Summertime isn’t just sweltering for us humans – it’s doggone hot for our doggos too!
Fortunately, there are awesome ways to help your pet beat the heat while also having fun, including dog splash pads.
We’ll explain what splash pads for dogs are and identify a few of our favorites, along with some other wet and wild water toys for dogs below.
Best Splash Pads for Dogs: Quick Picks
- #1 QPAU Splash Pad [Best Overall Splash Pad for Dogs]: Adjustable spray power, a large size, and quick setup make this PVC splasher an excellent all-around choice for dogs.
- #2 VISTOP Non-Slip Splash Pad [Best Splash Pad for Large Dogs]: With sizes up to 87 inches, this spacious splash zone won’t leave your big best buddy or multi-dog pack feeling cramped.
- #3 OBUBY Sprinkler and Splash Mat [Most Affordable Splash Pad for Dogs]: Save on summer fun with this non-toxic, PVC splash pad featuring a low side clearance and simple setup.
What Is a Splash Pad for Dogs?
A canine splash pad features water jets set atop a splash-friendly surface, providing fun in the sun and a much-needed way for your dog to cool off during the summer.
Concrete splash zones are popular in metropolitan areas and waterparks for kiddos looking to cool off, and now you can now bring the same fun to your dog with backyard-friendly portable splash pads made of dog-safe PVC.
What Benefits Do Splash Pads Provide Dogs?
Splash pads make a great addition to your dog’s summer fun kit for a number of reasons, including:
- They provide mental stimulation. Splash pads break up backyard blandness and provide a fun, new activity with ongoing and sometimes unexpected action for your dog. Depending on the model, your dog can chomp at the sprayers, splash at the base, or soak in the water that collects in the included basin (when present). All the new sights, sounds, and actions kick your canine’s mind into gear, banishing boredom.
- They are a summer-safe form of exercise. Exercising your dog in the summer is challenging, with the risk of overheating and sizzling sidewalks making daytime walks nearly impossible. Water toys like splash pads send your four-footer running, leaping, and chasing sprayers.
- They give your pet some relief from the heat. Soaring summer temperatures are dangerous for dogs, especially when paired with outdoor exercise. A splash pad helps keep your canine cool and hydrated when used safely.
- They’re a great way to introduce your dog to water. Water isn’t every dog’s favorite, particularly when it comes in the form of a pool. Splash pads make introducing your dog to water a little more enjoyable, teaching your dog to like water through the use of fun water sprayers to chase and jump through. Your pup can also go at his own pace by pawing or biting at jets instead of leaping into a cold pool.
- Most splash pads are affordable. Splash pads for dogs typically won’t put a mastiff-sized dent in your budget, leaving plenty of room for other summer fun with your pooch. When used in moderation, splash pads don’t use as much water as pools either, saving a chunk of change on utilities.
- They’re super portable. With simple installation and lightweight designs, most splash pads are easy to set up and take down wherever you can access a hose. Unlike kiddie and dog pools, they drain relatively fast and usually fold down for easy storage.
- Most dogs can use them. Many splash pads feature a center that collects water, allowing your dog to lie down and enjoy the view or scoot around to check out the jets on a smooth, comfortable surface. This is ideal for mobility-challenged canines or uncoordinated puppies who may struggle with fast-moving sprinklers or deeper pools. Splash pads work well with pups of all shapes and sizes, from laid-back seniors to water-chasing sport dogs. The secret is buying the right one for your dog’s play style.
The 5 Best Splash Pads for Dogs
Splash pads for dogs are getting more common, with many options flooding the market, including some less-than-impressive ones. Check out our five favorite dog splash pads and see which fits your water-loving woof’s needs best.
1. QPAU Splash Pad
About: The QPAU Splash Pad features an outer ring that fills with water before it sprays down to collect in the center play area. The low wall height keeps water in and permits even short-legged dogs to get in and out easily.
- Ring of small water streams keep canines moving
- Adjustable spray levels with three settings: low, medium, and high
- Simple setup: Just attach the included hose connector to the pad, hook up your hose, turn on the water, and enjoy
- Made of BPA-free PVC
Options: Available in 68-inch dolphin-patterned and 60-inch letter-patterned pads.
