Some dogs love to swim, others do not. But if you have a retriever, Labrador, or any other “water breed”, you know how much your dog loves water. The problem is, there are not many public pools that welcome dogs. And driving to the local lake or beach is not an everyday option for most people.
The good news is that the solution is rather simple, buy the best dog pools for swimming activities.
There are many manufacturers nowadays that produce pools designed specifically for dogs. This makes easy for owners to provide water activities for their pets.
And if you like, you can even create your DIY dog pool by repurposing products. With that in mind, let’s talk about the benefits, types of dog pools, and how to use them properly.
Benefits of best dog pools
Some owners would rather keep their pet dry. But the benefits of using a pool for energy draining activities far outweigh the struggle of keeping your pet dry afterward. There are many benefits of water-time.
Here are some of them.
- Many dogs enjoy pool activities, and a happy pet is a well-behaved pet. Every dog owner knows how important it is to put a smile on his dog’s face. And being that the activity is not dangerous or destructive, you should let him
- Additionally, water play is mentally stimulating. Truth be told, there are many physical activities that can drain your pet’s physical energy. But there are not many mentally-stimulating, and toys do not cut it in some cases. Pool time provides unusual stimuli, which will keep your dog’s brain busy and active
- And speaking of physical exercise, swimming is a great one. Your dog will drain his energy rather fast, as swimming is high intensity and low impact activity
- In the summer, water provides relief from the high temperatures. Most dogs get hot in the summer, and they want to cool off every now and then. The pool gives them an opportunity for a quick dip. And their wet fur will keep the dog cool for a longer period
- Breeds that shed and drool a lot will be able to do that in the water, and wash off the saliva. Basically, pools are a great alternative for bath time, and keeps the excess hair in the water, rather than on your floors
Different dog pool designs
There are different designs for a dog pool. They can be made of a variety of materials, in different shapes, and different capacity. But generally speaking, there are three types of dog pools.
These are the lightest and most portable pools on the market. If you are often on the go, the inflatable pool is perfect. Even if you buy a large model, they fold up quickly and compactly and weigh next to nothing once deflated.
The downside is that inflatable pools are made with a relatively strong plastic. And while the material is strong, some dogs can still puncture them quite easily. Yes, they can be patched, but it becomes a boring task if it happens often.
Another downside is the design itself. It gets boring and tiring to inflate large pools with your own lungs. Make sure the pool can be inflated with a pump.
This is another easily stored design. Folding pools are portable, and unlike inflatable pools, they are made from semi-rigid panels. When the pool is empty, it can fold inward, allowing you to pack it up. When you fill with water, the water pushes the walls out, and the pool keeps its shape.
Folding pools are more durable, and not as vulnerable to dog’s claws. They also come with drains in the side wall, allowing you to empty the pool when playtime is over.
These are very similar to the kiddie pools that your kids use. They can be made from very strong plastic, and they are the most durable option. They can stand up to nearly anything your dog can try. Rigid pools are a great option for larger rough and tough dogs.
The only downside is that rigid pools take up the same amount of room, and are difficult to transport and store.
What about pool toys?
No matter which design you choose, adding some dog toys in the pool is a great idea. There are many options available on the market, but you can start with fun and simple dog squeak chew toy balls made with floatable and durable rubber.
And as your dog learns to play more and more, go for interactive toys. Fountains, sprayers, and similar accessories can keep your pet active during pool time.
What to look for in best dog pools?
Like any other product you buy for your dog, it seems simple at first glance. But the reality is that it is not that simple. There are some factors you have to consider.
Here are those:
- Capacity, making sure how much water the pool can hold. Some pools do not look big, but they hold more water than large pools
- Dimensions, always measure the pool, and your dog to see if your pet fits inside. You do not want a pool your dog can barely deep their head in
- Material, one of the most important aspects. Best pools are made of tough, and high-quality materials
How to use a dog swimming pool
Before letting your dog swim, you should take some precautions. During the cold weather, cover it up or drain it, so that your pet doesn’t catch a chill.
Generally speaking, you have to keep the pool fairly clean. The build-up of bacteria can cause illnesses in your dog, even during warmer weather. Inspect the pool every few days to see if it smells weird, or there are stuff growing in the water. Change the water if that is happening.
Watch your dog while he is using the pool. The unsupervised activity can lead to problems.
