Make a splash! The best paddling pools for dogs

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  • Most dogs enjoy playing in water, especially on hot summer days. Anyone who has looked after pets during a heatwave will know how important it is for dogs to be able to access water and be able to cool down – and not all are content with one of the best dog cooling mats. But, as with humans, water safety is always an issue. One of the best ways to develop a dog’s love of water in a safe environment is to set up a dog paddling pool in your own back yard or garden. That way, you can control the depth, the water quality (no added chemicals, sewage, tangling weed) and he can cool down whenever it suits.

    It can also be a valuable safety tool. Many people assume dogs innately know how to swim, but not all breeds take to it like ducks. A pool enables a dog to learn to play and enjoy water at shallow depths, cope with the splashing, and generally become at ease with getting wet. Initially you can leave it empty and throw in his favourite toys so that he is familiar with the pool.

    It’s sensible to acquire a paddling pool appropriate for dogs rather than to let him use ones designed for humans. Claws and inflatables are never a happy mix. Dog-specific pools are typically made of durable PVC with slip-resistant bases, and with firm rather than inflatable sides.

    Which is the best dog paddling pool?

    Two yellow labradors in a paddling pool

    Lunaoo Foldable Dog Paddling Pool

    Sizes: 80x20cm; 120x30cm; 160x30cm
    Colours: Dark grey or light grey
    RRP: From £25.99

    No need to inflate, just unfold and use. It is made from high-grade industrial strength PVC material to stand up to doggy paddles. It has built-in 45mm high-density fibre boards to make the pool durable and stable. Non-slip material on the base for security.

    There are built-in drains to make filling and emptying a breeze. A protective cover is also available.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk

    Two dogs playing in sprinkler pool

    Peteast Sprinkler Pad

    Sizes: 51in (130cm); 59in; 67in; 87in
    Colour: Dog bones, blue, ocean theme, pink donut or star-spangled
    RRP: From £21.99

    Water sprays up from the base of the pad, like a garden sprinkler, to provide fun and the benefits of cooling water on a hot day. Easy to install, by plugging in the garden hose to the sprinkler pad.

    Made from heavy-duty PVC, able to withstand claws as well as hot weather. The soft material makes it easy for your dog to jump in and out of the pool without hurting themselves on sharp edges, and it has a slip-resistant, textured surface to provide a secure and durable play area.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk
    In the US? View now at amazon.com

    Dog playing in green paddling pool

    Furrybaby Dog Pool

    Sizes: 80x20cm, 100x30cm, 120x30cm, 160x30cm
    Colours: Green, blue, grey or pink
    RRP: From £19.99

    This pool is made from thickened PVC with polyester mesh. The MDF for the sidewalls will maintain its shape and not collapse. The base has a non-slip texture, to prevent your dog sliding.

    It is foldable and can easily be packed away while not in use or for travelling.

    In the UK? View at amazon.co.uk

    Trixie pool for dogs

    Trixie Pool for Dogs

    Sizes: 68x13cm, 80x20cm, 120x30cm,  160x30cm
    Colours: Light blue
    RRP: From £29.99

    Made from scratch-resistant material, the Trixie pool has sidewalls with MDF inserts for stable construction, and non-slip bottom inside.

    It is easy to set up and pack away with no air pump required. Also comes with a cover to keep leaves and other debris out while not in use.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk or viovet.co.uk
    In the US? View now at amazon.com

    Dog pool with kids and dogs playing

    Pecute Dog/Kid Paddling Pool

    Sizes: 80x20cm, 120x30cm, 160x30cm, 180x30cm
    Colours: Green or blue
    RRP: From £22.99

    A great option for larger dogs, or those households with more than one pooch as the largest size has a whopping 180cm diameter.

    This collapsible pool has been upgraded to feature thicker PVC mesh fabric, providing increased wear-resistance and reduced likelihood of scratches. Pecute has also added a 6mm thickened thermoplastic board to enhance stability. Features anti-slip material on the inner wall and bottom to prevent slips.

    No air pump required, just unpack and it’s ready to use, making it ideal for camping or travelling.

    Comes with a silicone bath brush perfect for bathing your pet, and repair patches in case of tears. A cover is also available.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk
    In the US? View now at amazon.com

    All For Paws pool with kids and dogs playing

    All For Paws Chill Out Splash Pool

    Sizes: 120x30cm, 160x30cm
    Colour: Blue
    RRP: From £69.99

    This pool is equipped with self-cooling gel, which provides extra coolness.

    Made from extra tough PVC for lasting use, and has a non-slip bottom to help your pet feel safe. The pool folds down for easy storage, and is simple to fill and drain.

    All For Paws also does a Chill Out Sprinkler Mat.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk or viovet.co.uk
    In the US? View now at amazon.com

    How do I get my dog to like the paddling pool?

    First, encourage him to hop in the pool while it’s empty with his toys and favourite treats. Then, fill the pool to a shallow depth. You could always warm the water so it isn’t a shock.

    Following this, stand or sit in the pool to show your pup there’s no need for concern. Encourage him gently with plenty of praise and a big reward when he does climb in. This could be either bumper dose of treats or one of his most beloved toys.

    Once he’s happy to get in and move around in shallow water, increase the depth.

    Is chlorinated pool water bad for dogs?

    Because most swimming pools have a relatively low chlorine content, your pup shouldn’t experience any adverse effects if he drinks it in small amounts. That said, if your pooch is a regular swimmer in a chlorinated pool, he should be monitored. Excessive consumption of or exposure to chlorinated water could result in irritated eyes and an upset tummy, so keep a close eye on him.

    There’s no need to use chlorinated water in your doggy paddling pool, so you can rest easy.

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