Many dogs love to go swimming, but few public pools will welcome your dog-paddling companion. For that matter, it can be quite the hassle to load up the pup and drive to the local lake or beach on a regular basis.
Thankfully, there is another solution: Just give your dog his own pool!
A number of manufacturers produce dog swimming pools designed specifically for your pet, which makes it easy for you to provide more water-time for your pooch.
Check out our quick picks or continue reading for more in-depth info
Quick Picks: Best Dog Pools
- #1 Jasonwell Foldable Dog Pool [Best Overall Pool for Dogs]: This durable panel-style pool comes in multiple sizes, with options suitable for canines big and small.
- #2 JECOO’s Foldable Pool [Best Extra-Large Pool for Dogs]: With sizes stretching up to 80 inches across, this pool can handle the biggest of swimming sniffers.
- #3 lunaoo Foldable Dog Pool [Most Affordable Pool for Dogs]: Summer fun doesn’t have to take a bite out of your budget with this nifty foldable pool.
Different Dog Pool Designs: Choosing One of the Best Dog Pools for YOUR Pet
Dog pools can be made from a variety of materials, in a variety of shapes, and with just about any capacity desired. However, when comparing different options, three basic designs dominate the marketplace.
Each has its own pros and cons, and is best suited for different situations, so be sure to select the style that makes the most sense for your dog to end up with the best possible dog pool.
Inflatable Dog Swimming Pools
Inflatable pools are the lightest and most portable dog pools available, so they are great for families on the go.
Even the largest models fold up very compactly and weigh next to nothing once deflated. And because of their soft walls, the chances of your dog being injured while entering or exiting the pool are very low.
However, while many inflatable dog pools are made with relatively strong plastic, some dogs can still puncture them quite easily. Even small dogs will usually penetrate the side walls of the pool after some time. Most can be patched, but this can become a tedious task if your pup pops the pool repeatedly.
And speaking of tedious, it can be exhausting to inflate large pools with your own lungs. So, be sure to select an inflatable pool that will work with a pump of some type, if you go this route.
Folding Dog Swimming Pools
Folding pools (sometimes called collapsible pools) are another portable and easily stored option, which solve some of the problems from which inflatable pools suffer.
Rather than thin, flexible plastic, folding pool walls are usually made from semi-rigid panels. When empty, they fold inward, allowing you to pack up the pool; but when filled, the water pressure pushes the walls out, allowing the pool to keep its shape.
Folding pools do not require inflation, so they are easier to set up than inflatable pools are. And because the panels are rigid, rather than air-filled, they are pretty durable and aren’t as vulnerable to your dog’s claws. Additionally, many folding pools have drains installed in the side wall, which make them easy to empty and pack up when swimming time is over.
Rigid Dog Swimming Pools
Rigid pools are somewhat similar to plastic kiddie pools that your little humans may use. Usually made from very strong plastic, rigid pools are the most durable of the three basic options, and most will stand up to nearly anything your dog can dish out.
Rigid plastic pools extra durability make them a great choice for those rough and tough dogs who destroy regular toys in minutes.
Your dog may scratch up the sides a little bit with his claws, but this won’t cause the pool to leak. Some rigid pools contain drains and other features which help make these pools easy to use.
However, the durability of rigid pools comes at a price: They take up a lot of room, making them difficult to transport and store. Some may even be a bit on the heavy side, making them a poor choice for small or elderly dog owners.
TL;DR: The vast majority of pet parents will find a foldable doggie pool to be the best dog pool for their family. Inflatable pools aren’t super durable and rigid pools are a pain to store, but foldable pools sidestep both of these issues. Accordingly, we primarily stick to foldable pools in our recommendations below.
The Best Dog Pools: Our 7 Favorite Swimming Pools for Dogs
The following products are some of the best options available on the market.
Just keep the above mentioned factors in mind when making your choice, and try to select the best option for your pooch.