- Adjustable settings are ideal for customizing to your dog’s needs
- Size works great for large dogs or multi-pup families
- Fast and easy setup (and takedown)
- Likely too tame for high-octane canines
- Sprayer direction isn’t consistent, with some owners reporting theirs shooting inward while others jet outward, regardless of water pressure
2. VISTOP Non-Slip Splash Pad
About: While most splash pads work for little ones, finding one spacious enough for larger pups can be a challenge, which is where VISTOP’s Non-Slip Splash Pad shines. Its non-slip surface and BPA-free build keep your canine safe, letting you both focus on fun, while three included repair patches provide peace of mind in case of an oops.
- Center collects water for a shallow splash zone
- 6-inch side height allows more dogs to enter and exit without issue
- Control sprayer height by adjusting the water pressure
- Made with tear-resistant, 0.55 millimeter thick PVC
Options: Three multicolor designs available in four sizes: 59, 67, 75, and 87-inch.
- Offers plenty of space for big dogs to play (ideal for multi-dog households too!)
- Wide variety of sizes to choose from
- Easy setup – just connect to your hose!
- Might not withstand the heavy-duty play of boisterous doggos
- Some owners experienced issues with leaking seams
3. OBUBY Sprinkler and Splash Mat
About: The uber-affordable OBUBY Sprinkler and Splash Mat isn’t marketed specifically for dogs, but with its water-filled ring and perimeter sprays, there isn’t much difference in design between it and others on our list. The low side height allows the pool to fill up fast, letting your dog splash away in no time.
- Folds down into a small, easy-to-store rectangle
- Four-step assembly with all necessary pieces included
- Adjustable spray height by changing your water pressure
- Made of 0.3 millimeter-thick PVC that’s non-toxic and BPA-free
Options: The 60-inch play area is available in blue and dark blue character designs.
- Super affordable
- Easy, no-fuss setup and take down
- Splash pool center fills up quickly (letting your doggo get to soaking his belly quickly)
- Long-term durability may be an issue
- Some owners experienced leaking at the hose hookup
4. Fuwomim Mermaid Splash Pad
Fuwomim Mermaid Splash Pad
A splash pad-pool combination with perimeter sprayers and a tall, rear-mounted stream atop a playful tail.
About: The Fuwomim Mermaid Splash Pad keeps playtime exciting with a sizable pool, side sprayers, and a rear tail-mounted sprinkler. Inflate the sides, fill the pool, then hook in your hose to get the sprayers up and running (along with your dog!)
- Compatible with most standard hoses
- Customize your sprayers’ height by adjusting your water pressure
- Meets international standards for child toy safety
- Made of BPA-free PVC
Options: Single size option with a 68 inch x 40 inch pool base with 7-inch exterior clearance.
- Tail sprayer and large pool base more versatile than standard splash pads
- Comes with a manufacturer’s satisfaction guarantee
- Reasonably priced
- Pool portion needs to be inflated with an air pump (which unfortunately isn’t included)
- There just aren’t a ton of owner reviews for the product
5. Jecoo Non-Slip Splash Pad
About: Jecoo’s Non-Slip Splash Pad may not be a main page staple on Amazon, but this fun soaker zone is still an awesome choice for your woofer’s personal water park. With a simple plug-in setup that fits most garden hoses and adjustable spray heights, it’s a hit with pet parents too.
- Made with 0.55-millimeter PVC
- Doesn’t contain BPAs, phthalates, or other toxins
- Non-slip bottom for safe splashing
- Shallow wading pool base allows for cooling lounge sessions
Options: Available in 67 and 86.6-inch diameter designs.
- Large play zone offers plenty of wiggle room for water fun
- Simple installation lets you and your dog get to playing faster
- Thicker material stands up to properly maintained dog nails
- Some owners reported leaking seals (a likely manufacturing hiccup)
- Relatively few reviews
Splash Pads for Dogs: Things to Look for When Buying
Splash pads tend to be pretty similar in design and function, but there are notable differences between models that can affect your dog’s summer fun and safety.
Take note of the following when shopping for your dog’s next splash pad.
Splash pad durability is essential for keeping your pup safe during play and ensuring you get your money’s worth. A cheap product can pop or break apart, creating potential choking hazards and wasting your cash.
