On a hot summer’s day, there’s nothing better than chilling poolside with your dog. While you relax and soak up the sun or play lifeguard with the kiddos, the day couldn’t possibly get any better. It seems almost cruel if your pup can’t enjoy a little dip in the pool themselves. There, they can paddle around to cool off and get in some low-impact exercise! Installing a dog pool ramp for your pool with give sound peace of mind when Fido goes in for a dip. They allow your dog to easily get out of a pool if need be. Unfortunately, your dog can’t tell you when they’re getting too tired to swim. With a pool ramp, they always have a way out! In this in depth review, we’ll cover all of our favorite dog pool ramps and stairs made specifically for canine swimmers.
Table Of Contents
Why do You Need a Dog Pool Ramp?
Swimming can be just as enjoyable for your pup as it is for you, but there are a few things to keep in mind. While this may seem like a good idea, disaster could strike if there is not proper prior planning. If your dog does not have a clear path to exit the pool, they can start panicking. This can lead to them swallowing water and even drowning (heaven forbid!). To avoid these dangerous events, you should think about installing a dog ramp in your pool. With the use of a ramp, your pup will have an easy exit out of the pool. By taking these precautions, you can have peace of mind while Fido plays in the water.
Keeping Fido Safe
Even if your pool has steps on the shallow side, it is vital to have an exit point on the deep side. This way your dog can use the dog ramp to exit the pool quickly instead of having to swim a long distance. Some pools have steps or ledges that are under the water, which can be difficult for dogs to locate in times of need. Having a dog ramp for your pool is a safer option, so your dog knows exactly where to safely exit.
Protecting Your Pool
Another reason for pool ramps is to protect your pool your pup’s sharp claws. If you have an above ground pool with a liner, you know how important it is to keep that liner in working condition. One small tear in the liner can cost you thousands to replace. If the tear allows water to leak out, you could permanently damage your pool. The pool walls might even collapse causing a safety hazard to everyone around. Not only does a pool ramp save your dog from a disaster, but it will protect your pool as well. Overall, safety comes first, and purchasing a dog ramp is a safety measure you need to take.
Recommended Dog Pool Steps and Ramps
Premium Pick: WaterDog Adventure Gear
Two options: above ground or inground WAG Boarding Steps
Holds up to 130lbs.
Holds steady in water
Won’t tear pool lining
Our first two products are made from the same company: WaterDog. Along with pool steps, they also have steps for recreational boats, fishing boats, docks, motor vehicles, and home use. They also manufacture all of their products in the USA, due to their dedication to domestic manufacturing.
WaterDog Adventure Gear began when company founder Jim Perkins was gifted a golden retriever for his birthday. Jim and his wife, Jennifer, loved going out on the water on their boat, and now they had a furry friend to bring along! However, they quickly discovered it was not easy to get their dog, Katie, onto the boat and out of the water. Jim looked for ramps to solve this problem, but was displeased with the options. Instead, he decided to create his own. This lead to the creation of WaterDog, and many successful patented designs.
Above-Ground and In-Gound Pool Steps
WAG Boarding Steps are made in the USA with engineered plastics and stainless steel hardware.The stairs are 4 inches apart from each other, making it easy for dogs of all sizes to use the steps. Plus, they have a slip resistant surface, making it easy for dogs to maintain their balance on the way out of the pool. The WAG Boarding Steps also use a “space-frame” design that is meant to minimize the effects of surrounding water currents. This helps prevent the steps from moving while your furbaby climbs in and out.
The WAG Boarding Steps are designed to lower in to the pool at a 45 degree angle. This helps avoid any damage to an expensive pool liner as the steps do not touch the sides or bottom of the pool. When the stairs are not in use, you can easily pivot them out of the water to put them in storage.
Keep in mind, as a premium pick, you can expect these dog pool steps to be a bit on the pricier side.
