Dog pools exist, they are cheap and super straightforward to use. Dogs love them and I mean… who doesn’t love a little dip during a super hot day?
The hot days of summer are enjoyable yet difficult for dogs. Our four-legged friends can’t sweat to get rid of excess heat: their only way to get cooler is by using external help. These include dog fans, shades, drinking cold water and obviously, the funniest of all: enjoying a swim in a dog pool.
A question we find a lot is can I used a baby pool for my dog? The answer is no. Both animals (if I may say so) are not the same and have very different behaviors, movements, and strength in water. A baby can use a dog pool, a dog can’t use a baby pool.
Let’s see which winter dog pools are worth the money and why!
Different Types of Dog Pools
While buying a pool for your dog may seem like an easy decision, choosing what type of dog pool to order is a little more challenging. Some pools are inflatable, foldable, or even simple one-piece tanks that look like industrial water tanks.
Do you need to store the pool away during the winter, or are you looking for a more definitive installation? Find below our list and description of the common types of pools for dogs.
- Inflatable Dog Pools are for very occasional use and small dogs simply because a tiny scratch or hole could potentially ruin them
- Foldable Dog Pools are sturdier and will last your more than one summer, yet they can be damaged if the materials used are too weak
- One-Piece Dog Pools are usually made from thick plastic and can’t be shrunk when not used, but they are way stronger than their competitors and will last you forever
Keep in mind that an inflatable dog pool has to be inflated every time you bring it out, it can be annoying after a few times, but it definitely saves a lot of space when you’re not going to use it for days (or months.)
These are the general guidelines when it comes to these three categories, but even within each you have great and bad products and the differences are mainly about the size and the materials used during product manufacturing.
Inflatable Dog Pools
Inflatable pools are great for those who do not wish to spend too much on their summer dog pool. They are cheap, easily and readily available and great from a storage point of view. These pools are foldable and can be stored deflated, into a really small space.
These inflatable dog pools, while NOT indestructible, are definitely sturdy and strong for a single summer. This is because of the finest and most durable PVC goes into making them. This means that your dog can fight tooth and nail with it and not damage it. Even though it is filled with air, its exteriors are as strong as any other dog pool in the market. However, as we said, they’re not everlasting either. That’s the reason they’re available for a lot cheaper than other dog pools.
If you’re worried about having to just use and then throw them, then there’s more good news. You can actually repair these. As long as the damage isn’t major, a simple PVC kit will do the trick and have you using the pool for years before you throw it.
Keep in mind that an inflatable dog pool has to be inflated every time you bring it out, it can be annoying after a few times, but it definitely saves a lot of space when you’re not going to use it for days (or months.)
Foldable Dog Pools
If you are the proud owner of a small dog, foldable pools may be better for you. It is portable and super easy to store. Your little pooch can have a lot of fun in this one. Ideal on the go, foldable dog pools are perfect for day picnics and even for just carrying it down the street to the park. The fact that it is lightweight makes it even easier to carry.
A word of caution though: if you’re going to be putting puppies or smaller dog breeds, make sure you keep an eye on them. Because even at one-foot depth, these can be nasty, because of their fragile make.
But if you have a big dog, or even a medium-sized one, don’t even attempt to waste money and effort on foldable pools. Even if your dog may seem to fit inside it, it is still a bad idea. The bottom of these pools is really flimsy and the panels, even though they made from PVC will not be able to carry the weight of any dog that is over a handful of kilograms. It won’t be very long before the whole pool turns topsy-turvy onto them.
Also, no chewers allowed – dogs that love to chew on things will have a field day eating their own swimming pools. The cardboard material doesn’t hold very well either.
One Piece Water Tanks
One-piece dog pools or pools are basically stock tanks made of rubber, metal, or any similarly durable material. These are all-weather tanks that can be placed and used outdoors without having to worry about wear and tear. They are generally industrial-grade dog pools.
Apart from that, these tanks also come in various shapes and sizes to suit the needs of every dog. However, the great thing about it is, that in spite of the variety in shapes and sizes, these tanks are pretty versatile – one size does indeed fit all!
Many of these tanks come with an adjustable water measure option. You can fill in just as much as you want and the tank will retain that amount of water – brilliant isn’t it? So if you’ve got multiple dogs, you could just buy one big tank and have them all go in one after another.
How to Choose the Right Dog Pool?
Choosing the best summer pool for your dog is relatively easy as the requirements are obvious. You want a swimming dog pool that is sturdy, scratch-resistant, large enough, and easy to store away when unused.
Here are the characteristics you must pay attention to when buying a dog swimming pool.
You’re obviously not going to be using the dog pools during cold winter months or even in the rain. So you need to think futuristically. If investing in a dog pool, you also need to account for how much space you have in the house to store it. Maybe start with identifying a space to store it and then work your way backward.
