In this guide, we’ll look at a few dog pool ramps you can easily build and install to keep your pup safe and happy while he enjoys swimming with you. Make them in just one weekend (or just a few hours) and your family will enjoy pool time together!
Why do you need a dog pool ramp? Maybe you have a Springer Spaniel or a Golden Retriever that loves to swim with you. Or maybe you’ve recently installed an above-ground or unground pool in your yard, and you want your dog to have fun right along with your family.
It’s fun to splash around with your little furry friends, but how can you keep them safe? After all, they do make life vests for dogs but what about climbing in and out of the pool?
Pool Safety for Dogs
Pool safety for dogs is just as important as pool safety for adults or, especially, children. This is particularly true if you have your own pool, as typically public pools will have basic precautions in place.
Whether your pool is new or your dog is new, you’ll need to make sure your pup stays safe. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
First of all, if you live in a place that has a shared pool, like a condo or an apartment, you’ll need to make sure your dog is allowed in the pool. This is both for his safety and for others’ health. Once you’re certain your dog is allowed, you can be fairly certain that the chlorine content and other characteristics of your pool are safe for pups.
Secondly, please make sure your dog knows how to swim. Start with a supervised trip down into the water and immerse him slowly. Once you’re at a reasonable depth, gently let your dog go and observe.
Third, you want to ensure that, if your dog does know how to swim, he’s familiar with the pool exits. Dogs can’t read! They don’t know where the exits are, and they don’t know how deep the pool is. Gently guide your dog to the pool exit a few times to familiarize him with his surroundings.
Finally, consider a doggy life vest. These are available through Amazon and other sellers and can give your dog a bit of an advantage, particularly if he’s new to swimming or is prone to tiring easily.
Why Do Dogs Need Dog Pool Ramps?
This next section is primarily for those of you who have your own pool at home. That’s because you’d be hard-pressed to find a public pool that would allow you to make modifications.
If you have a dog, and you have a pool, you need a dog pool ramp. No matter how strong a swimmer your dog is, you can’t depend on him to be able to find the exit without assistance.
What if your family leaves your pup outdoors for the afternoon, and he decides to explore the pool? Most communities have codes in place that require fencing and other safety measures, but your dog could get in, despite the barrier. Your dog may tire himself out trying to leave the pool, which can put him in grave danger.
Building a pool ramp for your dog can be very inexpensive, and can literally save your dog’s life. Are you ready to install a dog ramp for a pool?
Pool Noodle Dog Ramp
You can build a DIY dog pool ramp in just one afternoon. You’ll need PVC pipe and fittings, a pool noodle or two, rope, PVC adhesive, and some zip ties. To make the ramp accessible to your dog, you’ll also need a canvas to cover the ramp.
To make the dog pool ramp, first measure your dog! The goal is to create a ramp that’s at least eight inches wider than your dog is.
Join the PVC and fittings into a rectangle “hoop” that will hold your dog. Use the PVC adhesive to make the pipes watertight. Then, stretch your canvas to fit over the hoop and secure it tightly with zip ties. Be sure you cut off the sharp ends to avoid injury.
Finally, secure the pool noodle to the frame with more zip ties. This will allow the ramp to float. Secure the other end with rope to a sturdy object outside the pool, ensuring that you don’t block the stairs or ladder that allows human access. Give your pup a test run before making your pool ramp official.
Doggy Pool Dock
A doggy pool dock is probably the easiest type of dog pool ramp you can make, and it only takes a few minutes. You’ll need an industrial mat — or even boat carpeting — that will hold your dog, a pool noodle, and zip ties. Make sure the material is stiff enough to not fold and become unusable.
Cut your mat into a size and shape that is big enough to fit your pup. Then, zip-tie your pool noodles to allow the “ramp” to float. Finally, use nylon rope or another material to secure the ramp to a structure outside of the pool.
Did you know that you can build a collapsible dog pool ramp for your dog? You can tuck it up out of the pool while you’re swimming, then leave it in the pool when the water — and your dog — is unsupervised.
