Lots of dogs love swimming and hanging out by the pool — and who can blame them? Splish-splashing on a hot summer day is a blast! And if your pup is a pool party enthusiast, a pool float can give your furry friend another way to have fun in the sun.
Whether you have a Lhasa apso or Labrador, any pooch can enjoy a relaxing canine cool off session while using a dog-safe pool float.
We’ll identify a few of our favorite dog pool floats and provide some tips for using them with your dog to ensure everyone stays safe and has a good time.
Best Dog Pool Floats: Quick Picks
- #1 SwimWays Spring Float [Best Overall Dog Pool Float] — This large pool float is puncture-proof, features a wide frame, and lets a small amount of water flow through it to keep your canine cool.
- #2 Kelsyus Floating Hammock [Most Affordable Dog Pool Float] — Your pooch pool party needn’t cost a fortune! And this float is not only affordable, but it also features a jet valve, which makes inflation and deflation a breeze!
- #3 SwimWays Spring Float Papasan [Best Dog Float for Supporting Heavy Pooches] — Got a big ‘ol doggo who loves partying at the pool? This model utilizes a floating-chair design, and it is rated for dogs weighing up to 250 pounds!
Dog Pool Floats: Things to Look For and Consider
Are you ready to pick out the perfect pool float for your pooch? Here are some key factors to take into consideration:
- Weight Limits — When it comes to keeping your dog safe, paying attention to the weight limit of your pool float is key. Also, make sure your dog has his basic swimming skills ironed out before sending him out on the water.
- Shape — Your pooch may prefer one pool float shape over another depending on how he likes to relax. Some floats have a convex base that lets in water while others are designed to sit fully on top of water.
- Where You Intend To Use It — The perfect pool float for your pooch will vary depending on where you’re planning to use it. If you plan to use the float in your backyard swimming pool, you can take more liberties and experiment with different designs, as you’ll easily be able to help Spot if he gets into trouble. But you’ll need to take safety into account if your dog will be floating in open water like in a lake or the ocean. In these cases, a simple design will usually prove the best choice.
- Material — One of the biggest considerations is the durability of your pup’s pool float. While your dog doesn’t necessarily need a float that’s designed specifically for furry friends, the float must be strong enough to handle your dog’s claws. Otherwise, the float is likely to puncture making it unsafe for man’s best friend.
- Tether Points — If you plan on relaxing in open water, you’ll want to make sure that Fido’s float has some secure tether points to keep him safe. This way, you can just tie his float to yours to prevent the two of you from drifting apart.
- Stability — You’ll want to make sure that the float for your pup is super stable as most pups are constantly in motion, even if they’re just trying to find the perfect relaxing position. You’ll also want to make sure that your dog’s pool float isn’t too long for your dog’s size. Otherwise, the float may be unbalanced and tip over whenever your pooch moves from one side to another.
- Safety Features — Having extra safety features like grab ropes and anti-deflate valves is a good idea, especially if your pooch is just getting his sea legs. Also, always make sure you’re supervising your doggo while using his pool float.
The 5 Best Dog Pool Floats
Now that you know the kinds of things to look for in a dog-safe pool float, it’s time to start shopping! Here are five of our favorite pool floats for your furry best friend.
1. SwimWays Spring Float
About: This large pool float by SwimWays is designed for dogs weighing more than 65 pounds, though it also comes in a smaller size for pint-sized pups. The heavy-duty float is paw friendly and lets in just enough water for your pooch to cool off while chillin’ in the pool.
- Large dog float stands up to claws with its puncture-resistant design
- Pool float is collapsible for easy transport and storage
- Water flows through the float, keeping your pup comfy and cool
- Large enough for big dogs to lay down in
- Inflated float rim made it easy for some dogs to rest their heads
- Owners loved the durability and large size of the float
- Some pups may not enjoy the partially open base that lets in water
- Not all owners were fans of the valve design (but most were fine with it)
2. SwimWays Spring Float Papasan
About: If your canine likes to curl up, this circular float from Swimways is an excellent choice. Although not specifically designed for dogs, this multi-use floating chair will work well for some pups.
Additionally, it can support up to 250 pounds at once, making it a super sturdy choice that should be sufficient for even the biggest canines.
- Portable float folds flat for easy storage
- Floating chair design lets in water to keep your pooch cool while in the pool
- Durably made with an embedded inner spring
- Inflation chambers are covered with fabric for extra protection from your pup’s paws
- Many dogs seem to like the chair-style design
- Spring rim gives pups a stable place to rest their heads or paws
- Great for dogs and people (you can use it once your dog has had his fun)
- No embedded tether points, so not well suited for open water
- Circular float may not be big enough for some dogs to stretch out
3. Paws Aboard Doggy Lazy Raft
About: This generously sized raft by Paws Aboard is not only specifically designed for dogs, but it also comes in an adorable paw-shaped design. These durable rafts come in several sizes, including one that’s suitable for dogs weighing more than 90 pounds.
