When the weather gets hot in the summer and you own one or more dogs, you likely have considered getting a dog proof paddling pool for your pet.
What is a dog proof padding pool? It’s a pool where your dog’s playful behavior or claws won’t damage the pool. And here are the best dog proof paddling pools on the market:
- Alcott Mariner Inflatable Pool
- Jasonwell Foldable Dog Bath Pool
- Cool Pup Splash About Pool.
This buying guide for a dog proof paddling pool shares several options for medium-size and large-size dogs. Any of the solutions we recommend will work as long as your dog can fit inside the pool (and you can afford it). We also go further than just dog proof paddling pools. We’ll show you some of the best ways to cool down your dog in the heat of summer.
Alcott Mariner Inflatable Pool (Deepest)
Since the Alcott Mariner is an inflatable dog pool, there are two benefits automatically built into it:
- When deflated, you can take it anywhere. It’s a portable swimming pool for dogs.
- Your dog doesn’t need a special method – like a ramp – to get into the pool. He can simply push a side down or in to make a pathway to the inside (or outside). Of course, if you have a more acrobatic dog, he may just leap over the side!
When you’re looking to buy a swimming pool for dogs such as this inflatable model, you need to make sure the material that it’s made of is strong and durable. The Alcott is made from thick, flexible PVC fabric, so it’s designed to withstand your pup’s claws.
With a height of 16 inches, this is the deepest pool we’ll look at in this article. (Others are commonly about 12 inches deep.) The diameter of the Mariner is 48 inches, so if your dog is shorter than that, he’ll fit in just fine.
The Alcott Mariner has a plug for quick draining. You don’t have to worry about trying to lift all that water to dump it over the edge. Just open the plug and let it run out.
How Do You Inflate The Mariner?
Just as with any inflatable kiddie pool, this one has layers that you need to blow air into. You could simply use your mouth to add the air, but that would take a long time and probably wear you out.
A better solution would be to use a mechanical air pump, like a bicycle pump, to inflate each layer. You might want to get the type that uses a foot pump. A motorized pump is probably overkill, unless you already own one.
Be sure you get a pump whose nozzle fits the opening in the pool. Also, be careful not to overinflate any section as you are taking a risk of popping it. Just add air until a ring feels solid.
If your pool should get punctured, Alcott does provide a piece of patching material for covering the hole. When the damaged area is dry, just apply the patch which should hold in the air just as well as the original PVC material.
What Size Dogs Can Use the Mariner?
Based on other reviews we’ve found, one large dog can comfortably fit into the Alcott Mariner. Other owners suggested these weights and breeds of dogs work well as a guide.
- 120-pound Labrador
- Golden Retriever
- Goldendoodles over 75 pounds
- 20-pound Sproodle
- German Shepherd
- 48-pound Husky.
As you can see, that’s quite a wide range of breeds and sizes, so it’s quite likely that your dog will be able to enjoy the Mariner too.
What Does the Alcott Warranty Cover?
Here is the information about the guarantee/warranty that we found at the Alcott website. I’ve paraphrased it:
Alcott guarantees all of our adventure gear against defects in both construction and material. This warranty does not cover the wear and tear caused by your adventures over time, damage caused by your dog or another dog (like chewing), cuts or tears, or issues caused by improper use/sizing. If you have modified or altered the product in any way from its original design, that is also not covered by our gear guarantee.
Alcott seems quite willing to replace items or give you credit for future purchases as needed. As long as you’re honest and reasonable with them, they will treat you well too.
Jasonwell Foldable Dog Bath Pool
Jasonwell makes several models that you and your pet may find useful. A few of them qualify as a swimming pool for large dogs. These foldable pools come in these five sizes.
|Small (S)||32″ x 8″|
|Medium (M)||39.5″ x 12″|
|Large (L)||48″ x 12″|
|Extra Large (XL)||55.1″ x 12″|
|Extra, Extra Large (XXL)||63″ x 12″|
If you have a large dog, depending on his exact measurements, you probably can go with the Medium, the Large, or the Extra Large model. We recommend the Small version only for small dogs and the XXL size for multiple pets (or children)…or maybe small horses?
The Jasonwell is foldable, like the Alcott, so it’s portable, but you don’t have to inflate and deflate this one. You just drain the water out the bottom, side drain and fold it up. The sides are thick, high-density fiberboard which helps prevent mildew from growing on damp surfaces.
The flexible material here is also PVC, but the bottom of the pool is thicker and made slip-resistant. If your dog gets very excitable around the pool, a slip-resistant pool bottom is much safer.
