What Is The Best Swimming Pool for Small Dogs (Keeping Fido Cool)

You’re not the only one who gets hot and sweaty in the summer heat. Your little dog does too. So why not treat your dog to a swimming pool all their own to cool down in the scorching heat? It’s not particularly hard to find a swimming pool for small dogs. In fact, you might discover too many from which to choose.

What is the best swimming pool for small dogs? My 4 top recommendations based on different styles are:

  1. Alcott Mariner: inflatable kiddie-pool style
  2. Jasonwell: best foldable and portable-style
  3. Rubbermaid: best tank or tub-style
  4. Your own above or in-ground pool in your yard.

Since we’re looking at pools for small dogs here, you’ll want to make sure the one you get is the right size. There are many pools out there that would be far too big for your little pup. As you’ll soon see, that’s one of the foremost considerations we had in mind when selecting these pools.

If You’re In A Hurry, We Got You Covered!

If you don’t have time to read our article on the best swimming pool for dogs that are small, just eyeball the table below to view our recommendations.

Category (all for small dogs)#Make and Model
Best inflatable (kiddie-pool style) swimming pool 1Alcott Mariner
Best foldable (collapsible) swimming pool1Jasonwell Dog Bath Pool

2KOPEKS Outdoor Swimming Pool Bathing Tub

3Cool Pup Splash About Pool
Best one piece pool (tank or tub style)
1Rubbermaid Commercial Structural Foam Stock Tank

2Behrens 3-OV 16-Gallon Oval Steel Tub

We’ve done the “leg work” for you and researched what’s available. You can rely on the information we’ve gathered to make your pick from relatively few options – hopefully the best swimming pool for your dog in your situation.

Swimming pools for dogs are made of various materials. We’ll look at each of the major types and let you know whether it’s suitable for your small pet.

Alcott Mariner: The Best Inflatable Swimming Pool for Small Dogs

Several pools in this article are technically inflatable, but we put them in a different category (foldable) because of the way the sides are constructed.

For our purposes, to qualify for the inflatable category, the sides don’t collapse, they are more tube-like, as in a kiddie pool for children.

The pool at the top of this inflatable class then is the Alcott Mariner Inflatable Pool.

This is the deepest pool we recommend in this article. It is 16 inches in height. Normally we would say this is too high for a small dog. That’s because we prefer pools that are just 8 inches high. However, we like the Alcott even for small dogs because it’s easy to get into and is made of sturdy material.

You shouldn’t fill the Mariner as full as possible. This is because your dog is just a little guy. Just a few inches of water will be fine. This should make it possible for your little guy to push the sides as needed to get into the pool without losing much water in the process.

Depending on his jumping abilities, he may need some assistance getting out later though.

The Alcott Mariner pool is made of flexible PVC fabric which is designed to hold up against puppy claws. Though punctures can still occur, this is one of the most poke-resistant pools available. You do get a piece of repair material with your pool purchase.

Inflating the pool is fairly straightforward. You need to blow air into each ring of the wall. (Perhaps you could experiment with not inflating the top ring.) A pump of some sort would be handy here but not absolutely necessary.

When you’re done using the pool, you can drain it via a plug that you can on the side. When it’s dry, you can easily fold it up and store it or carry it anywhere.

Here is the information about the guarantee/warranty that we found at the Alcott website:

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.

Foldable Swimming Pool Recommended Models

Jasonwell Dog Bath Pool: Best Foldable Swimming Pool for Small Dogs

The Jasonwell Foldable Dog Bath Pool is the one we liked best of the foldable options for best swimming pool for small dogs.

It comes in several sizes. We recommend the small size – 32 inches in diameter by 8 inches in height – for a small dog.

The sides of this pool, made of thick, high-density fiberboard, are foldable (collapsible).

What we especially like about the flexible PVC, is that the bottom of the pool is thick and made slip-resistant. If your dog does jump in, there’s less chance of his slipping and injuring himself. And that’s a good thing!

