal chew toy.
Now that you’re familiar with the key factors, we’ll now dive into our picks for the best dog pools of 2021. If you’re still feeling a bit lost at sea when it comes to dog pools, make sure to check out our comprehensive full buyer’s guide below.
1. Best Overall Pick: Jasonwell Dog Pool
Why we like it: The Jasonwell Dog Pool is an easy-to-clean foldable dog pool that accommodates all sizes and has excellent durability.
- Type: Foldable
- Material: PVC, HDF
- Size: 32 x 8 inches – 63 x 12 inches
The Jasonwell Dog Pool is hassle-free to clean and a breeze to fold up. It boasts a wide range of sizes, so you’re sure to find one ideal for your four-legged pal.
We particularly love this pool’s wrapped edges. The wrapped edges act as a protective layer against any potential damage, ensuring the pool’s longevity. Plus, as the wrapping is soft, your dog won’t hurt themselves when they enter the pool (no sharp edges).
The pool’s bottom is incredibly thick, so if your dog is a digger, you can rest assured they won’t tear through the bottom easily. It’s also slip-resistant, which an energetic pooch will definitely appreciate.
Looking for a durable, foldable pool that won’t break after a few uses? Then look no further. The Jasonwell Dog Pool is made from heavy-duty PVC and thick high-density fiberboard.
While the sides are sturdy, they may bend outward a little if you overfill, or inward if the pool is not filled up to the recommended water level. This pool is also not the most chew-resistant. If you want a chew-proof pool, check out the ODOB Bone Pool.
If you’re short on time in your day-to-day life, this dog pool is perfect: it has a large, built-in drain that makes emptying the pool exceptionally quick and easy.
The Jasonwell Dog Pool comes with a repair kit and a separate hose connector you can attach to the drain outlet. The hose connector allows you to direct the draining water to whatever location you please, so yes, your carefully grown vegetable patch will stay completely safe!
- Wide range of sizes
- Thick, slip-resistant bottom
- Made from enviro-friendly, durable material
- Wrapped edges, hose connector and repair kit
- Easy to fold, clean and drain
- Not chew-resistant
- Sides bend if not filled at right water level
Why we like it: A sturdy, spacious pool that’s deep enough for a dog to swim in.
- Type: One-Piece
- Material; PVC, Metal Frame
- Size: 86.61 x 59.06 x 23.62 inches – 177.17 x 86.61 x 33.07 inches
This rectangular framed pool is extremely spacious and can fit several dogs at once, making it a great option for a multi-dog household. And, with a depth of 20 to 30 inches, it functions as a fantastic swimming pool for a large pooch.
A deep pool like this is also ideal for dogs that struggle to exercise – we explain more about this in our buyer’s guide below.
Though, if your dog can’t swim or is fearful of deep water, the Zen Laboratory Splash Pad is a much better (and safer) option.
While this pool does require more assembly than a foldable pool, the assembly process isn’t too troublesome. It comes with easy to follow instructions, and setting it up only takes around 30 minutes.
This pool isn’t specifically designed for dogs – it’s aimed at adults and children over 6. However, thanks to its heavy-duty PVC sides, it is durable enough to withstand a dog’s energy and nails (if kept well-trimmed). Plus, the sides are supported by a metal frame, which ensures the pool will maintain its shape.
The metal frame has a rust-resistant coating, so you’ll be able to leave the pool out throughout the summer without having to disassemble it. That said, as the metal isn’t entirely rust-proof, it’s worth purchasing a cover of some sort that will keep out rain to reduce the chance of rust.
This pool has a built-in drain, allowing for quick drainage. Unfortunately, the drain is positioned a little too high up on the side, meaning when the water level is below it, the water stops draining out. You’ll have to lift the pool to empty out the remaining water. Considering it’s heavy, this can be hard to do.