1. Jasonwell Foldable Dog Pool
About: The Jasonwell Foldable Dog Pool is a folding pool designed to be as portable as possible without sacrificing durability or function. The side panels provide great rigidity to ensure stability while still being soft to the touch for your dog’s comfort.
- Includes plastic drain plug, which makes the pool easy to empty and collapse
- Made from extra rough PVC
- Thick, non-slip bottom
- Folds flat for ease of storage and only weights about 15 pounds
- Small (32″ diameter x 8″ depth)
- Medium (39.5″ diameter x 12″ depth)
- Large (48″ diameter x 12″ depth)
- X-Large (55.1″ diameter x 12″ depth)
- XX-Large (63″ diameter x 12″ depth)
- XXX-Large (71″ diameter x 12″ depth)
- Excellent variety of size options, letting you select what works best for your pooch
- Most owner report that it is made from a pretty durable material
- It’s super easy to collapse and store
- A few owners reported tears in the plastic after extended use
- The sides can be flimsy
2. JECOO Foldable Pool
About: JECOO’s Foldable Pool has a great selection of sizes to choose from, including several that are large-dog friendly, which is rare in pupper pools. The non-slip interior is designed to keep swimmers from sliding around, while the foldable walls keep water in without being too hard to scale.
- Reinforced sides maintain shape and avoid buckling
- Made from extra-tough PVC
- Side-mounted drainage valve for easy access
- Easy-to-view max-fill line for safe usage
- Small (32″ diameter x 8″ depth)
- Large(48″ diameter x 12″ depth)
- XX-Large (63″ diameter x 12″ depth)
- XXX-Large (71″ diameter x 12″ depth)
- XXXX-Large (80″ diameter x 12″ depth)
- Ample large options for bigger dogs
- Simple assembly earns praise from pet parents
- Most owners note the pool stands up to canine use
- Punctures can occur over time, particularly with rough-and-tumble doggos
- A small number of owners noted leaks upon arrival
K9 of Mine Staff Review: JEECO Foldable Pool
I had the chance to try out the Jecoo Pool for Extra Large Dogs, so I wanted to share my experiences.
We knew this was going to be a good pool, but I had no idea just how much my dog and I would love it.
And simply put: This. Thing. Is. Awesome.
It arrived well-packed and was easy enough to set up.
It took about 15 minutes to fill up two-thirds of the way, but then it was ready to be put to the test.
But first, let me explain a bit about the actual tester – my dog J.B.
Swimming is her favorite activity in the entire world, but here’s the thing: While she does love actually swimming, she spends a lot of that time doing what I can only describe as “fighting the water.” She also spends a lot of time digging at the bottom of the lake or river, while splashing water hither and yon.
Point being, I knew from the get-go that she was going to really put the durability of this pool to the test.
And that’s exactly what she did. She jumped in and immediately began battling the water, barking up a storm, and yes, pawing aggressively at the bottom and sides of the pool.
But this pool held up remarkably.
She didn’t cause a single puncture, and the sides remained taught and stable for the entire hour and change I let her enjoy it. And note that while I do keep J.B.’s nails relatively well-trimmed, I didn’t do any touch up work beforehand.
I actually left the pool full over night to see if it would leak. But it appeared just as full as it was when we’d left it.
And draining it was a snap.
It actually comes with a special connector doodad that allows you to hook up the drain plug to a garden hose if you need to divert the water somewhere specific.
But I just pressed down the wall to let most of the water pour out and then unplugged the included drain plug.
Size wise, I knew that it would measure 71 inches in diameter, but upon arrival, it still seemed a wee bit smaller than I was expecting. Nevertheless, it was still more than adequate for my 85-pound pupperino. In retrospect, I may have found the largest size offered by JEECO better, but the 71-inch model still worked well.
All in all, I’m ecstatic with the purchase and wholeheartedly recommend the JEECO Foldable Dog Pool to others – particularly those with large or high-impact dogs.