KOPEKS and Cool Pup Foldable Options

Jasonwell isn’t the only brand in the foldable pools space. Both KOPEKS and Cool Pup have their advantages, so we’ll mention them briefly here in case you think the Jasonwell doesn’t fit your situation.

Either of the pools described below is a fine choice for a small dog. We simply preferred the Jasonwell for the reasons provided.

KOPEKS Outdoor Swimming Pool Bathing Tub

The KOPEKS Bathing Tub is easy to set up.

Its small size, which is the same as the Jasonwell at 32” by 8”, is perfect for little dogs or puppies.

This pool has segmented sides so you can fold it up when it’s not in use. this makes it easy to store away when not in use. You get a plastic carrying case that makes for easy storage once the pool is dry.

It’s made from durable, industrial-strength PVC (again, like the Jasonwell), but we couldn’t see that the bottom of the pool is anything special.

There’s a twist-off drain cap to empty the pool when play time is done.


Cool Pup Splash About Pool

The Cool Pup pool is another one that you can get in multiple sizes. Once again we recommend the small size for small dogs. Here are the specifications for each size.

SizeDepth (in.)Height (in.)Capacity (gal.)
Small31.5819.75
Medium471267
Large6312119.25

The Cool Pup pool is made of PVC like the others, but the Jasonwell still has this one beat regarding this feature.


There are pros and cons to the collapsible design. You can easily fold and store (or transport) it, but it won’t stand up without water inside. When it comes time to clean the pool, it’s hard to get at all the surfaces because the sides tend to flop down.

Recommended Choices For the Tank/Tub-Style Pool

The main downside to the more rigid tank or tub-style pools is storage. You could hook it up in your laundry or garage.

The tank or tub style swimming pool is more versatile as it could double up as a doggie bath!

Rubbermaid Commercial Structural Foam Stock Tank: Best One Piece Pool for Small Dogs

Firstly, let me explain what I mean by “one-piece”. It just comes as is. it doesn’t collapse or fold away.

There are several pros and cons to choosing a one-piece pool for your dog.

One of the best reasons we picked this as an option for the best swimming pool for small dogs is that there’s no setup or assembly. Apart from the occasional washing or rinsing, there is virtually no maintenance.

You might be able to use this tank indoors.

Outdoor use allows an option you wouldn’t even think about with inflatable and foldable pools. If you’re adventurous enough, you could turn this 50-gallon Rubbermaid model into an in-ground pool.

The 50-gallon model is the smallest that Rubbermaid offers. It measures just over 51 inches long by 31 inches wide and is 12 inches deep. Since it’s a foot deep, you won’t want to fill it full for your small dog. Also, at this depth and since the sides are rigid, you might consider getting a ramp or small ladder when using it above ground (as you likely will) to help your pet get in and out.
The main downside of this tank is that storage could be a problem. You obviously can’t fold it up at all. You need a large enough space in your garage or basement to keep it when not in use, which will probably be half the year, depending on where you live.

There is an anti-siphon float valve that you’ll need to clean regularly. That small part may take a little extra elbow grease. You should just be able to wipe down the rest of the tank to keep it clean.

Behrens 3-OV 16-Gallon Oval Steel Tub

Going a step beyond the rigid “structural foam” style, we come to a tub made of hot dipped steel with a zinc coating. The Behrens Oval Steel Tub comes in a variety of sizes. The 16-gallon tub should work for most small dogs. It measures 24 inches long by 18 inches wide. The part we like best is that it’s just 8 inches high.

The tub has an “offset” bottom that keeps it off the ground. It has handles, but we don’t recommend using them when it’s full of water.

There’s not much that can damage this tub. It’s rodent-proof, rust-resistant, watertight, fire- and heat-resistant. It won’t crack, peel, or fade. You can peel the branded sticker off the side, if you don’t like the look.

What About Using a Human Pool For Your Small Dog?

If you have an above or in-ground pool in your backyard, this would be an obvious question. And this backyard pool could certainly be best swimming pool for small dogs (and humans).