Although relatively cheap compared to other metal framed pools, it does sacrifice some vital parts, all of which you’ll need to purchase separately (hence why it’s our premium pick). For example, it does not come equipped with a ladder, so you’ll have to splash out and buy one that can let your dog get in and out of the pool. It also does not come with a filter, and as the water cannot be easily drained, a filter is essential if you’re hoping to maintain water cleanliness.
Though, if you have a large yard to accommodate this pool’s size and no budget limitations, this pool is a great buy that will let your dog swim with ease.
- Great for swimming; deep and spacious
- The whole family can use it, ideal for multi-dog households
- Exceptionally sturdy and durable
- Built-in drain and easy to assemble
- Rust-resistant metal frame
- Drain not ideal
- Expensive; have to buy key parts separately
3. Best Budget Pick: Dione Lane Dog Pool
Why we like it: A highly affordable dog pool that comes with handy accessories.
- Type: Foldable
- Material: PVC, MDF
- Size: 32 x 8 inches – 47 x 12 inches
This enviro-friendly PVC dog pool is particularly easy to clean, and it has a non-slip inner surface. It comes in three sizes; the smallest is well-suited for a small dog, while the other two sizes are perfect for a medium-sized dog. The sides are well-padded, and the smallest option has low sides, granting easy access.
The Dione Lane Dog Pool boasts good durability for the price; its sides are made up of MDF, and its joints are reinforced. Although, it doesn’t hold up as well as the Jasonwell Dog Pool, and unfortunately, it lacks chew-resistance.
This pool has a built-in drain and comes with a whole range of additional accessories: a zip-up storage bag, toy chew rope, repair patch and even a one-size-fits-all grooming glove. If you’re particularly looking for a pool to use as a doggy bath, the grooming glove will definitely come in handy (especially for long-haired dogs or dogs that aren’t a fan of regular brushes).
Keep in mind the storage bag this pool comes with is a little on the small side. Due to this, it can be a bit difficult to pack the pool away in the bag – you’ll need to make sure you fold it up perfectly.
- Reinforced joints and well-padded sides
- Particularly easy to clean
- Slip-resistant and made of enviro-friendly material
- Fantastic range of accessories
- Easy to chew and not as durable as Jasonwell’s pool
- Storage bag is small
4. Best for Puppies: Step2 Play & Shade Pool
Why we like it: This one-piece pool’s size and design are ideal for small dogs, puppies and toddlers, and it also comes with an attachable umbrella.
- Type: One-Piece
- Material: Polyethylene
- Size: 37.5 x 37.5 x 7.75 inches
While this easy to clean pool is mainly targeted at toddlers, its low sides and shallowness makes it perfect for a small dog or puppy. It also has a slip-resistant textured bottom, ensuring your pup will be able to maintain their balance no matter how energetic their play becomes.
Unfortunately, emptying this pool can be a chore: it doesn’t have a drain, so to clear out the water you’ll need to tip the pool over (which can be a challenge in itself as it’s heavy). If you want an easy to drain one-piece pool, check out the ODOB Bone Pool.
This pool is sturdy, chew-resistant and won’t scratch easily, making it the perfect pool for a boisterous pup.
If your four-legged pal is particularly prone to overheating, this pool is sure to give them the ultimate cooling experience; it comes with a colorful umbrella that will not only keep your dog out of the sun, but will also keep the water cooler for longer since the water won’t be directly exposed to the sun.
Another great aspect of this pool is that it has two molded-in seats. For your pup, these chairs can function as steps, allowing for an easy exit. Plus, if you purchase this pool, you’ll get some fun plastic toys you can attach to the umbrella pole: multiple funnel cups and a water wheel spinner. These toys are best suited for toddlers, though– they may simply become chew toys for your dog!
- Ideal for puppies, small dogs and toddlers (safety tested to ASTM F93 toy safety standard)
- Sturdy and chew-resistant durable material (BPA and phthalate-free)
- Colorful umbrella and molded-in seats
- Fun plastic toys
- No drain
- Heavy to lift
5. Best Slip-Resistance: Pecute Dog Pool
Why we like it: A spacious, foldable pool that’s exceptionally slip-resistant.
