It seems like there’s just about everything for canines these days, from electrically heated beds to carriers with folding out sides for extra room, there are even pools for dogs. Far from being a gimmick, these useful pools have a number of features that are great for canines.
The dog days of summer are here, and with them comes scorching heat through most of the country. To avoid heat stroke in dogs, always provide your pup with a way to cool off. Ice packs, homemade paw-sicles, and cooling swamp vests are all effective ways of cooling down.
For a more permanent solution, consider installing a dog pool! A dog-friendly backyard is easier and cheaper than most pet parents imagine, especially if you’re a DIY guru. Depending on the design of your yard and aesthetic preferences, the cost and size of a dog pool can vary widely.
Check out our top picks for DIY dog pools, or head over to our Pinterest for more ideas! (Note that price estimates do not include tax and are from current Home Depot prices.)
Why a Dog Pool?
If you’re looking into getting one, you probably already have a use in mind for it. Most of us would just assume they’re for bathing, but they can be an amazing tool for allowing your dog to cool down in hot weather as well.
There are of course less practical applications, including recreation for your animal. A lot of dogs, particularly those that were bred to go after waterfowl while hunting, greatly enjoy the water anyways, so why not make a small investment in their happiness.
Apart from that, breeds that shed and drool a lot will be able to shed in the water and wash off the dried on saliva with little to no difficulty thanks to these handy dog pools. Every dog can benefit from an occasional bath, and it’s a great thing for you if you let them shed in a pool. It will keep the excess hair in the water, rather than on your floors and furniture if you use it regularly.
You might be asking yourself why you wouldn’t just use a kiddy pool, and the answer isn’t quite obvious. So here’s the rundown: canine pools are made for your dogs. While kiddy pools are generally made of thin and weak plastic materials, you’ll find that any quality dog pool is made of much tougher stuff. It’s generally more similar to the bed of a truck’s material than to the weak, easily cracked plastic contained in a lot of above ground pools.
Reviews of the Best Dog Pools
Following, we’ll take a look at several different pools for you, and break down who might want them and what kind of quality they are.
1. Cinder Block Pool
The easiest of the self-created dog pools, all you need is a plastic kiddie pool – the hard plastic, not an inflatable one – and some cinder blocks of your choosing. Dig down relative to the depth of your plastic pool, then increase the area’s diameter to include your cinder block border. Arrange the blocks in a decorative pattern and fill crevices with sand or dog-friendly ground cover plants.
Cost: $200 (150 blocks) + $10 (45×13″ pool) + $8 (paver sand) = $214 for your very own dog swimming pool!
2. Bone-Shaped Pool
Unfortunately, both the pool and deck shown are pre-made products, sold by One Dog One Bone. Pet parents with carpentry skills will find the pool’s cypress-wood deck no problem to recreate. Even those who purchase the ready-made deck will find it requires a little DIY to bold the sides together and plenty more to stain the wood. One Dog One Bone’s original deck is made of cypress, but any wood cut to length will do – the DIY dog pool shown uses cedar.
The first thing you’re sure to notice about this pool is the shape. It’s shaped like a big bone, which adds a cutesy touch, but apart from the aesthetic, it’s also one of the best products of its type in the marketplace.
The pool has an 85-gallon capacity, and it’s a full 66” long. It’s sure to be a hit for nearly any dog, and it’s large enough to fit even the most bear-like of canines. If you only have smaller dogs, though, you might want to take a look at some of the other options first as it might be a bit deep for toy and miniature sized dogs.
One Dog One Bone Bone Shaped PoolIt’s made of high-quality plastic, the same kind of material used to line truck beds so it’s sure to last nearly forever. It also has a brass drain spout, making it easy for you to be able to drain the pool once the time comes. If you’re the thrifty type and want to recover the water when you’re done, you’ll also be glad to know you can attach a hose to the spout. This will make it incredibly easy to divert your doggy water to flower beds, lawns, or whatever plant you may want to water.
Cost to buy: $399 (bone pool) + $1,999 (deck kit) = $2398
Cost to DIY: $75 (cedar lumber) + $30 (deck sealant/stain) + $399 (bone pool) = $504 to DIY this bone-shaped dog pool.
Conclusion: The only real disadvantage to this pool is that it will take up quite a bit of room since it doesn’t fold down. If you’re looking for a way to keep your medium or large sized dog cool in the hotter months of the year, though, this dog pool is an absolute bargain.
3. Fire Hydrant Water Feature
Many of the DIY dog pools use the pre-made bone-shaped pool, but it’s no sweat to swap in a traditional round or rectangular pool, and may even save you time cutting lumber! A similar fire hydrant water feature is available through Dog-On-It-Parks, misting water for a cool $1,102. For the DIY pet parent, fire hydrants are available on eBay from $150 to 200. The project is so popular that eBay released its own handy guide to making a fire hydrant fountain for pets. From here, the process is simple – consult one of the numerous guides on how to make a fountain.
Cost: $150 (fire hydrant) + $50 (pump kit) = $200 for this dog pool decoration.
4. Frontpet Foldable Dog Pet Pool Bathing Tub
Frontpet Foldable Dog Pet Pool Bathing TubFor those of us with smaller canines or even a few of them, the Frontpet Foldable Pool is a great idea. It comes in with a bit smaller of a footprint and your dog is sure to love it. You’ll also be able to fold it up and put it in the garage or a closet once the end of summer gets here while saving some space.
One word of caution about this one: it’s not suitable for larger dogs, even if they fit. The foldable material simply won’t hold up all that well for any dog much over fifteen pounds and the bottom is a bit flimsy. It’s also not suitable for chewers, the foldable sides are covered in waterproof PVC but the interior of the panels is just heavy-duty cardboard which will fall apart rapidly if you get it wet.