Use one by ten boards to create an “A” shape, one leg of which will be on solid ground. The other leg will be in the pool. Utilize hinges to secure the two boards, making your “ladder” foldable. Then, simply attach boat carpeting, canvas, or another sturdy material to the frame to allow your dog to gain traction on the surface.
With this option, it’s going to be important that you remember to keep the ladder in the pool when you’re not using it. Always secure your pool’s fence, but as an additional precaution leave the water accessible to your pup should she fall or jump into the pool.
Store-Bought Dog Pool Ramps
If you’re not particularly handy, don’t have access to the supplies you need, or just want something that looks a little more professional, you can shop for dog pool ramps. These are widely available on sites like Amazon and Chewy, and some are relatively inexpensive.
The Busnacty Animal Saving Escape Ramp may not be a permanent addition to your pool, but it’s great in a pinch. It’s super affordable and can be tossed in the pool if you find your dog (or any other critter) stuck and trying to find an exit.
You can also keep this device on board your boat, as a life raft of sorts for your dog. For under $20, this little escape ramp is a steal — and potentially a lifesaver.
The Coolwave Inflatable Dog Ramp is a little more spendy, but it’s also more durable and better suited to heavier dogs. The weight capacity for this ramp is up to 200 pounds, so there’s a good chance your dog falls well under that maximum.
This particular ramp is great for boats and for fishing docks, but will also make a great, safe path for your dog to use to exit or escape your pool. The non-slip pad is reinforced with steps, and ropes are included to secure your dog pool ramp.
The Petstep Dog Ramp is one of the best pool ramps on the market. It’s made of fiberglass and composite plastic, which makes it strong enough to endure the weather and your dog, too.
We love the rubber surface on this pet ramp, too, as it provides ample traction for your dog to get in and out of the water without slipping. The ramp is appropriate for both in-ground and above-ground pools.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still not convinced you need a dog pool ramp for your pup? We’ve listed a few of the most frequently asked questions so you can decide which option is best for you.
First, consider whether you’d like to make a permanent ladder for your pool, then consider whether your pool sits in or above ground.
A DIY dog ramp doesn’t have to be complicated — just some canvas and a couple of pool noodles are really all you need! Ensure that your ladder or ramp is sturdy enough to hold your dog with a trial run, then let your dog enjoy his easy, safe access.
In the same way that you want to protect your children from accidentally drowning, you’ll want to provide your pup with a safe way to enter and exit the pool.
A ramp, ladder, stairs, or other form of egress is critical to your pup’s safety. We recommend that, even if your pool is secured by a fence, you allow your new ramp to remain in the pool in case of emergency.
You may have an above-ground pool with a deck surrounding it, or use ladders to get in and out. Either way, you’re going to need to revamp your access a little so that your dog can easily get in and out on his own.
For above-ground pools with no deck, we recommend building or purchasing an A-frame type ladder like the one described above. You can simply fold it up and put it aside when the pool is not in use. If you do have a deck, consider installing a DIY floating dock or ramp for your dog so accidents are less likely to occur.
In most cases, we’d recommend a ramp for your dog. A ramp is more likely to give your dog’s paws traction, and stairs — particularly those that are built into your pool — may be hard for your dog to find.
Don’t forget to familiarize your dog with the pool before you allow him to go swimming.
Conclusion for “The Best Dog Pool Ramps”
Whether you have an in-ground or above-ground pool, it’s important your pup has easy access in and out. A dog pool ramp can be a literal lifesaver, too, should he get into the water without your knowledge.
Both store-bought and DIY versions of ramps and ladders are good options. Find one you love on Chewy or Amazon, or take an afternoon to build one of your own. A secure ramp that can hold your dog’s weight and give him traction can mean the difference between life and death for your pup.
If you find this guide, “The Best Dog Pool Ramp” helpful, check out:
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- Fun Dog Party Favors: Birthday, Party, or Pool! (2023)
Learn more by watching “DIY Dog Pool Ramp” down below:
Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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