- Type: Foldable
- Material: PVC, MDF
- Size: 32 x 8 inches – 63 x 12 inches
Have an energetic pooch who can’t resist jumping in and out and splashing all around? No sweat – the Pecute Dog Pool’s bottom is extremely slip-resistant, so there’s little to no chance of your dog slipping and hurting themselves. In fact, out of all the pools we reviewed, the Pecute Dog Pool comes out on top for slip-resistance.
The large and extra-large sizes are also fairly spacious, making them a good option for a medium or large dog.
Its sides are pretty sturdy (made up of 0.5cm medium-density fiberboard), but they do tend to bow inwards. The bottom, while highly slip-resistant, is particularly prone to tearing, so you’ll need to make sure your dog’s nails are well-trimmed.
If you’re unable to trim your dog’s nails, we recommend sticking to a hard plastic pool that won’t get ruined by scratches, like the Step2 Play & Shade Pool.
The Pecute Dog Pool has a spiral drain that you open by rotating. This ensures the drain stays well-sealed. While the pool empties quickly, the poor placement of the drain (a little too high up) prevents the water from completely draining. You’ll need to tip the pool over to get rid of the remaining water.
With this pool, you get various accessories, including a convenient storage bag and a repair patch. If your dog tends to be a little rough and they tear through the bottom, the repair patch will let you quickly fix it without too much hassle.
If you’re planning to also use this pool as a place to wash your dog, you’ll love that it comes with a grooming brush. The grooming brush is non-slip, giving you optimal grip no matter how wet it gets from your dog’s splashing.
That said, if your dog is long-haired, or they don’t particularly like being brushed, you might find it easier to use a grooming glove instead, which the Dione Lane Dog Pool comes with.
- Spacious and extremely slip-resistant
- Made from sturdy, enviro-friendly material
- Spiral drain
- Useful accessories; storage bag, repair patch, grooming brush
- 1-year warranty, 90-day money-back guarantee
- Bottom prone to tearing
- Doesn’t drain completely
6. Most Innovative: Alvantor Pet Pool
Why we like it: A lightweight pool with an innovative design that allows for easy draining and quick set up.
- Type: Foldable
- Material: PVC, 300D Oxford Fabric, Steel Frame
- Size: 42 x 12 inches – 63 x 12 inches
This foldable pool dries quickly, and its unique pop-up design makes for swift set up. The Alvantor Pet Pool also has fantastic portability, as it’s exceptionally lightweight (smallest size weighing around 3.7 pounds), and compact when folded.
Although this pool is fairly easy to fold up and pack away, the folding instructions could be made a little clearer.
The Alvantor Pet Pool has been designed with durability in mind. It is made of strong PVC and rip-resistant fabric, and its sides are supported by a steel spring frame which further enhances the durability.
Even without a drain, this pool is easy to empty thanks to its innovative design – you simply press down on one of the sides to let the water out. While this is convenient, it does have a drawback: if your dog pushes or presses against the pool’s sides, it will likely cause the water to spill out. Due to this, it’s best to avoid this pool if your dog is a bundle of energy.
If you have an energetic pooch but still want a foldable pool, Jasonwell’s foldable pool will better serve your dog’s needs.
- Fast set up – innovative pop-up design
- Dries quickly and easy to drain
- Lightweight yet durable
- Keeps its shape and won’t tear (rip-resistant fabric)
- 1-year limited warranty
- Folding instructions hard to follow
- Water may spill out
7. Most Chew-Resistant: One Dog One Bone (ODOB) Bone Pool
Why we like it: This durable pool is stylish, lightweight, and best of all, it’s extremely chew-resistant.
- Type: One-Piece
- Material: HMWP (High-Molecular-Weight Polyethylene)
- Size: 44 x 66 x 11 inches
This pool comes in a wide range of colors, and it’s stylishly shaped like a bone! It’s the perfect size for a medium or large dog, and it can even fit two large dogs at the same time.