Most at-home splash pads are made with PVC, but they’re not all suitable for canine use. Ideally, you want a splash pad crafted with PVC that can withstand trimmed dog nails and everyday wear and tear with quality seams and hardware. The best splash pads will specifically mention dog use and be tough enough to hold up to your pup’s paws.
Carefully read a product’s features and check reviews from other pet parents to deduce if a specific splash pad can withstand #doglife.
Investigate the hose hookup of potential splash pads.
Some feature a universal design and fit most traditional backyard hoses, while others are oddly sized and may need additional hardware to be compatible with your existing setup.
Your dog’s splash pad should match his size.
A small breed won’t need a massive water zone, but a large canine or a family with multiple dogs will need a roomier play space.
Another dimension to note is the side clearance, as splash pads with wading pools usually feature an exterior wall or ring your dog needs to step over.
High walls can spell trouble for a short-legged or mobility-challenged pup.
A slippery surface on its own is risky, but add water, and it can become downright dangerous to doggos.
Slipping and sliding can result in sprains and other injuries in pups of all ages and sizes. A good splash pad has a textured or non-slip base, letting your dog (and even you) walk around without risking a wipeout. A gripped bottom also prevents the pad itself from moving.
Wading Pool Base
Splash pads often feature a base that collects the sprayed water, creating a shallow wading pool. Many dogs love wallowing in these, and these pool-like bases are great for extending the fun for your floof, as they allow you to turn off the hose and prevent too much water usage while still keeping your canine cool.
Ease of Setup
The last thing you want to do on a hot day is struggle through a complicated assembly. Thankfully, most splash pads are relatively simple to set up.
The easiest-to-install splash pad set-ups inflate with water instead of air, so you just have to screw in the hose and watch it fill before the water starts flying. Best of all, a splash pad that’s easy to set up is usually a breeze to take down too.
The best splash pads for dogs feature adjustable spray settings that let you pick which height or pressure works best for your dog.
This is a nice feature, as puppies or seniors may be content with a low-pressure setup, \while more active dogs might like a higher setting.
Skip splash pads that aren’t made with non-toxic materials. PVC splashers should be labeled “BPA-free” or “phthalate-free,” ensuring your pup won’t be exposed to harsh chemicals.
Simple splash pads offer plenty of fun, but others feature extra bells and whistles to up canine enrichment, such as multiple spray points and moving sprayers. Others offer doggy input by letting your dog control shooting water through pressure pads.
Safety Tips for Using a Splash Pad with Dogs
Canine splash pads offer a great deal of fun in the sun, but to keep the party rolling without any hiccups, certain safety measures are needed.
To prevent problems during splash pad play:
- Trim your dog’s nails. Long nails can puncture a splash pad, wrecking your four-footer’s fun in a flash. Overgrown nails are also more at risk of breaking or cracking during play.
- Select a safe site. Ideally, you want to place your dog’s splash pad on soft grass free of sticks, burrs, or other debris. This protects both your pooch and the splash pad. Water play can get boisterous, and your dog can easily injure himself by running into furniture or falling.
- Limit water gobbling. Don’t let your dog ingest too much water during play. Water toxicity is a serious risk to dogs who love to bite at hoses or sprinklers, and it can be fatal. Signs of water toxicity include lethargy, loss of coordination, vomiting, bloating, and seizures. If you suspect water toxicity, bring your dog to a vet immediately.
- Monitor your pet. Keep a close eye on your pup to stop dangerous behaviors like excessive water drinking or chewing the splash pad. You don’t want to ever leave your dog unattended with a splash pad, just to be safe.
- Watch for overheating. Dogs are still at risk of overexertion and heat stroke while playing with water, especially those who don’t get entirely wet. Brachycephalic (short-faced) breeds like pugs are particularly susceptible to such temperature extremes. Keep outdoor play brief during high temperatures, and monitor your pup for excessive panting, lethargy, and vomiting. As with water toxicity, overheating is a veterinary emergency.
- Don’t play in water if the air temperature is too cool. Skip water play if the air outside is less than 70 degrees. Paired with cool water, this can tank your dog’s body temperature, leading to hypothermia. While double-coated doggos might be okay to an extent, you shouldn’t take the risk with any four-footer.