Back to the other products…
3. lunaoo Foldable Dog Pool
About: The lunaoo Foldable Dog Pool offers fun in the sun for your four-footer without breaking the bank. Still as portable as pricier picks, this canine cooling zone features folding sides and a wall-mounted drainage valve for no-fuss cleanup.
- Made of PVC
- No inflation required, just unfold and fill!
- Fiberboard sides maintain shape while still allowing for easy access and storage
- Thick, slip-resistant bottom keeps everyone safe
- Small (32″ diameter x 8″ depth)
- Large (47″ diameter x 12″ depth)
- X-Large (63″ diameter x 12″ depth)
- Price is super budget-friendly
- Sizing options work great for most dogs
- Easy to set up, take down, and clean
- Sides can be flimsy if the pool is not filled correctly
- Long-term durability problems were noted among owners
4. Yaheetech Foldable Dog Pool
About: Yaheetech’s Foldable Dog Pool lets you take control of your canine cooling station’s color with several hues to choose from. Featuring folding sides and a wall-mounted drainage valve, it offers the same portability and easy setup as other pools (as well as a reasonable price tag).
- Available in four colors: Black, Blue, Red, and Grey
- Made of thick PVC
- MDF-board sides keep their shape while remaining foldable
- Anti-skid bottom prevents slippage
- Medium (39″ diameter x 12″ depth)
- Large (47″ diameter x 12″ depth)
- X-Large (55″ diameter x 12″ depth)
- XX-Large (63″ diameter x 12″ depth)
- Comes in several bright colors (rare to have color options in doggy pools!)
- Sizing suits a variety of dog breeds, big and small alike
- Many owners report the bottom stands up to (well-maintained) canine nails
- It may not be tough enough for rough players or chewers
- Some purchasers ran into manufacturing concerns with a leaky drain valve
5. K&H Pet Products Pet Pool and Canopy
About: K&H Pet Products’ Pet Pool and Canopy shields your sniffer from harmful UV rays — a must for thin-coated or light-colored canines. With its shallow depth and low sides, it’s also a good choice for senior dogs or those just looking for a leisurely soak.
- Made with a rectangular metal frame and vinyl liner
- Non-slip base prevents slipping and sliding
- Tool-free assembly
- Canopy and pool can be purchased together or separately
- Medium (25″ length x 32″ width x 7″ depth)
- Large (30″ length x 42″ width x 7″ depth)
- X-Large (32″ length x 50″ width x 9″ depth)
- Included canopy gives Spot some shade
- Sturdier than other pools with a foldable design
- Assembly is a breeze according to most owners
- It’s only 7 to 9 inches deep (depending on the model), which is pretty shallow
- Not a good choice for chewers
6. Alvantor Pet Swimming Pool
About: Want to take your pet’s pool on the road? Well, the Alvantor Pet Swimming Pool is a traveler’s dream with its lightweight, pop-up design. Forget fussing with air pumps and tools — just take it out of the package and fill it up for wagging water fun!
- Made with PVC-laminated Oxford fabric
- Interior spring steel wire helps maintain side’s shape without weighing the pool down
- Non-slip, tear-resistant finish
- Double size option ideal for multi-pup families
- Standard 42″ diameter x 12″ depth
- Standard 63″ diameter x 12″ depth
- Double 63″ diameter x 12″ depth
- Super lightweight and folds into a compact, easy-to-carry size
- Simple assembly makes setup and takedown stress-free
- Pretty roomy for a travel-friendly canine pool
- “Double” model takes up slightly more outdoor space than a circular pool does
- Owners report that side stability can be wonky
7. Alcott Inflatable Pool for Dogs
About: The Alcott Inflatable Pool for Dogs is a top-notch pick for pet parents needing a portable pool that won’t break your back to tote around (or your wallet to buy!) Featuring three stacked inflatable chambers, this hexagonal pool holds its shape better than many foldable competitors, plus its soft sides are comfy for seniors and mobility-challenged pups to navigate.