The ODOB bone pool holds up to 85 gallons of water – enough depth for most dogs to be fully soaked when lying down, ensuring a soothing and cooling experience.
Sadly, this pool is on the bulky side, and as it can’t be folded up or disassembled, it’s always going to take up a fair amount of space. If you’re particularly looking for portability, the Alvantor Pet Pool is better suited, as it’s extremely lightweight and foldable.
While spacious and easy to clean, unlike the Step2 Play & Shade Pool, this one-piece pool’s bottom isn’t slip-resistant.
When you buy your dog something new, there’s nothing worse than finding it completely chewed up and destroyed an hour later. But don’t worry, the ODOB Bone Pool has got you covered – made of the same material used for truck bed liners, it will withstand your dog’s endless chewing.
That said, if you’re wanting a chew-resistant pool for a small dog or pup, the Step2 Play & Shade Pool is a more appropriate size.
If your dog isn’t comfortable with getting their nails trimmed, you’ll be thankful to know that this pool is highly scratch-resistant, so you won’t have to trim their nails before they dip in.
The ODOB pool is UV-resistant, meaning it won’t wear down even if left under the sun. It also has a built-in drain, and as the drain is made from brass, it’s exceptionally durable and chew-proof.
- Ideal for large dogs and multi-dog households
- Highly durable; chew-resistant, scratch-resistant, UV-resistant
- Built-in brass drain
- Stylish shape and comes in a variety of colors
- Easy to clean
- Bulky, takes up space
- Not slip-resistant
8. Best for Water Play: Zen Laboratory Splash Pad
Why we like it: Thanks to its sprinklers, this eye-catching splash pad is sure to keep your pooch (and kids) entertained.
- Type: Inflatable
- Material: PVC
- Size: 68 inches
The Zen Laboratory Splash Pad isn’t a pool in the typical sense; it’s an inflatable mat that sprays water upwards from various places. This makes it perfect for interactive water fun, and a great option for dogs who can’t swim or dislike being in deep water. Plus, this splash pad is suitable for kids aged 2 to 10 as well, so if you have kids, it’s sure to bring about bonding time between them and your pup.
Want a pool that has a delightful, summer feel? Then you’re going to love this pool – its design is colorful and features adorable sea animals like jellyfish and turtles.
Keep in mind this splash pad is very slippery, so an energetic pooch may find themselves stumbling. If slip-resistance is a must for you, we recommend Pecute’s pool.
This pool is made from thick PVC (BPA and phthalate free) that can endure most dogs’ nails (as long as they’re well-trimmed). That said, the seams tend to tear apart, putting into question the longevity of this product. The hose connector is also on the flimsy side.
This product comes with an easy to apply repair patch and a convenient mesh storage bag. As the bag is meshed, it allows for high airflow and lets moisture escape. So, if you didn’t fully dry the pool before storing it in the bag, it’ll still be able to dry off, meaning there’s little to no chance of mildew.
- Allows for fun interactive water play
- Suitable for kids and dogs, ideal for dogs unable to swim
- Colorful, eye-catching appearance
- Thick PVC (BPA and phthalate free)
- Budget-friendly, comes with repair patch and mesh storage bag
- Very slippery
- Hose connector a little flimsy
- Seams prone to tearing
9. Best for Families: Intex Inflatable Lounge Pool
Why we like it: A spacious inflatable pool with a built-in bench the whole family, including your pup, can relax on.
- Type: Inflatable
- Material: PVC
- Size: 90 x 86 x 31 inches
Wanting an inflatable pool that your entire family, not just your pooch, can enjoy? Then the Intex Inflatable Lounge Pool has got you covered. This pool is spacious enough to accommodate everyone and every pup, and it’s comfortable to lounge in – it has a fantastic built-in padded bench for sitting and an inflatable backrest behind.
Another great aspect of the Intex Inflatable Lounge Pool is that its sides are transparent. This gives the pool a stylish appearance, and it also lets you easily supervise your dog if they’re in the pool alone.