If you’re really short on space, then an inflatable one (of course buy one that deflates also) should be a good option. You can simply deflate and fold it into a tight little square, put it in a bag and stow it away for a few months. The challenge here is to set it up when you want to use it again. Inflating the pool will require time and effort on your part.
If you’re not too keen on having to spend time setting up the pool every time you need it – the foldable ones are good options. The problem with these is just that they are flimsy and prone to wear and tear during storage also.
Scratch and Leak Proofing
Try and get a warranty against leak proofing from the seller, if possible. Knowing that dogs that usually have sharp teeth and nails will use the pools, it is essential that the product you buy is sturdy enough to take some amount of roughage.
Check the product thoroughly for what the manufacturer has offered to battle scratching and tearing. Read up on the literature that they give with it. You don’t want the pool to rip apart the moment your dog sets foot in it. To make the product lightweight and portable, a lot of companies use flimsy material – however, it should at least hold up to the weight and the kind of usage that a dog requires.
You’re probably looking for strong plastic, PVC, polyethylene or good quality rubber or silicon on the floor of the pool as well as the side panels. Always check with the seller and have them answer your queries before you spent a bomb on a dog pool.
Most dog pools are made from plastic, and there are hundreds of variations in the plastic family. Extra-thick and tough PVC, similar to what is used to make inflatable mattresses, is the best option for foldable and inflatable dog pools. On the other hand, truck bedliner materials are the go-to choice when it comes to one-piece dog pools.
Owning a chihuahua or any small and light dog will make your dog pool browsing much easier. You can pretty much pick anything and you would be just fine in terms of sturdiness and durability of the pool.
If you have more than one dog, bigger dogs, or an agitated dog, you need to pick carefully your dog pool and consider the materials used for its manufacturing. Bigger dogs create more of a challenge for the pool so a solid plastic pool would be the best option if you want it to last more than one summer.
Size, Depth & Volume
Now, this is more of a personal preference matter and how much water and swimming fun time you want your pooch to have. Most dog pools are not designed and engineered for dogs to dive and crawl for lengths over and over again: they are more like baby or kid pools, they are designed to get enough room to move, float and even swim a little.
Depth is important if you have big or giant dogs, you don’t want them to only have their paws wet. Otherwise, most pools offer enough depth for the dog to lounge on the water.
Top 10 Best Dog Pools For Dogs
Because we value our audience’s trust, we’ve scoured the web reading dozens of unbiased reviews before coming to our conclusion. And here are the best pools for dogs; keep in mind that there is no actual order, each dog pool is more suited for a specific use case!
1. KOPEKS Folding Dog Pool
– Best Dog Swimming Pool
The KOPEKS Foldable Dog Pool is just what its name suggests if not more! It is extremely dog-friendly and will not tear from minor scratching or gnawing. Its collapsible structure makes it excellent for long travels and storage. You can simply let it fall into a small bundle and stow it away for months.
The product offers ideal depth so that even large dogs can submerge themselves entirely into the water. It makes summers even more delicious, doesn’t it?
The size of the product allows it to double up as a whelping box as well, when not being used as a pool. With panels made from multilayered high-grade material, this one’s as sturdy as an oak. A simple drain and release will help you change the dirty water in the pool or clean it up nicely.
2. FrontPet Foldable Dog Pool
— Best Foldable Dog Pool
Frontlet aspires to get those scorching summertime weeks more pleasurable for your four-legged friend and designed a long-lasting foldable pet pool. They claim themselves that this is not your typical, synthetic, off-the-shelf toddler pool.
The Frontlet dog pool was created to endure elements and action using materials that are tear-proof as well as leak-proof. It is not necessary to concern yourself with your dog’s nails or agitation in the pool, just let him/her run and jump in and out of the water!
Giant dog breeds will be entirely soaked and cooled while either sitting, standing up or lying down thanks to the pool’s 11.8” depth and 50” diameter.
Putting the pool up and packing it up is easy and fast. As soon as the pool is drained and dry, simply fold it over and pack it up. It’s that straightforward. To set the pool up simply ensure the drain plug is locked and put your running water hose in the pool to the preferred depth.
When your furry friend is done with its playtime, or when the water turns dirty, just release the drain plug and let the water empty out.
If you are planning on using the pool on a rugged surface, we recommend placing a durable bottom lining, such as a tarp, beneath the pool for added protection.
3. Alcott Mariner PVC Lining Inflatable Pool
– Best Inflatable Dog Pool
Inflatable baby and dog pools are items I don’t recommend often since the quality is usually dubious. They are built to be packed up and stored easily, not to last. However, if you want a small pool for your dog when traveling or camping, it is definitely your best buy. If you want to use it at home I would definitely not recommend it.
