The Best Dog Pools Are as Stylish as Your Outdoor Furniture
Nice to look at and quick to hose down.
Published Jun 6, 2022 11:40 PM
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Your four-legged buddy endures the heat of summer more than anyone else in your household, thanks to all that lush fur. And while it may benefit from perching on your new teak lounge chair in a shady spot, what it is really after is a place to seriously cool down. But you don’t need a palatial backyard swimming pool or daily trip to the beach to let your pup take a much-needed plunge.
For that, we turn our attention to the best dog pools. For those with canine companions, these portable swimming holes are the backyard accessory that no outdoor space—whether spacious or teeny-tiny—should be without. Yes, you’ll probably get one because Bosco wants to splash, but the best dog swimming pools are as charming as ever, available in a range of styles and patterns and sure to complement your outdoor space. We have no doubt your canine will be diving paws-first into these cute and durable pet pools the moment that temps rise—and that you’ll want to keep them around long after your pup hops out.
- Best budget: Sun Squad Dog Pool
- Best pattern: Mylle Shapes Graphic-Print Inflatable Paddling Pool
- Best height: Minnidip Soak in Some (Water) Color Luxe Inflatable Pool
- Best terrazzo: Minnidip the Specked Terrazzo Pup Dip Dog Pool
- Best for large dogs: Yaheetech Foldable Pet Swimming Pool
Best Budget: Sun Squad Dog Pool
Dimensions: 40-by-12 inches | Breed size: Small | Type: Self-standing sides
What we like:
- Plug allows for easy drainage
- No pump needed
- No warranty
Why we chose it: Stripes are eternally cool, so you’ll never grow tired of this bargain pick in the backyard.
Much to the chagrin of the doggo that thinks you are a guest in its home, your newly renovated pool with Spanish tile is also not just for the pooch. For a pool that’s more its own size, go for this inflatable design in a classic summer pattern. Your pup can have it all to itself, and you can bring in a classic cabana stripe—for just $25—that will complement your patio furniture and add color to your backyard landscape. This Target option can fit one large dog, such as a golden retriever, or two small pups, like a dachshund.
Best Pattern: Mylle Shapes Graphic-Print Inflatable Paddling Pool
Dimensions: 65-by-15 inches | Breed size: Small to medium | Type: Inflatable
What we like:
- Graphic designed bottom, too
- Pattern hides dirt
- Handy drain at the bottom
- Can rip; not as durable as others
- Not PVC
Why we chose it: Top-to-bottom beautiful in earthy tones.
There’s no more striking design for a mini pool than one reminiscent of modern art. This one, with geometric shapes and an earthy palette by fashion stylist Kristin Myllenbeck, is hands down our favorite pattern on this list. Keep in mind that this inflatable design is best for the dog with little desire to bite (and pop!) it; sorry, puppies, this one is for your calmer four-legged friends. Add the pool to your outdoor space for an instant California-cool aesthetic, and your lower-energy pooch can spend the summer days lounging in its dipping pool (read: throne) for hours.
Dimensions: 66-by-18 inches | Breed size: Small to medium-large | Type: Inflatable
What we like:
- While not nailproof, it’s PVC vinyl
- Easy setup: Inflate with a standard air pump or even a hair dryer set to cool
- Pump not included
- Not a dog pool, so heavier dogs could puncture if overly active
Why we chose it: Tall and the widest on this list, this one can fit a whole puppy pool party.
We don’t know what’s more impressive—this pool’s painterly design or the dog that can easily hop out of its tall sides. With its sweet pastels, this mini pool reminds us of an immaculately decorated spa, and the high profile is great if you don’t want your dog escaping easily—ideal for those with adventurous puppies or if you’ve got a runner on your hands. It’s also easily inflated with a standard air pump or hair dryer you already have on hand. But safety first, of course: Always keep your eye on this cute pool that is a bit deeper than others on this list.