Keep in mind some dogs may struggle to get in this pool without assistance (particularly those with mobility issues); the sides are high, and there’s no ladder. Plus, the pool is slippery, so getting out of the pool unassisted will also be a challenge for these dogs. The Alcott Inflatable Pool is a great choice for dogs with mobility issues.
Unfortunately, this pool is only durable enough for light use. It isn’t likely to last you more than one summer, as it’s particularly prone to tearing and popping. As such, you should avoid this pool if you have a high energy dog or a large dog, as it probably won’t survive the wear they put it through.
Besides a comfortable bench, this pool has a drain and two built-in cup holders. Plus, you get a handy repair patch.
- Spacious, ideal for all the family
- Built-in padded bench with backrest
- Transparent sides
- Cup holders, drain and repair patch
- Cup holders, drain and repair patch
- High sides
10. Best Accessibility: Alcott Inflatable Pool
Why we like it: Due to its dipped sides, this pool has fantastic accessibility, making it ideal for a dog with mobility issues.
- Type: Inflatable
- Material: PVC
- Size: 48 inches
Does your dog have a physical ailment? If so, this pool could be the perfect option for
you: its low dipped sides let your dog enter and exit effortlessly. Plus, as it’s inflatable, it is soft and has no hard edges, meaning your dog won’t get hurt if they stumble when trying to get into the pool.
The Alcott Inflatable Pool’s design is eye-catching and fun: it pictures a smiling dog on its base and has stylized waves around the sides.
While easy to store (compact when deflated and folded up), it can be a hassle to clean, as the way the sides are shaped allows dirt to get trapped easily. If you want an easy to clean pool, we recommend the Dione Lane Dog Pool.
Be aware that because of its dipped sides, it’s not able to hold much water. If you own a fairly large dog, this pool probably won’t be deep enough to effectively cool them down. The Intex Rectangular Frame Pool will definitely let a large dog cool off with ease.
Although it has some puncture-resistance, overall, this pool has poor durability – a chewer, digger or energetic pup will likely pop it.
This pool has a drain at the bottom, allowing you to easily empty it before deflating. A repair kit is also included.
- Ideal for dogs with mobility issues
- Stylish design
- Drain and repair kit
- Easy to store
- Poor durability
- Difficult to clean
- Can’t hold much water
Guide to Buying the Best Dog Pool
What is the best dog pool for your pooch? There isn’t a quick and easy answer to this; every dog is different, and every dog has different needs. But don’t worry, in this in-depth guide, we’ll be helping you figure out the answer. We’ll also be covering pool safety, pool cleanliness, and how to encourage your four-legged friend to use their new pool.
Benefits of a Dog Pool
A dog pool has plenty of benefits, besides keeping your dog cool (and safe) under the summer sun.
Helps Them Stay Active
When it’s hot outside, it can be hard for your dog to get as much exercise as they need – the blistering heat can put them off walking and playing, and even if they want to, you’ll doubtlessly have to step in and limit the amount they do. After all, the more your dog exercises in hot weather, the more likely they are to overheat.
However, giving your dog a pool to splash, play and swim in is sure to help them stay active throughout the summer, as it not only encourages them to exercise (heat won’t be as bothersome), it also ensures they’re able to exercise safely (drastically lessens the chance of overheating).
Relieves Joint Pain
A pool can be immensely beneficial in helping a dog with mobility issues keep fit. This is because swimming lets dogs work out their bodies with reduced strain on their joints, ultimately enabling them to exercise painlessly and for longer durations with ease.
A dog pool provides you and your pup with another way to spend time together. Plenty of pools, like the Intex Inflatable Lounge Pool, accommodate both humans and dogs, so you’ll easily be able to join them and play with them. The more time you spend with your dog, the stronger your bond will be, and the more memories you’ll both have to treasure.