The biggest concern dog owners have with sharing their human pools with their dogs is about cleaning the pool. So if you are fortunate enough to have your own pool that your dog can share on those hot summer days, here are some cleaning options for you to consider.

Keeping Your Pool Clean

There are several ways to keep your pool clean, some of which we already hinted at. You likely will want to implement all of these methods, especially if you and your dog use the pool a lot.

Pool Poles

A pool pole with a net attached is sometimes called a skimmer. Don’t confuse this with the automated types that are made for large or inground pools.

When looking for the best pool skimmer for dog hair, note that, if you don’t already have a net attachment, be sure that you order one along with the pole. Pool poles don’t automatically come with a net unless you purchase them as a bundle.

Each of the three top poles we’ll discuss here have mixed reviews. In many cases, it seems the negative reviews are due to user error, though in some cases there are manufacturer defects.

If you use the pole properly and don’t get a lemon to start with, any of these poles should work fine. If you have a small pool, you might be most interested in the Swimline model which comes in smaller sizes than most.

JED Pool Tools 50-560-16 Professional Deluxe Anodized Telescopic Pole

The JED Pool Tools Pole extends from the standard 8 feet up to the also standard 16 feet. For a small pool, that may feel like overkill, but it will still work just fine.

Both sections of this 2-piece pole are considered “True Commercial Grade”, though we haven’t found exactly what that means. Essentially, it refers to the 1.24 millimeter thickness of the metal, but we’re not sure what the cutoff is for “commercial grade”.

There are no instructions included but the operation is fairly straightforward. Twist the aluminum pole one direction to lock it in place. Twist it the other direction to loosen it so you can extend or contract it. Be careful not to overtighten or you may damage the system.

JED Pool Tools may offer a warranty, but we were unable to find any.

Swimline 3-Piece Anodized Pool Pole

The Swimline Anodized Pole comes in four lengths.

  • 2.5 feet to 7.5 feet
  • 5 feet to 15 feet
  • 6 feet to 18 feet
  • 7 feet to 21 feet

Especially to accommodate the longer poles, the Swimline is made in three sections. There are thus two locking cams so you can set the length as needed.

Another reason this pole is good for small pools is that it tends to bend and flex. As long as you don’t drag it quickly through the water (as you might do in a large pool), it should not break.

If you purchase a Swimline from a third-party seller (not from Swimline directly), any warranty is dependent upon that seller. When purchased from Swimline, you get a one year warranty.

U.S. Pool Supply Professional Pool Pole

The U.S Pool Supply pole brings us back to the standard 2-piece device that ranges from 8 to 16 feet in length. It is made of high-quality, ribbed aluminum that should make it sturdier than most.

As with all of these poles, you should be able to get any standard attachment (net or otherwise) and snap it onto the end of the pole.

With this model, you get a one-year, 100% satisfaction guarantee. The manufacturer says, “Buy with confidence. If you’re not satisfied with this item at anytime within one year of purchase, we’ll provide a refund or replacement.”

Filters for Small Pools

There are three main types of filters:

  • Diatomaceous earth (DE)
  • Sand, and
  • Cartridge.

Each has its good and bad points. We will concentrate on just one model of DE filter here that we think is the best pool filter for dog hair.

Hayward EC50AC Perflex Extended-Cycle D.E. Filter

If you examine the word “diatomaceous”, you’ll notice the word “diatom” at the beginning. This is a word which you may remember from a high school science class. The diatoms in these filters are the fossilized remains of a form of algae. It turns out that this material is great at filtering just about anything out of your pool water.

These DE filters can last 10 years or more with proper care. Some parts of the filter may accumulate calcium deposits, but you can remove them with an overnight soaking in a special cleaner (sold separately) made just for this purpose.

This Hayward DE filter will remove particles so small you can’t even see them. Such dirt certainly wouldn’t be taken out by a net on a pole.

You can use the Hayward Perflex with round pools measuring 18 to 39 feet in diameter and oval pools 28 to 33 feet in length. It doesn’t matter whether your pool is in-ground or above ground, it will work equally well in both.