Top 9 best dog pools
1. Frontpet Foldable Dog Pool
This is one of the best and simplest to use dog pools on the market. Portable, and very easy to set up, the pool provides you with a great way to let your dog go for a swim. Designed to last for a long time, the pool comes in two different sizes. The small one has a diameter of 32 inches and is 8 inches deep, while the large one has dimensions 50 x 12 inches.
Constructed from extra-tough PVC material, all you have to do is fill with water and open the sealed drain to empty before storage or transportation. You also get a storage bag to keep the pool while not in use.
2. ALL FOR PAWS Outdoor Bathing Dog Pool Portable Pet Bath Tub Blue
The appearance of this pool makes it look like sea water. If you want a touch of cuteness, this pool delivers. Overall, it is also a great pool, available in two sizes. The large one has a diameter of 63 inches, and can hold up to 140 gallons of water. Even large dog breeds will have enough room to play and swim.
Made of high-quality PVC material, it is designed for long-lasting use and to be durable. One of the best features of the pool is the anti-slip bottom, making sure your canine will not slip when jumping in the pool. And that feature makes it perfect for older and arthritic dogs as well.
Comes with a convenient drain sprout, and you can also attach a hose to the sprout to use it for diverting water to lawns, or any plants you want to water. The biggest downside is that the material can be chewed through.
3. KOPEKS Outdoor Swimming Pool Bathing Tub
Designed primarily for smaller dogs, you can somehow feet medium breeds as well. The diameter is 32 inches, and the depth is 8 inches. And if you are a proud owner of a small dog, and you do not want to spend a lot on a pool, this option might be the best for you. With a price tag of just under $30, it is one of the cheapest quality pools available on the market.
And even for a low price, you get a pool that is collapsible and made from industrial-strength PVC material. To empty the pool, you can use the easy twist-off drain cap. Comes with a plastic carry case for storing.
4. Rubbermaid Structural Foam 50-Gallon Stock Tank
This was originally designed to serve as a water reservoir for horses and cattle. But who says you cannot repurpose it? You can make it a great swimming pool toy for your dog. Because it is super durable and fits up to 300 gallons of water, you can use even for a larger dog.
There are actually five sizes to fit all your needs, from 50 gallons to up to 300 gallons. Made in the USA, the textured surface provides dogs with a good grip to prevent slips and falls. One drawback is you have to purchase drain sprouts for emptying the tank.
5. PetEdge Guardian Gear Splash About Dog Pool
Another folding option, the PetEdge Guardian dog pool comes in three different sizes. The smallest holds up to 20 gallons of water, while the largest holds up to 120 gallons of water. Depending on the size of your dog, you can easily find one that suits your needs.
Side panels are made entirely of PVC material, making them waterproof and tougher than some other foldable options. The bottom is made of thick plastic. Comes with a drain, making it convenient to get water out. However, you cannot attach a hose directly to it.
6. Large Apple Pool-Blue
If you want a cute, adorable, and fun pool for your small dog, the Apple pool is lightweight and perfect. The only downside is that you can use it only for smaller dogs and puppies. Originally, the product was designed for small children. But you can also use it as a pool for dogs.
Shaped like an apple, it can hold up to 22 gallons of water. Made from strong and durable plastic, it can withstand nails and a bit of chewing. Bonus: the price is very low, making it a good investment.
7. One Dog One Bone Bone-Shaped Pool
A rigid and durable pool, the one dog bone-shaped pool is built to last. The pool is UV and chew resistant, and made from the same type of plastic used to line truck beds.
Size is 66 x 44 x 11 inches and can hold up to 86 gallons of water. That gives small and medium-sized dogs enough room to play and swim. One advantage over similar types of pools is weight. Weighing just 21 pounds, it is classified as lightweight, and easy to move around.
8. Petsfit 41" Foldable and Portable Pet Swimming Pool
If you want a pop-up pool, Petsfit delivers one. Marketed as easy to set up and durable to withstand a rambunctious play, the pool is 12 inches deep and 41 inches across.
That makes it great for medium sized dogs and small dogs. While large dogs can fit in for cooling, they cannot splash around or play. The pool has segmented sides that pop into place, no air needed, and the inside is lined with heavy plastic to prevent any nail punctures.
The downside of the design is there is no drain. You have to tip it over to empty out the water.
9. Alcott Mariner Inflatable Pool
This is the only inflatable pool on our list of best dog pools. If you prioritize portability, the inflatable pool is the best option. Spacious when inflated, weighs only 4 pounds when deflated.
The scalloped pool edge provides easy entry and exit for your dog. Comes with a repair kit for patching small punctures and rips. There is also a drain plug for emptying the pool quickly and easily.