Reduces Behavioral Problems
As we’ve mentioned above, a pool allows your dog to exercise easily, and it gives an opportunity for bonding time and play. All of this helps to fulfill your dog’s core needs. If your dog’s needs are met, they’re less likely to exhibit unwanted behaviors, like persistent barking, digging and chewing.
Sure – a dog pool’s main function is to be a space for swimming and splashing about, but you can also turn it into an ideal bathing station, a fun ball pit or a whelping box. You can even use it as a handy storage space for all their toys.
What Dog Pool Is Right for Your Dog?
There are a few other factors you need to take into account when purchasing a dog pool, including your home environment, your dog’s energy level, and how often they’ll be using it.
Before you buy a dog pool, you need to consider how much space you actually have. A small yard won’t be able to accommodate a large pool, and even if it does manage to just about fit, it will prevent you from using the yard as, well, a yard!
If you don’t have much storage space inside your home, it’s not a good idea to go for a bulky pool, or a pool that can’t be folded up – you’ll be stuck with a permanent, outdoor decoration that isn’t exactly attractive to look at.
The Jasonwell Dog Pool is a solid foldable pool that can be easily stored.
Unsurprisingly, an energetic dog is going to put the pool through more wear and tear than a low-energy dog. If you own a high-energy dog, you’ll need to make sure you buy an exceptionally durable pool. A high-energy pooch will also benefit from a pool that has a non-slip surface (like the Pecute Dog Pool), as they’ll likely be bouncing in and out of the water.
If you own a small breed like a Chihuahua, you’ll need to ensure the pool isn’t too deep and its sides aren’t too tall. On the other hand, if you own a giant breed, a small pool certainly won’t keep them cool – for them, it’ll be like standing in a puddle. They’ll need a pool with a much greater depth, such as the Intex Rectangular Frame Pool.
Be aware that while some dogs are natural-born swimmers, others find it almost impossible to swim. This is particularly true of brachycephalic breeds, as due to their physical anatomy, they’re unable to keep their body afloat properly. If your dog’s not able to swim, stick to a shallow pool, or go for a splash pad like the Zen Laboratory Splash Pad.
Risk of Overheating
Dogs, in general, are more prone to overheating than humans, but some dogs are extremely prone to overheating, such as brachycephalic dogs, thick-coated dogs and puppies. If this is the case for your dog, it’s a good idea to purchase a pool that offers constant shade, such as the Step2 Play & Shade Pool.
Of course, even if your dog is not extremely prone to overheating, you should still be keeping the pool shaded as much and as often as possible, or at least have a shaded area for your pup when they’re outside. If you’re unfortunate enough not to have a shaded area in your yard, we recommend purchasing a shade sail.
For most dogs, seeing their new pool for the first time is an exciting moment, but for others, it can be startling (scary, even) – they’ll be wondering what on earth is this strange thing that has taken up residence in the yard. If your dog is fairly anxious, it’s best to stick to a small pool as it’ll be less overwhelming than a large pool.
That said, we do explain how to get your dog used to a new pool a little further down.
Some dogs just can’t help but see the world around them as their chew toy. If your dog is a chewer, you’ll need to invest in a highly durable pool, like the ODOB Bone Pool. This is also true for dogs that love to dig, as their nails will easily pierce through a weak material.
Be aware that a dog’s nails should always be well-trimmed before they use a pool, even if they’re not a digger. This will reduce the chance of scratches and tears.
Will Your Dog Be Using It Daily?
If you’re planning to use the pool every day during the summer, you’ll need a pool that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. On the other hand, if you know you’ll only be using the dog pool on the odd occasion, you probably won’t need to fork out for a pool with exceptionally high durability. A cheaper, slightly less durable pool, such as the Dione Lane Dog Pool, or an inflatable type, will likely suffice.
Dog Pool Safety
We’ve covered pool safety throughout this guide, but here are a few more safety tips to be aware of before you set up your new dog pool:
- Make sure your dog always has access to clean, cold water. We recommend buying a freezable water bowl that will keep their water cool for hours. You could even buy a dog water fountain that will ensure their water is topped up throughout the day.