- Made of flexible PVC
- Bottom-placed drain allows for fuss-free emptying
- Folds easily for storage and travel
- Repair kit also included just in case
- Single size (48″diameter x 16″ depth )
- Lightweight and easy to carry from point A to point B
- Excellent choice for laidback pups, like seniors
- A bit deeper than most dog pools, giving bigger canines a better soaking experience
- Cleaning between the side’s chambers can be a tad tricky
- Inflatables aren’t recommended for water-digging doggos, chewers, or puppies
- We wish it was available in a larger size
8. Summer Waves Kiddie Pool
About: Just want a simple way to let your pooch go for a swim? The Summer Waves Kiddie Pool will certainly work! Super durable yet lightweight, this plastic swimming pool will give your dog the chance to splish-splash during the summer without requiring you to inflate or unfold anything — just set it on the ground, fill it up with water, and you’re all set.
Summer Waves Kiddie Pool
An affordable, lightweight, rigid kiddie pool that’ll give your dog a fun (and leak-free) place to play.
- Durable plastic construction should stand up to dog nails
- Requires no setup — it’s ready to go out of the box
- Textured bottom provides plenty of traction
- Available in your choice of pink or blue
- Single size (45″ diameter x 7.9″ depth)
- Perhaps the simplest way to give your dog a swimming pool
- Very affordable
- You shouldn’t have to worry about your dog causing leaks
- It’s not shippable — you’ll either have to pick it up from your local Home Depot or have it delivered
- It takes up a fair bit of space during storage
- Not big enough for large and giant breed dogs
How to Choose One of the Best Dog Swimming Pools: Things to Consider
While we’ve assembled what we believe to be the best dog swimming pools around in the above list, it’s still important that you consider a few key dog pool characteristics when making a buying decision.
Among other things, you’ll want to think about:
- What material(s) is the dog swimming pool made of? Now, most dog swimming pools are made of plastic, but plastics vary significantly in terms of thickness and durability — if you have a rough-and-tumble pet, you’ll want to be sure to prioritize pools made from materials that’ll last.
- How large is the dog swimming pool? Generally speaking, you’ll want to go with the biggest size you can, but just be sure that the pool’s diameter is at least equal to your dog’s body length (but twice or thrice your dog’s body length would be even better).
- How deep is the dog swimming pool? Large dog owners rarely need to worry about depth, as even the deepest dog swimming pools are generally not going to be so deep that your dog can’t simply stand up to get his head above water. However, small doggos are a different story. If you have a pint-sized pupperino, be sure to pick a pool that doesn’t force him to swim (or simply don’t fill it up higher than mid-body level on him).
- Does the dog swimming pool come with a drain? Drains probably shouldn’t be considered mandatory, but they definitely make it easier to empty a dog swimming pool. This is especially true for owners who must set up the doggie pool on a balcony.
- How easy will the pool be to store? Even if you plan to get lots of use out of your dog’s swimming pool, you’ll need to drain it in the winter. So, you’ll likely need to be able to store it somewhere out of the way. Folding and inflatable pools clearly take the lead here, but if you have ample storage space, a rigid dog swimming pool may not be too much of a problem.
The Benefits of Dog Swimming Pools
While some dogs do appear to be land lovers who’d rather keep their fur dry, most pups adore the water and will gleefully jump at the chance to swim or soak for a while — especially during hot summer days!
In fact, water-time provides a number of important benefits for dogs.
Most dogs enjoy swimming and splashing. While there are several substantive reasons to provide your dog with a pool, putting a smile on Spot’s face is probably enough encouragement for most owners. Generally speaking, if an activity isn’t dangerous or destructive, and your dog likes to do it, you should probably let him! Pool-time definitely meets these criteria. Or, if you don’t like the idea of a pool, dog splash pads can work great too!