The pool is 4′ in diameter and made from durable PVC. It also offers low dips so all dogs can come in and out easily, along with round edges for extra safety. There is a plug for fast (and straightforward) draining and an easy fold-up so you can take it anywhere with you.
Because this pool is not really chew-proof, they include one patch/repair kit. I am not sure if this is a good sign or not but out of all inflatable pools, this is the clear winner.
4. Intex Mini Frame Pool
– Best Small Dog Summer Pool
The Intex Mini Frame Pool is a game-changer for summertime dips. With its galvanized steel frame, it is sturdy yet lightweight. Intex ensures that your pet pooch can splash around as much as it likes, without hurting themselves.
The foam-padded beams give an added layer of comfort and ease so that even if they slip or can’t balance themselves inside the water, they’re safe.
The pool is a collapsible built, but the frames are pretty large so you will need a decent amount of storage space to fit it in. But if you’re looking for a product that is sturdy and does not rip out a hole in your pocket, then this is a great deal. Maintenance-wise, the product comes with a repair kit so you can fix minor wears and tears yourself. It is easy to clean and drain too.
5. Jasonwell Foldable Bathing Pool
– Best For Outdoors and Garden with Small to Large Dogs
With sizes ranging from a small to an XXL, the Jasonwell Folding Dog Swimming Pool is a great buy for those with multiple dogs. It is portable and very lightweight so you can simply pack it in the trunk of your car and head out for a picnic. Since it folds into a bundle, this product can be easily shipped, transported and even stored anywhere.
The bottom of the pool is lined with a slip-resistant mat, thick enough to be leak-proof, even when being used by a large dog. The entire pool is made from quality PVC material, making it highly durable and all-weather resistant. With no inflation or setting up required, this one’s a winner through and through as it is easy to store, carry and set up.
The panels are stuffed with a thick and high-density fiberboard. This keeps the mustiness away, even when stored in a closed space for longer durations.
6. Petsfit Leak-Proof Portable Dog Pool
– Best Leak-Proof Portable Swimming Pool
A heavy coated wire-frame and a high grade, waterproof Oxford nylon fabric ensure that the Petsfit Leak-proof Fabric Dog Pool offers a great bath time. It is large enough to accommodate one single big dog or multiple smaller dogs and puppies. The drain on the side is also easy to use.
The pool is made with materials that are 100% durable and long-lasting. It also collapses into a bundle and is easy to carry wherever you want. You can also store it away or pack it and take it to places.
The Oxford nylon fabric ensures that the pool stays put, even when a large dog is using it – this is what makes it so good. Usually, collapsible pools aren’t great with heavy dogs and tend to tilt or turn upside down. But with the sturdy frame that this product offers, not only is it usable by dogs of all sizes, it’s good enough for them to splash in it also.
The company prides itself in its structural design and guarantees that the pool will not deform or restrict movement. The design also allows maximum utilization of space. The material is scratch-proof and weather resistant.
7. Intex Pool Set + Filter Pump
– Best Professional Dog Pool with Filter Pump
Ever wanted to dip in with your dog into the water and play splash with him/her? Well here’s your chance. With the Intex Easy Set Pool, you can play with your buddy inside the pool. Big enough to accommodate a medium-to-large-sized dog and a human; this one’s great for bathing and comes with a filter pump.
The panel walls of this pool are made super high-grade PVC, making it sturdy and durable to weather all conditions. It is also scratch-proof for a fuss-free experience. It can hold over 2,000 liters of water and is so easy to drain, you don’t have to lift a finger. Cleaning the tank can be a spot of trouble because of its large size, but otherwise, the material is pretty easy to clean.
The pump that comes up with it is an 11-120 volt instrument that filters and pumps in the water at the speed of 1,200 liters per hour. You can safely get set to have fun now!
8. SwimWays Float
– Best Swimming Dog Float
Get your little buddy onto this magnificent dog float if they hate getting wet! This pool accessory is great for dogs who are scared of the water or don’t like getting into it. You can slowly and gradually introduce the concept of a splash pool through the Swim Ways Spring Float.
The float is scratch and puncture-resistant and comes with a patented inner spring sewn into the outside edge to provide greater comfort and stability in the water. It is highly comfortable and is soft to the touch for your little pooch to have their time in the sun. Storage can be a slight issue with this as it doesn’t float or deflate.
The floor or the center of this pool float is made with mesh, ensuring stable and consistent floating without any discomfort to the dog. All in all, a great product to start your dog’s pool journey with!
9. Rubbermaid Water Tank for Dogs
– Best Water Tank For Dogs
If you’re an animal lover with a variety of small animals to bathe, this one’s a good fit. The Rubbermaid Industrial Water Tank comes made with a well defined and sturdy molded polyethylene, a material that can survive all weathers and conditions. The product is naturally scratch proof and puncture-resistant and can weather all kinds of wear and tear.