- Durable nylon and vinyl construction offers protection against pooch paw punctures
- Includes a tether point for secure floating on open water
- Supports large and small dogs with enough space to sit, stand, and lie down on
- Floating raft (theoretically) allows dogs to stay dry while relaxing
- Owners report impressive durability
- Large float size gives dogs plenty of room to relax
- Made out of UV-resistant vinyl that won’t fade over time
- Bottom side of the raft is a bit delicate so care is required when using it around rocks or submerged sticks
- Some dogs had trouble climbing onto this raft once it was in the water
4. Kelsyus Floating Hammock
About: If you’re looking for the maximum bang for your buck, this floating hammock from Kelsyus is an excellent pick. Although this is another float designed for two-footers, it should work well for most four-footers too. This long, hammock-style float can support up to 250 pounds and is perfect for pups who like to keep cool while lounging around.
- Float has side clips for tethering to a dock or other floats
- Mesh bed lets in water to keep your canine cool while lounging about
- Float includes a carrying case for easy storage
- Jet valve is easy to inflate and deflate
- Inner spring design keeps your dog stable
- Embedded innerspring helps keep pups stable
- Easy for active dogs to climb in and out of
- Supports large sized pups
- May not be a little longer than small dogs need (but it should still work well)
- Not suited for dogs who like to stay dry while floating
5. Vercico Inflatable Pool Float
About: This adorable pool float from Vercico is lined with super cute pawprints and has a compact, foldable design. The pool float can be inflated with an air pump for added convenience.
- Designed for small to medium-sized dogs under 44 pounds
- Water flows through the bed to keep your companion cool
- Lightweight float is easy to store and take with you from one poolside to another
- Durable vinyl lining for protection against pooch paws
- Keeps your pooch cool with partially open design
- Easy to inflate and deflate
- Float is easy to store and super portable
- Not designed for larger dogs
- Does not have a tether point for open water use
Do You Have to Use a Float Made Specifically for Dogs?
Pool floats made specifically for dogs will undoubtedly work best, but you don’t have to limit yourself to dog-specific floaties for your furry friend — you can try ones designed for people too.
Just make sure you keep safety in mind when experimenting.
Your pooch should be able to comfortably sit, stand, and lay down in the float without puncturing the surface. And, if you’re planning to use the float in open water, it should have a tether point to ensure your dog’s safety.
Also, note that people floats may not last as long or work as well with your furry friend.
Using Dog Pool Floats and Making the Most of Pool Time!
Before plopping your pooch into the pool, here are a few tips and tricks to keep your canine comfortable and safe.
- Make sure Spot is a strong swimmer. It’s a good idea to make sure that your furry friend is a good swimmer before finding him a pool float. Not only will this keep your dog safe, but it will also help your pup feel more at ease since he’s spent time in water in the past.
- Install a pool ramp to help Fido enter and exit with ease. It’s often tricky for pooches to negotiate the pool-land interface, but dog boat and pool ramps make this easy.
- Familiarize your furry friend with the float. Give your dog time to acclimate to the float itself before plopping it in the pool. Your dog should have plenty of time to sniff and explore the float on dry land. Reward your pup with treats and praise whenever he positively interacts with the float.
- Give your dog some fun water toys. Dog water toys will help provide your pooch with additional exercise and let him maximize the amount of fun he has.
- Experiment with different onboarding options. Try out different ways of getting your pooch on the water. You could try putting your pup on the float while it’s in the water, enticing him to get on the float from dry ground by moving the float to the edge of the pool, or throwing your dog’s favorite toy onto the float itself. See which method your dog enjoys the most.
- Consider using a life jacket. Having Fido wear a life jacket can’t hurt, especially if you’re in open water. If your pooch is just getting his sea legs, using a canine life vest can help keep everyone safe.
- Don’t force it. Not every dog will enjoy spending time out on a pool or lake and that’s OK. If your pooch doesn’t seem to be having a good time after a couple of tries, consider trying out some other fun games and activities that your dog may enjoy more.
- Think about fitting your doggo with goggles. Dog eye goggles can help protect your pooch’s peepers from splashing water, and some also provide protection from UV rays.
Pooch pool floats can be a great way for your dog to enjoy some fun in the sun. Just make sure your pup is safe while spending time on the water.
Does your pup use any of these floaties? How does your dog like to cool off on a warm day? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!