Water play is mentally stimulating. It is important to remember that our dogs live relatively uneventful lives. This means that boredom – and the associated behavioral problems – are unfortunately common. However, pool-time provides a number of interesting and unusual stimuli, which will keep your dog’s brain active and busy.
Water provides relief from soaring summertime temperatures. Dogs get hot in the summer and, just like your human kids, your fur babies enjoy the opportunity to cool off with a quick dip in the pool. Their wet fur will even keep them cooler for a while, as it slowly drips and dries. If you’re trying to keep your dog cool in the summer, cooling gel dog vests and cooling dog beds are other options worth considering too!
Swimming is great exercise. You probably won’t be able to find a dog swimming pool big and deep enough to give large breeds the opportunity to actually swim around, but there are several pools large enough to let small and medium-sized breeds paddle around a bit. Swimming is a low-impact, high-intensity activity which will help keep your dog fit and trim.
Dog swimming pools make great receptacles for bath time. If you don’t like to bathe Spot in your tub or shower, you can just use a pet pool instead. This makes cleanup much easier, and helps prevent that wet-dog smell from spreading all over your home. Just be sure to properly dispose of the soapy water afterwards, so you don’t pollute the local water shed (you don’t, for example, want to dump soapy water right into a storm drain).
Doggy Pool Safety: Play Safe & Smart!
To make sure pool time ends on a good note, you will want to keep safety in mind while letting your pup splash around a little. For the most part, you’ll keep your pup safe by just using common sense, but keep the following suggestions in mind to help prevent your pup from suffering an injury.
Keep a close eye on dogs swimming in water that is deeper than shoulder height. Most dogs are good swimmers, but they can still drown for a variety of reasons. So, always be sure to watch your canine closely (and fit him with a doggie life jacket whenever he is in deep water). However, when talking about puppy pools, this is generally only a concern for small dogs (few pools are deep enough to allow larger breeds to swim, so it becomes a non issue).
Be careful when allowing multiple dogs to swim at the same time. Even dogs that normally get along very well may quarrel thanks to the excitement of a pool party. The associated pushing, shoving, and flailing between pups can lead to injuries.
Use caution when allowing dogs to swim in cool weather. Even double-coated breeds can become chilled if the air or water temperature is too low. As a general rule, you’ll want to be very careful when the temperature drops below about 70 degrees. Some dogs will still stay suitably warm in slightly lower temperatures (many hunting dogs routinely swim in frigid water), but caution is warranted. If you notice your dog shivering or becoming lethargic, dry him off promptly and get him inside to warm up.
Use sunscreen for dogs with thin or short hair. Dogs can and do get sunburns, and they’re likely as painful for your pup as they are for people. You can help reduce the chances of sunburn by simply slathering on a little sunscreen made especially for dogs.
Clean the pool regularly with soap and water. Over time, many dog pools develop a filmy layer of bacteria and fungi. To help reduce the chances that your dog will get sick from swimming in a petri dish, you’ll want to periodically scrub out the pool with a little soap and warm water. After washing and rinsing the pool, place it in the sun to dry completely.
Consider a ramp or stairs when dealing with a larger pool. The pools we’ve discussed here are small and designed more-or-less exclusively for dog (or perhaps toddler) use. However, if you have an in-ground or large yard pool, your dog can certainly enjoy that as well! You just may want to consider a set of pool ramps or steps to help your dog easily get out of the pool. Teaching your dog to use a device like this to escape from the pool could be a lifesaver in the event of an accident.
Also, while this isn’t really a safety issue for dogs, you’ll want to make sure you let your dog relieve himself before letting him go for a swim. Dogs won’t go to the bathroom while they are swimming, but they may sprinkle (or worse) while standing in shallow water. This isn’t the end of the world, but it will mean you have to empty all the pool water and refill it.
Do you give your pup a pool for hot-weather playtime? What style pool have you found works best? Have you found a pool that works well for a really large dog? What about a pool that’s great for your pint-sized pooch?
We’d love to hear about your experiences! Let us know in the comments below.
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