Great for using inside the house or even outdoors, this product comes with an anti-siphon float valve that needs regular cleaning. But apart from that, it is pretty much low maintenance.
If you’re willing to shell out a large sum of money for a product that is seemingly long-lasting – this is it. However, make sure you have enough storage space like this one neither folds nor collapses.
10. One Dog One Paw Pool
– Best Pool For Large Dogs
A bit pricier than the competition, this is a built-to-last lightweight one-piece dog pool and an investment for an item that will last you for years.
Unlike too many, the One Dog One Bone Pool one is not made of vinyl. Although much cheaper, vinyl and vinyl-like materials may last a year or so but you will need a lot of patching in the best cases or just a new pool in the worst.
This is a plain, large and very spacious paw-shaped dog pool that will be a wonderful choice if you have medium to giant-sized dogs or several of them.
The pool is made from truck bed liner material so expect extra sturdiness, and on top of that, it offers a very needed chew and UV resistance. The material stays cool during very hot days therefore also keeps the water as cool as possible. The volume of water it holds is 390 liters or 85 gallons, more than enough even for the biggest dogs.
Dog Swimming Pools – FAQ
We are updating this article by also adding answers to common questions dog owners ask about owning and handling a dog pool. Feel free to leave other questions in the comment section below this article.
Do dogs pee in the pools?
Yes, dogs do pee in the pools. But it is really not their fault. If your dog does pee in the pool, do not punish them. Most of these pools are extremely easy to clean, so you won’t really be slaving over them, trying to get the urine or it odor off. Draining the pool and washing it off with a good quality soap thoroughly will solve your problem.
On the other hand, you can actually try and train your pets to not pee in the pool to prevent the problem entirely. All you need to do is simply pick your dog up when he/she is about to pee and put them onto the grass to pee. When they do in fact urinate outside the pool, you can reward them with treats and kind words. This way they’ll know exactly what you’re trying to do.
Punishing them or yelling at them for peeing in the pool will confuse them and they might get scared to enter the pool completely. So instead, try being more patient and sensible.
How do I prevent my dog from scratching the pool?
Most pools available come with a strict warning to trim the dog’s nails first before letting them enter the pool. So that is obviously number one – trim their nails.
Once you’ve done that, you can gradually discourage them from scratching on the pool floors or panels. When they listen to you, reward them with treats and food so that they know they did a good job.
Dogs usually have a tendency to start digging when they feel so much water. So the first few times in the pool, they will definitely do it. If your pool isn’t nail-resistant and scratches or punctures easily, try laying down an anti-slip mat. Do it the first few times as it will discourage scratching behavior.
Is it bad for the dogs to drink pool water?
It is not bad for dogs to drink the pool water if you have used fresh tap water to fill it up. However, the longer the dog stays in, the dirtier the water will get. And if you’re using toys and soap, then it is definitely bad for the dog to drink it.
To battle this, simply keep the dog’s regular bowl of fresh water next to the pool and when they drink from the pool, give them treats as a reward. Encourage them to step out of the pool and drink from their usual bowl instead. Slowly, they’ll get there.
Until they do get trained, it is best that you use fresh water and get the pool cleaned at regular intervals and after every use.
How to introduce the dog to the pool?
Start with an empty and dry pool. Get them to jump in and just play around with you inside. Reward and praise. Throw in a ball or their favorite toy inside the empty pool. Slowly start adding water, little by little, while they are inside.
It may take a few hours to get them used to it or it may take a few weeks. Be patient with it. Dogs usually don’t take to water instantly, especially when they are adults. So give them time. Also, don’t use very cold or very hot water – just room temperature tap water, so they don’t get startled.
Once your dog gets used to the wetness inside the pool, increase the water content. Eventually, your dog will start looking at bath time as playtime. And then, they will jump right in with their toys at the very mention of it.
How do you keep the dog pool clean?
The best way to keep the dog pool clean is to not leave it lying around for long after you’re done using it. Bacteria spread fast on stagnating waters.
Once your dog is finished with the pool, drain it immediately, while you dry your dog. By the time you’re done, the pool will have drained and you can start cleaning it up. Lather it up real nice with good quality soap and rub it thoroughly to get out all the dirt from the product. Ensure that you don’t use sharp objects and puncture it. A simple sponge will do the trick.
Rinse the pool thoroughly and wipe the water off with an absorbent towel. Air-dry it or leave it out in the sun to kill off any germs or bacteria. Once completely dry, store it away in a clean place. Leaving it out for longer than required will also invite more germs inside. Pack it up nicely and stow it away for later use.
Not much else to say here but picking the right and best dog pool comes down to the purpose it will be used for. Usually, sturdy and long-lasting dog pools tend to be heavier so a lot less mobile. These are ideal for home use and can be stored easily during cold months. Lightweight and inflatable dog pools are a lot less sturdy but do well on-the-go or for quick summery fixes.