Frontpet Foldable Dog Pet Pool Bathing TubIf you do have smaller dogs, though, you’re sure to love watching them romp around and enjoy themselves in the summer. It holds up remarkably well provided you only let small dogs in it and they aren’t chewers. The space saving feature is nice as well.
Conclusion: It’s a bit more than four feet in diameter, and just under a foot deep so you’ll have to keep an eye on really small dogs if they decide to use it. It’s still remarkably large for how small it folds up into, and sure to provide your dogs with some summertime cooling and recreation. If you’ve got smaller dogs and not a lot of space, take a closer look at this one and you won’t be disappointed.
5. PetEdge Guardian Gear Splash About Dog Pool
PetEdge Guardian Gear Splash About Dog PoolThis pool from PetEdge is another folding option. These are great for saving space when the warmer times of the year are over, but it does have some effect on the durability of the pool.
This one is a bit less than a foot deep, and depending on the size option you end up with can be anywhere from 31 ½” across to 66”. The largest size is quite suitable for most dogs, although truly massive mutts may have a bit of trouble getting their whole body submerged.
The side panels are made entirely of PVC, making them waterproof and a bit tougher than the other folding option. The bottom is also relatively thick plastic. It’s probably not tough enough to withstand real digging from a determined dog, but it should hold up well for even for larger dogs, provided they’re not destructive.
PetEdge Guardian Gear Splash About Dog PoolThis one also features a drain, which makes it convenient to get the water out when you’re done with it. You might want to consider bailing the water into your plants, of course, and unfortunately, you won’t be able to attach a hose directly to it without working out some kind of adapter system.
Conclusion: This dog pool comes in at a pretty low price so it won’t make a huge hole in your budget. If you’re looking for something to keep your dogs cool during the summer and doesn’t take up too much room in the garage or shed, take a closer look at this offering from PetsEdge.
6. One Dog One Bone – Paw Shaped Pool
Unlike their bone-shaped pool, this paw-shaped pool isn’t exactly super high quality, unfortunately. It does have a unique aesthetic, but it lacks a drain and is quite a bit thinner than most owners would probably like.
One Dog One Bone Paw Shaped PoolThis one only holds 20 gallons of water as well, meaning it’s really only suitable for tiny canines. The plastic is also quite a bit thinner, meaning it will crack quite easily under any serious weight so if even one of your furred friends is over twenty pounds or so you’ll want to give this one a pass.
The lack of a drain is troublesome, and the fact that it’s advertised as “folding like a paw” in order to get the water out of it should give you some sense of how thin the plastic is. Add in the high cost, and you’re probably better off with just using a kiddy pool for your dog’s aquatic recreation and cooling down.
Conclusion: It does offer a rather cute picture, though, and if you have exceptionally small dogs you might be okay with it if you really want a paw-shaped pool. For everyone else, we’d recommend giving this one a pass. It’s simply not worth the price.
What To Look For
Like any dog product, it seems simple at first glance but you’ll need to be aware of some important factors when you go about selecting one. A low-quality dog pool is likely to set you back more than a lot kiddy pool, and it’s probably not going to last as long as even one of those flimsy pieces. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the factors you’ll need to keep in mind before purchasing one of these handy, recreational devices.
- Capacity– You’ll want to take a close look at how much water the pool can hold. Some of them don’t look very big in the pictures, but might hold quite a bit of water in the end.
- Dimensions– It’d be a terrible thing to purchase a pool that your Great Dane or other large breed can barely dip their head in. This is less of a consideration for smaller dogs, but if they’re not a water friendly breed you don’t want something too deep or they might end up in big trouble.
- Material– There’s no point in spending a whole bunch of money on something that’s little more than a low-quality pool in a funny shape. The best ones will be made of tough, high-quality materials. This is especially an important consideration if your dog is a dedicated chewer, in which case a pricier metal option may be your best bet.
- Aesthetics– Not something your dog will care about, but their owners certainly do love to get cute things for them. They come in a variety of shapes which range from gaudy to appealing, but as long as the rest of the qualities are in order this could be your final determining factor.
As long as you keep these qualities in mind, you’re sure to end up with something that both you and your dog love. Even better, when made from tougher materials, they’re sure to last a dog’s lifetime, which can make the high prices seem like less of a burden on your budget.
Using Your Dog Swimming Pool
Frontpet Foldable Dog Pet Pool Bathing TubYou’ll want to take some precautions when using one of these pools, especially with smaller dogs. Many dogs aren’t accustomed to the water, and if they actually have to swim while within the pool it’s best that they do so under their owner’s supervision.
You’ll also want to cover it up or drain it during colder weather, even if your canine companion is large enough they can use it unsupervised. You don’t want them catching a chill after all. It’s probably best to just drain them in winter in most climates, and if you want to save water you can definitely use the water for watering plants or your lawn.
Try to keep the pool fairly clean as well, a build-up of bacteria can cause illness even in warmer times of the year. Inspect the water every few days when you have it up, and if it starts to smell or stuff is growing in the water it’s probably time to change the water out.
For the most part, though, in warmer weather especially, your canine should be just fine. Most of these aren’t big enough for real swimming, just getting in and cooling off. You’ll probably want to be watching anyways, watching your canine cavort in the water is a shockingly entertaining experience.
As you can see, there’s a good bit to take into consideration when considering a pool for your dog. In some climates, they’re almost a necessity, particularly if you have heavily furred animals and it’s important to pick one out that’s high-quality so you don’t find yourself wasting your money. If you live in a suitable climate, and the summer months are rolling in, take a close look into getting one of these instead of a kiddy pool and you won’t be disappointed.