- Practice sun safety. Light-colored, thin-haired, or hairless dogs are at risk of sunburn. Limit time outside when the UV index is high, and apply dog-friendly sunscreen whenever possible, particularly around delicate areas like the nose and ears.
- Carefully monitor (and possibly avoid) multi-dog splash pad play. Splash pads and other water toys up the fun ante, but they can also overstimulate your dog, leading to less-than-friendly actions, like nipping at other dogs. If your canine is overexcitable, you may want to stick to solo play sessions to avoid incidents.
- Dry your dog thoroughly. After play, it’s important to dry your dog completely. Prolonged soggy skin can lead to irritation and hot spots, usually around ears, nails, and bellies.
Splash Pad Alternative Water Toys for Dogs
Not every canine likes splash pads, but other fun options might suit your water lover’s playstyle. Check out these awesome water toys for dogs.
1. Jasonwell Foldable Dog Pool
About: The Jasonwell Foldable Dog Pool allows your pup to swim and soak safely with its 8-inch to 12-inch depth, depending on the size you select. With its lightweight, collapsible design, you can easily set it up or take it down for storage or travel.
- No air inflation needed – just add water!
- Drain plug allows for quick emptying
- Slip-resistant bottom
- Made of PVC and biodegradable fiberboard
Options: Offered in 6 sizes, including Small (32 inch), Medium (39.5 inch), Large (48 inch), X-Large (55.1 inch), XX-Large (63 inch), and XXX-Large (71 inch).
- Most pup parents report it’s a long-lasting, durable pool
- Pool’s portable nature makes taking fun on the go possible
- Array of size options to choose from
- Unmanaged nails can damage the pool’s lining
- Some pet parents had problems with collapsing walls (particularly with rowdy canines!)
2. Scuddles Dog Fountain
About: The Scuddles Dog Fountain squirts high with the press of your dog’s paw, keeping him engaged in play and eager for more. With such a simple concept, most dogs catch on quickly but included training instructions can aid in guiding your pup along if he needs a helping hand.
- Stick-on pad prevents the metal from heating up in the sun
- Non-skid base helps the pedal stay in place
- Rounded edges protect your pup’s feet from harm
- Metal frame with brass hardware and an anti-rust finish
Options: Single size option.
- Dog-controlled, allowing your dog to play at his pace
- Doesn’t run continuously, so it may use less water (unless your dog is water-crazed)
- More engaging than standard splash pads
- Need to monitor your dog closely, as some canines can quickly overdo it
- A few owners report rusting issues
3. VIPAMZ Outdoor Sprinkler
About: The spinning VIPAMZ Outdoor Sprinkler has twelve spray points at varying angles, giving your dog plenty of jets to chase. With its wacky, whirling water pattern and high speed, it’s a top-notch pick for water-loving wild woofs.
- Sprays a maximum of 8 feet, depending on water pressure
- Corrosion-resistant hardware
- Compatible with most standard garden hoses
- Two installation options to choose from
Options: Single size available.
- 360 rotation keeps dogs moving
- Excellent choice for active doggos who may grow bored with splash pads
- Affordably priced
- Durability issues reported by some pet parents (possible manufacturing flukes)
- Won’t stand up to chewers
Splash Pads for Dogs: FAQ
Splash pads are a relatively new product on the canine market, so you may still have some lingering questions. Check out the most commonly asked questions about splash pads for dogs and see if we can help.
Are splash pads safe for dogs?
In most cases, splash pads are safe for dogs, but safety measures are needed to ensure your four-footer has a happy and healthy play session. To prevent water toxicity, don’t allow your dog to ingest too much water, and make sure weather conditions are suitable (not too hot or too cold.) Product safety is also essential, meaning the materials used should be non-toxic to dogs and free of any obvious choking hazards.
Is it good for dogs to play in water?
Playing in water provides much-needed exercise and enrichment for your dog during streaks of hot weather. It also keeps your canine cool, which is a must if he’s spending any time outdoors during the summer.
How long should dogs play in the water?
Generally, five to ten minutes of water play is sufficient for most canines. If your dog is a hose biter or water guzzler, you’ll want to limit this more to avoid illness. You may also need to cut your outdoor time short if the temperatures or UV index are too high.
Have you tried any of the canine splash pads on our list? Is there another that rocks your dog’s world? Share with us in the comments. We’d love to hear!