Dogs and other animals can usually climb out of a pool with a wedding cake type pool stairs, but they can't climb pool ladders. Swim outs or benches may be too deep for small dogs or animals to use as a pool escape, many being over 18" deep from the bottom to the top. And for smaller animals with short legs like squirrels, rabbits or chipmunks, they can't use pool steps as a means to escape. A ramp is well suited as a escape route for both pets and animals, no matter how small.
Dog Pool Ramps
Dog pool ramps provide a safe way for pets and wild animals to get out of your pool. Otherwise, they will panic and quickly become exhausted in the water only to drown. I've heard more than one story about squirrels or raccoons shredding a pool liner with their claws as they try to escape.
Many strong, young dogs will swim straight away to the pool step and make an easy exit. However, dogs with poor vision, no swimming skills, or a fear of the water can panic and have trouble finding the pool steps or pet ramp. In addition, the position of a dog's eyes creates limited forward vision, as they lean their head back to keep their snout out of water.
Skamper Ramp has 2 sizes of dog pool ramps. The regular ramp is 25" long, and is suitable for smaller pets up to 45 lbs. For larger or heavier dogs, the larger ramp is 42" long with a weight capacity of 200 lbs.
DIY Dog Pool Ramps
I have just had a good laugh looking at some ideas online for making DIY dog pool ramps out of pool chairs, palettes and pool noodles. None of the DIY pool ramp ideas I've seen look very sturdy or durable, and some could damage your pool, or break when needed the most. Pool ramps using pool noodles for floatation will need annual replacement, as they will deteriorate if left in the water constantly. And lumber, especially pressure treated wood, is not a good idea to have floating in your pool.
You could make your own pet ramp, but at prices of $59 and $99, respectively, it's almost a no-brainer to buy a Skamper Ramp. Plus, it's extremely light weight, rapid draining and quick drying. But wait there's more - you also get to install the deck anchor to secure the ramp, which makes the Skamper Ramp a truly DIY dog pool ramp that you installed yourself - with power tools!
Training on a Dog Pool Ramp
To successfully use a doggy pool ramp, your pet will need some training to learn how to make a safe pool exit. With a suitable ramp or step in place, train by coaxing your dog into the pool, and calmly lead them to the ramp or steps. They may struggle a bit with 4 long skinny legs, and can be helped with a little push from behind the first few times.
Watch out for the water spray, because after they make their safe and successful pool exit, here comes the doggy water shake!
Using a pool ramp for a dog can take some practice, because they are floating on the water, and can be a little wobbly. You can assist your dog while he exits a pool with a dog ramp, until he develops the skills to balance while hooking his claws into the holes and traction grooves of the ramp. Practice safe pool exits by facing away from the ramp, then have your pet locate the ramp and make a successful exit on their own.
Most dogs will learn how to successfully use the ramp in a few short minutes. For dogs that do not want to go into the pool, or those that prefer to stay dry - training them to use the dog pool ramp is still a good idea, as accidents can happen.
Do not force a dog into the pool, but coax (bribe) them in the water, and help them make a quick exit using the ramp. Smaller dogs can be calmly carried into the water and gently released just a few feet from the ramp, so they can become familiar with the location and practice exiting the pool a few times.
~~~We get a lot of comments about our Skamper Ramp dog pool ramps, mostly grateful thanks for an ingenious product, and how it saved a family member (pet) from a probable tragedy. If you have a dog (or two) around the house, keep them safe by (diy) installing a safe way to exit the pool!
SPP Pool Expert