1. WAG Boarding Steps For Above Ground Pools
The WAG Boarding Steps for above ground pools can be attached to the deck surrounding the pool. They should be mounted in a relatively flat area that is at least 17 inches wide in space and 18 inches away from the waters edge. Best yet, these sturdy stairs are an excellent choice for larger pups.The steps can hold up to 130 pounds, so they should be suitable for any lovable furbaby.
2. WAG Boarding Steps For In-Ground Pools
Finally, something for in-ground pool owners. WaterDog Adventure Gear also has an in-ground version of their WAG Boarding Steps. These steps have all the same solid features as the above ground version. To install the steps, they need to be mounted to a flat area that is at least 17 inches wide and 10 inches away from the waters edge.
The sturdiness of each of these WaterDog Adventure Gear products are fantastic when compared to other steps on the market. Also, the fact that the steps do not even touch the pool liner is phenomenal. A pool liner tear is really the biggest worry when it comes to having any foreign object in or around your pool. When considering each of these factors with both above-ground and in-ground version, you might just find them well worth the premium price.
Paws Aboard 5300 PoolPup Steps
Our next pick is the Paws Aboard 5300 PoolPup Steps. These steps are produced by Fido Pet Products as part of their Paws Aboard watersports and toy line. The PoolPup steps are made from strong UV stable, chlorine resistant ABS plastic. We love that Fido Pet Products chose such pool-friendly materials, so that these stairs can last through all your days of play. Plus, these steps are hole-free, preventing your pup from getting their paw or nails stuck.
The PoolPup steps are easy to remove or replace once they are installed. It merely requires the removal of the two pins holding the steps in. In addition, they come in one size for both large and small dogs and can hold up to 150 pounds.
For a cheaper price than the WAG Boarding Steps, these steps will do a decent job. However, we do have a few concerns. The steps work well when put together, but they do not stay intact very long. Also, the plastic pins that hold the steps in place come off pretty easily after some use. The heavier the dog the quicker this happens, so you are really are not going to get much longevity out of these steps unless you have a small dog. Secondly, as the steps rest right up against the pool’s edge, we recommend using caution when installing on a pool with vinyl layers.
These stairs do what they are supposed to do when assembled. For a cheaper price than the WAG Boarding Steps, It is probably best to purchase them only if you have a small dog that won’t stress the stairs out too much.
Skamper Ramp Super Skamper Ramp: Budget Pick
Our next pick is the Super Skamper Ramp produced by Skamper Ramp. Skamper Ramp is a company that focuses on the Skamper Ramp and Skamper Ramp enhancements. Customer satisfaction is at the heart of their service, making it a company for customers to love.
The Skamper Ramp comes in a large size and a regular size, with the regular being slightly cheaper. The Skamper Ramp is held to the pool deck with rope that must be anchored to the pool deck for installment.
However, the Skamper Ramp does not come with tools to do this. You may need to make a trip to a hardware store for concrete anchors that can be screwed in to your pool deck. This will give you something to tie the rope to. Designed with convenience in mind, the ramp can be easily removed from the water, allowing you to clean or store it. Over the many days summertime use, the ramp will not yellow in color over time due to its UV resistant materials.
If you are going to purchase a Skamper Ramp, we recommend purchasing the large size Skamper Ramp. The regular size ramp is really too small for any dog to use consistently or functionally. Now, the surface of both size ramps does not have a lot of grip, so dogs may have trouble getting their footing, on the ramp, especially larger dogs. Unfortunately, the ramp is not very sturdy and will shift in the water if the dog steps on the ramp a certain way. However, this ramp will be suitable for the basic needs of any small-sized pup.
Keep in mind that, as our budget pick for dog pool stairs, this particular set is not going to wow you. You will need to put a little thought into their installment to get the most bang for your buck.
In our opinion, one of the best summertime investments for your dog’s safety is a pool ramp. Through all of your pool-dipping days, you can have a worry free mind and focus on having fun. Fido will be safe, and you two can cool off with ease! Finding the best dog pool steps will all depend on the size of your pup and the construction of your unique pool. By pulling out the pros and cons of each product, we’ve given you the best head-start on an informed decision. Let the cannon balls ensue!