Cool Pup Splash About Pool
The Cool Pup Pool is another one that you can get in various sizes. Here we recommend the medium size for all but the smallest dogs. For comparison, here are the specs of each.
|Size||Depth (in.)||Height (in.)||Capacity (gal.)|
This pool is also made of PVC, but we couldn’t see that the bottom portion is any thicker than the rest. It has a collapsible design that is both good and bad. It’s easy to fold and store (or transport). It doesn’t take up much space when folded. However, it won’t stand up without water inside.
If you need to scrub the surfaces, it’s tough to get at all the surfaces because it wants to flop down towards the center.
When it comes time to drain it via the plug, you probably won’t be able to remove all the water automatically because the drain opening is too high. If you lift the opposite “end” of the pool, you should be able to get most of the remaining water to leave through the plug area.
How To Introduce Your Dog to Using a Pool
Not every dog will “get” how to use a pool from the start. You may have to introduce the concept to your pet slowly, especially if he hasn’t been in a pool, pond, or lake before.
Get the pool ready (assembled) BUT without any water in it.
Toss in one of his favorite toys so he will get into the pool and out again safely – and obviously without getting wet.
After a few rounds of “toss the toy into the dry pool”, add just a little water and try the toy lure again. Let him literally get his feet wet.
Assuming that goes well, either later the same day or perhaps waiting until the next day, go through the process again but with more water – maybe half full this time.
If your dog is still enjoying himself, fill the pool with as much water as you normally would. Your dog likely won’t be afraid to “dive” in and have a cool time.
Ramp It Up: Share Your Pool with Your Dog
If your family likes to take a dip in the pool, you might consider sharing your fun with your pet, as opposed to having a pool dedicated to each species.
One potential problem with this is that your human-sized (above ground) pool might be too high for your pet to safely get into.
That’s when you should consider adding a ramp or stairway for easier access. One ramp that should work well is the PetSTEP Folding Pet Ramp.
This ramp features a non-slip, rubberized surface that isn’t supposed to rust or corrode. Some owners who keep it in their below ground pool all the time say that it can rust through. If you dry it off after use, this shouldn’t be a problem.
The ramp folds in half easily so you can store it in a small space when not in use.
While the PetSTEP isn’t marketed as a pool ramp, if your pool can handle the way it attaches to a wall, you should be able to use it for your pet, as long as he weighs less than 500 pounds. A side benefit is that you can also use it as advertised to help your dog get into and out of high vehicles.
If this ramp doesn’t match your circumstances, there are other options that you can research. We just wanted to put the idea into your head here, in case you were worried about pool height being a problem.
Must Have Water Accessories For Doggie Fashionistas
If you want your dog to look super cool in the pool lake or river and have the best fun ever, then take a look at these great water accessories for your dog.
Imagine if your dog could own their very own raft to float elegantly on a pool observing their humans. The best float/raft we found was the Kelsyus Floating Hammock. It works really well for any pet (or person, for that matter) who weighs 250 pounds or less.
You can use this float on any stable body of water, whether a pool, a pond, or a smaller lake.
Since the raft has clips on the side, you can tether it and not have to worry about your dog drifting away into deeper water than you want him to be in. You might also be able to tow him with your boat or make a chain or ring of them for a floating party.
The main section on which your dog lies is made of mesh. It will sink just below the surface of the water to keep your pet cool and comfy without actually getting him soaking wet.
An innerspring around the edge helps make this one of the most stable floats available. You almost have to work at it to make this one flip over and spill your dog into the water. The stability also helps a lot when getting onto or getting off of the float.
Overall, the Kelsyus Hammock measures 69 x 35 inches at its longest and widest points. It is 5.5 inches high (or deep). Thus, along with the weight limit mentioned above, it should be able to carry virtually any dog who wants to try it.
You get a carry bag for easy portability after deflating it, so you can take it along on those trips to the lake.
Fun Floating Toys for Your Dog
There are dozens (at least) of toys that will float on the water that your dog would enjoy playing with. Many of them are designed to appeal just as much, if not more, to their human owners though.
We’ll suggest a couple here that should work really well for a dog in the water who has to rely on using his mouth – as opposed to his paws – to do anything meaningful with the toy.
Jolly Pets Romp ‘n Roll Ball
The Jolly Pets Romp ‘n Roll Ball is a sphere with a rope extending from opposite poles.
It comes in three sizes intended to match the size of your dog.
- The largest, with a diameter of 8 inches, is made for dogs weighing 60 pounds or more
- The medium size at 6 inches should work best with dogs weighing 20 to 60 pounds
- The 4.5-inch ball is for smaller dogs.
You can get any of these varieties in red, blue or purple.