Keeping Your Dog Safe In Your Backyard Pool

Once you have a pool for your dog to enjoy, you need to make sure he knows how to use it safely. Not every dog is a natural swimmer. While the water can bring needed cooling, it can also be a dangerous place if not treated properly.

Exactly what you need to do to keep your dog safe in the water will depend on your specific situation, but here are a few general tips that you should be able to apply in many cases.

Train your dog to swim

Some dogs take to water like a duck. Others may need some coaxing. In the latter case, they’ll enjoy the pool once they are used to it, but you should make sure they know how to swim before you let them take it on by themselves.

If you don’t feel comfortable or competent enough to teach your dog to swim, engage a trainer with experience in this area. There are likely several available for this purpose in your area.

How long should your dog swim for? Check out this article.

Get a life vest or jacket for your dog

Just like people, some dogs, even after swimming lessons, just never become the best of swimmers. It’s for those dogs that doggie life vests and life jackets are a real blessing.

In addition to buoying up your pet, the bright colors that usually make up a dog life jacket are great for helping you keep track of him both in and out of the water.

Teach your dog to exit the pool

You might have a ramp or a ladder to help your dog get into or out of the pool.

Just as with many other aspects of your dog’s life, he needs to be shown how to use one of these devices. It shouldn’t take long, but you should take the time with him on the ramp or ladder to make sure he’s very comfortable with using it. Then, when he’s on his own, he’ll know exactly what to do when the time comes to climb it.

Check on your dog’s health

If you have an older dog, keep in mind that health problems can become even more of an issue around the pool. Vision problems, arthritis, etc. can add to the inherent dangers of deeper water.

Check with your vet to see if your senior dog is even healthy enough to swim in the first place. If you find that he’s not, certainly never let him near water deeper than his height and, as always, keep a close eye on him even in a paddling pool.

Fence in your pool to keep your dog out

Especially if you have a larger, in-ground pool, you should definitely consider adding a fence around it so your dog (and people) can’t get to it without special access.

The type of fence you erect is up to you. The important pieces are the height and access points. It should be high enough that your dog can’t jump over it. The entry points should be locked, or at least securely latched, so he can’t nuzzle his way inside.

Find a good pool alarm

There are several models of pool alarms that will alert you when your dog (or again, people) enter your pool.

Usually, you’ll have these turned on only when you don’t expect anyone to be poolside. Even with all the other precautions you take, some pets will be clever enough (or some people will be careless enough) to surprise you.

Some alarms are attachments that go on your pet directly. Others are devices that go in the water to sense disturbances. Either may work for your situation. You will have to determine which is best or if you should have both types.

We recommended the Safety Turtle.

Better safe than sorry near the water

Granted, many of these pool safety tips may not apply if you’re only letting your dog into a small pool filled with a few inches of water. However, once he gets used to a little water, he may not be shy about getting into a lot of water.

It’s for those times that you must be prepared. Make time for training and take the precautions needed to keep your pet safe and happy around pools of all kinds.

Time To Have Some Fun With These Dog Accessories

By now you’ve decided – get your dog their own pool OR let them share in the summer fun in the human pool. Your dog having fun in the water is as much a joy for you as for them. And what better way to fun-up the experience with some accessories.

Doggie float

OK, this float is just too cute, well actually it’s a dog on the float that’s too cute. If you are going to share your human pool with your dog, check out the Kelsyus Floating Hammock.

Not only for the pool, you can also use it on a lake or river because you can tether your dog to your boat or kayak.

Dog toys that float

Here are the best float toys for dogs around:


Michelle

Michelle loves enjoying the outdoors with her dogs. She grew in a big house near the beach with German Shepherds. Nowadays, Michelle has down-sized her dogs, proving small dogs can enjoy the outdoors too! Lucy loves playing fetch with her ball and frisbee. Max loves swimming and could walk forever. Latte's life is simple: follow Lucy and Max and fun will happen. Michelle and her 3 dogs enjoy escaping the city limits to hike, camp and swim.

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