The swimming pool has long been considered the epitome of the great summer oasis. From the crystal clear water inviting you in, to the gentle relaxation it brings with your pink flamingo floating raft, it’s full of fun for everyone from your toddler to your Aunt Edna and Uncle Albert.
All of that is fine and dandy, but what about the other members of your family? I’m talking about the furry 4-legged members who love to be included in family activities too.
We know you’ve done your research and have been warned about pet safety around pools, and about the dangers and damages that come with allowing dogs to swim.
Surely this makes you hesitant to hear that you can in fact, share your pool time with your furry little friends (Fido, not Uncle Albert). Yes, as long as the proper safety equipment is used and animals are always accompanied in the water, your pets can join in on the summer pool fun too.
In fact, we have put together a little list for you of all of the top rated pet ramps and stairs to ensure your little (or big) pup can fully enjoy the pool experience with you:
#1 – WAG Boarding Steps – 5 Stars
Our top pick for dog safety is the WAG Boarding Steps, Model XPM-6. This model has a 5 star rating on Amazon with non-slip steps for maximum traction for Fido. It is sturdy enough for larger breeds (up to 130 pounds), yet easily removed for storage.
Pros: The stair structure provides greater stability than a dog ramp, and has a deck-mount so there is no contact with the liner or pool wall, protecting the integrity of the pool.
Cons: This does require you to have a pool deck for fastening, and also will cause wear on the bottom of the pool liner.
#2 – PetSTEP Portable Folding Dog Ramp – 5 Stars
The PetSTEP Portable Folding Dog Ramp is our second pick, only because of the ramp platform being slightly less stable than the stair structure.
However, the PetSTEP ramp comes highly recommended by Amazon users for its soft tread surface, making it friendly for Fido’s paws, and for its rubber grips at the fastening points of the ramp.
We like the pet friendly tread, and the built-in grooves for non-slip traction, along with the lightweight portability of this option. The pricing comes in at an overall average, making this one of the most cost effective choices.
Pros: It is highly versatile with the ability to travel and be used in other locations, and its soft surface is the most pet-friendly.
Cons: It is not a securely fastened structure, making it less stable for Fido, and it also puts pressure on the pool walls and liner which will cause wear and tear on the pool structures.
#3 – Pet Loader H2O XL – 5 Stars
The Pet Loader H2O XL series is our most stable and secure choice on the list. With its extended base platform, it allows extra room for Fido’s paws to find footing, and also adds rubber strips for soft padded traction.
It fastens securely to the pool deck, ensuring there are no added pressure points or contact with the pool wall or liner directly, and it includes a pivoting feature to allow the steps to be folded up and out of the way when not in use. If not for its significantly higher price range, this option would be our first pick on the list.
Pros: Sturdy and stable platform with soft rubber traction pads, fastened to the pool decking to ensure no damage to the pool structure.
Cons: The pricing. At $429 plus shipping, this is the highest priced option on the list and more than double the cost of all other prospects available.
#4 – Skamper Ramp Super – 3.5 Stars
This model is presented as more of a safety feature for Fido than an actual daily-use structure, but can be used either way. We like this product for its floating feature that gives it the ability to meet individual dogs’ depth needs as they swim to the edge of the pool for an exit.
Its safety features make it the most “doggie friendly” option on the list. It includes ribbed material for traction and treated hardware for use in pools without corrosion, and also has the ability to be folded up when not in use.
Pros: The floating platform is the most “doggie friendly” of the available options, making it an excellent safety feature. At $79.99 it is also the most budget-friendly option on the list.
Cons: While the platform is easier for Fido, its floating feature makes it less stable than other fixed options, which also puts your pool at risk for liner damage from contact with the ladder or paddling paws that miss the ramp initially.
#5 – Paws Aboard 5300 Pool-Pup Steps – 3 Stars
Rounding out our top 5 list is the Paws Aboard 5300 model. We like this model for its solid steps (no porous surface for paws to get stuck or injured on), and for its weather resistant construction, allowing it to have a longer shelf-life against the sun and chemicals incurred at the pool. It’s also a fairly affordable option, listed at just over $100 plus shipping.
Pros: The weather resistant material and small construction makes this an appealing option for longevity and storage space.
Cons: The attachments and installation methods require this option to have contact with the pool wall, which will lead to liner wear.
As long as the proper precautions are followed, it is entirely possible to let Fido join you in your quest for summer fun in the pool. Let him cool off in the water, or splash Aunt Edna with his tail. Just make sure Aunt Edna has her glasses with her so she doesn’t confuse Fido for Uncle Albert.