The rope itself, which you use to toss it for your dog and which he will you to grab it, is multicolored with flecks of green in all models.
Loopies water toy
Another toy that’s easy to grab and to chomp is the Loopies water toy. It was originally designed for children to play with (and they certainly still can), but someone – more likely some dog – discovered somewhere along the way that pets can have a blast with it too.
You’ll almost immediately think of a pretzel when you first see one. It is, as the name suggests, simply made of loops linked together.
If you look around, you’ll find that it comes in various colors and in two sizes. Any color and size combination should work well for your dog.
The bright colors make it easy to spot, even if your pet partially buries it in the sand or the dirt.
The best side benefit of a Loopies toy is that, when it’s it your dog’s mouth while he’s in the water, it will help keep his head above the waves. It’s one of those little things that adds to the safety of your pet when in contact with the water.
And speaking of safety….
Pool Alarms Add the Ultimate in Water Safety
There are a number of different styles of alarms you can get for the safety of your pet. Each has a different method and mechanism for determining when your dog is in danger relative to the water.
For example, the Safety Turtle 2.0 Pet Alarm Kit consists of a “Turtle” that you attach to your pet’s collar, a base alarm (that sounds like a smoke detector), and a USB cord/wall adapter. You can use one base with multiple collar attachments.
When the Turtle gets wet, the alarm sounds, and you can help your pet out of the water before any harm is done.
There can be false alarms from various sources, but this is a case of better to be safe than sorry.
Note: You can also get a Safety Turtle for children that is different from the model made for pets. Be sure to get the correct one for your needs.
If you’re concerned that the Turtle might be too much hassle, then consider the Pool Patrol PA-30 Alarm. It doesn’t come as highly rated as the Safety Turtle though. You can check out the current price and all the customer reviews on Amazon.com.
Unlike some alarms which you attach to the side of your pool, this one floats on the water, so it doesn’t matter what type of pool you have.
This round, blue device is about the size of a dinner plate. The whole thing is made of plastic, so you don’t have to worry about corrosion from being exposed to water.
There is a receiver that you can install up to 200 feet (over 65 yards) away from the device in the pool. With proper positioning then, you should be able to hear the alarm sound from inside your house.
The Pool Patrol will work in pools as large as 20 by 40 feet, so it can easily handle anything from a paddling pool to the average-sized above the ground swimming pool and more.
Using the Pool Patrol is easy. To make adjustments, you twist the top (relative to the bottom) to the left or right to lessen or increase sensitivity. If you’re getting too many false alarms, reduce the sensitivity until you only get valid alerts. After a few tests, you should be set for the season.
To completely turn the alarm off, you twist the base to the left until it stops making noise. Of course, you would only do this when the alarm is not in use at all.
The Pool Patrol needs one 9-volt battery. You install it in the bottom of the device. A single, new battery should last about a year, so you should be set for a full season of pool fun.
Best Practices for Caring for Your Pool
Separate dog pool
If you decided to buy separate dog pool, you should drain the water when you know it won’t be used for an extended period of time. Standing water will become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Scrub your pool with a mild cleanser if it becomes dirty, which it likely will since you’re using it with an animal. Try to remove any hair that your pet had shed as well.
When you want to pack it away, be sure that you’ve let it get completely dry first. You don’t want mold or mildew to accumulate in any damp areas before you use it the next time.
Sharing the backyard pool with humans
If you’ve decided it’s OK for your dog to share your own backyard pool, you may be worried how you’re going to keep the pool clean and not clogged up with all that dog hair.
Here’s a couple of maintenance accessories that take care of some of those headaches.
- JED Pool Tools 50-560-16 Telescopic Pole for skimming dog hair
- Hayward EC50AC Perflex Extended-Cycle D.E. filter.
Have Fun with Your Pet in the Pool
No matter which brand of pool you decide is best for you and your pet, whether from Alcott, Jasonwell, Cool Pup, backyard pool or whatever, do all you can to make your pool time a joy and not a chore with your dog.
Help your dog get used to the water little by little if he’s not a go-getter. Give him a ramp or a ladder to get in and out if he’s not a jumper.
In a larger pool, provide a float or a raft for lazing around on the surface, especially if he doesn’t enjoy swimming all that much.
Toys are fun for your dog to chase whether in or out of the water, so consider getting one or more that will float.
An alarm might seem expensive at first, but consider the life it may save. It’s not really that costly then, is it?
Keep it all clean and dry so your pool investment will last for a good long time.
If that seems like a lot of work, keep in mind that much of it involves one-time tasks. When those are done, it’s time for the fun to begin!