Best Terrazzo: Minnidip the Specked Terrazzo Pup Dip Dog Pool
Dimensions: 48-by-12 inches | Breed size: Small to medium | Type: Self-standing sides
What we like:
- Easy to set up
- Understated; blends into any outdoor space
- The bottom isn’t nonslip
Why we chose it: For the pup that is attuned to the design world, opt for this playful confetti-like pattern.
Aside from the fun of taking photos of your pup in a terrazzo-patterned pool as if it resides in a European villa, this pick wins for its heavy-duty vinyl. Our tester had her almost-1-year-old Westie give the design a try, and it stood up to hours of zoomies and playtime. (Note: She was sure to trim Scout’s nails first.) Style this in a sun-filled spot for a daylong swim sesh and pure summer magic.
Best for Large Dogs: Yaheetech Foldable Pet Swimming Pool
Dimensions: 63-by-12 inches | Breed size: Small to extra-large | Type: Self-standing sides
What we like:
- Slip-resistant bottom for safe play
- Extremely durable
- Can easily overflow if filled passed waterline
Why we chose it: A soothing, neutral gray design spacious enough for even a Great Dane.
A match for even the most rambunctious doggy paddle, this two-tone option is the best pool for large dogs—and it’s also the best foldable pool we’ve found. It’s all about function, and it will take a lot of jumping and pawing to damage these scratch-resistant walls. The pool comes in small, medium, and large—big enough to fit your Great Dane—with plenty of room for a water toy (or five). We love that this pool doesn’t require an air pump (thanks to self-standing sides) and is packed with accessories, including a hose adapter (so you can attach a hose directly to the pool for easy filling), a dog brush (to beautify your pup when it is fresh out of the water), and four repair patches for damage control.
How We Chose These Products
In an effort to accommodate your four-legged friend, we researched a variety of dog pools based on size, durability, and, of course, style—avoiding any eyesores in your outside space. We looked to brands that specialize in dog pools and dominate the mini pool world with their chic designs.
Our Shopping Checklist
Wondering how to seamlessly tie together decor and playtime setup? Luckily most of the pools on this list bring their own punchy style, from neutral terrazzo and simple solids to colorful graphic prints.
Since pools for your pet will get much wear and tear from hours in the sun and contact with pup claws, prioritize durable materials. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) stands up to sharp dog nails better than regular plastic can, and most dog pools are coated in an extra-strong PVC material. Again, because of those paws and claws, there does run the risk of any mini pool popping, but if you have an active pup that loves to play, a true dog pool is the safer choice for your, er, wallet.
Your dog’s size and its desire to swim versus lounge can help you decide on the best pool size. If your pup is, say, a Portuguese water dog that lives to swim, you may want to consider the biggest pool on our list; a smaller option is better for a pup who just wants to hop in for a quick dip. And measuring your dog’s size (from nose to bum) and height will also help you decide. With that said, you’ll also want to consider what your outside space—from a tiny strip of a patio to a sizable backyard—can comfortably accommodate.
Q: How do I style a dog pool in my backyard or patio?
Emily Vaca, founder and chief designer of Minnidip, recommends setting up your dog pool on a soft, smooth surface: an even patch of grass or on top of an outdoor rug on a patio or deck. Take care to avoid snagging it on anything sharp such as a nail. She also suggests adding to your mini oasis by setting a side table next to it for keeping music and cocktails within arm’s reach while you’re with your dog. And if your furry friend likes playing into the evening, string bistro lights above the pool; a few floating toys or tennis balls tossed in help complete the look.
Q: My pup jumped in covered in mud; how do I keep my pool clean?
Keeping your dog pool in top shape is simple: Drain the water between uses to keep it fresh and free of debris, then dry it and deflate it. When needed, use a sponge with dish soap to clean the vinyl of any dirt buildup. That said, skip using chemicals such as chlorine or bleach to keep the patterns vibrant and your four-legged friend safe.
The Last Word
What better way to spoil your dog than with a place to cool off (that looks good in your outdoor space, too)? Get your camera ready: The best dog pools are hardy and easy to put together, and will be a spot for endless playtime for your pup all summer long.
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