- No matter how good a swimmer your dog is, you always need to supervise them when they’re in the pool, just like you would with a child.
- Are you planning to teach your dog how to swim? Check out PetMD’s swim training guide.
- If you’re considering purchasing a deep pool, invest in a dog life jacket and take the time to learn how to perform pet CPR.
- Sure, dogs have thick coats, but they can still get sunburned just like us! You can prevent your dog from getting burned with dog sunscreen lotion and also by placing the pool in a shaded area.
- Remember to clean your dog’s ears after they’ve used their pool; excess moisture in the ear canal can lead to an ear infection. Don’t own a dog ear cleaner? Don’t worry – you can check out the top ten dog ear cleaners here.
- If your dog has a physical ailment, purchase a dog pool that will let them easily get in and out of the pool, like the Alcott Inflatable Pool. Of course, you can also invest in a ramp.
- Own multiple dogs? They’ll likely want to play in the pool together, so you’ll need to invest in a wide pool; a pool too small could result in them bashing, bumping and shoving one another while playing.
How to Keep Your Dog Pool Clean
It’s important you regularly clean the pool and replace the water – dirty water is a breeding ground for bacteria and algae, both of which can cause serious harm to your dog. After you’ve finished using the pool for the day, follow these simple cleaning steps:
- Drain out the pool and rinse it down with fresh water, making sure to clear away any debris or fur. Check there’s no debris trapped in the drain and inspect for potential tears.
- Using a soft cloth or sponge, wipe the pool down with a cleaning solution.
- Rinse again, then dry with a new cloth.
- Leave the pool out to fully dry under the sun. If possible, turn it upside down while it’s drying. Doing so will allow remaining moisture to drip down into the grass, and it’ll also prevent falling leaves from ending up inside it.
If you don’t have the time to change the water daily, it’s a good idea to add a small amount of chlorine to the pool. The chlorine will keep bacteria and algae growth at bay.
Is Chlorine Safe?
It is safe for your dog to swim in chlorinated water – just make sure you’re using the correct amount, and rinse your dog with non-chlorinated water afterward.
You may be concerned about your dog drinking chlorinated water and if this will have any ill-effects. But don’t worry, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that it’s safe for your dog to drink chlorinated water if the chlorine in the pool is at the recommended level (1 – 3 milligrams per liter). That said, drinking chlorinated water in excess can give your dog an upset stomach, so it’s always best to discourage them from drinking it.
Be aware that if you’re using chlorine, you should keep the pool out of direct sunlight. The sun (and heat) can drastically reduce the effectiveness of chlorine.
How to Encourage Your Dog to Use Their Pool
Not all dogs are going to dive into the pool as soon as they lay their eyes on it. If your dog is reluctant to dip into their new pool, you should try the steps below:
You first need to get your dog used to the pool. Instead of adding water to it straight away, throw a waterproof toy into the pool, and encourage your dog to play with it. If your dog is hesitant, lure them toward the pool with their favorite treats, and then praise them and give them a treat when they step into the pool.
Repeat this process, but add water and increase the water level each time. Your pooch will soon associate the pool with a rewarding experience, and they’ll start to see it as a fun space rather than something to be afraid of.
If the above does not work, you should speak to your veterinarian for further guidance. Keep in mind you should never physically force your dog into the pool or shout at them – this will just strengthen their fear and likely damage the relationship you both share.
The Final Dive
When it’s sweltering outside, your four-legged friend will truly appreciate having their own pool to cool off in.
Knowing which dog pool is best for you and your pup can be quite a challenge. However, checking out our top picks while considering the factors we discuss in our guide – such as your dog’s temperament, breed and energy level – is sure to help you make an informed decision when picking a dog pool for your beloved companion. Plus, familiarizing yourself with pool safety will ensure your pooch can make a splash without any risk to their well-being. Now, go and have some aquatic fun!