DIY Dog Pool Ramp – Don’t Let Them Drown
Happy New Year everyone. I hope it’s a good one filled with love, laughter, and many beautiful memories. I wanted to share a DIY project with you today that’s really close to my heart. It involves fur babies and more specifically this little cutie pie – EeeeeDeeeee Riley Pipsquick (III).
You may remember her from our paintbrush repurpose post. Little EeeeeDeeeee has been with us for a year now and she’s grown just a tiny bit.
She’s a feisty little thing and loves playing tug of war with our other fur baby, Zia. And sometimes that game of tug of war goes wrong and EeeeeDeeeee ends up in the pool. Fortunately, she can swim. Unfortunately, her legs are just too short to stand on the stairs so she can’t get out of the pool on her own 😮
Dog's lives are too short. It's their only fault
She’s crept so deeply into our hearts and we can’t bear the thought of her drowning if they play tug of war when we’re not around to save her. So we had to make a plan. Dog pool ramps are hard to come by and when you do find one, it’s horribly expensive or the reviews are a bit suspect. So instead, we decided to make her this Dog Pool Ramp.
Right, before I show you how to make a doggie pool ramp, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!
What you need for the Dog Pool Ramp
- Pool noodle
- Zip ties
- Industrial strength canvas or rubber mat material
- Nylon rope
- Hacksaw or pipe cutter
- PVC Pipe and Fittings:
- 6 x 90-degree elbow pieces
- 2 x T-pieces
- 1 PVC pipe
- PVC adhesive
- Silicone (optional depending on the type of fittings used)
PVC pipe comes in different thicknesses, sizes, and “flexibilitiness” Lordy, I don’t even think that’s a word 😀 Look for the SN value (Nominal stiffness). The higher the number the stiffer, or less flexible, the pipe is. You want something that doesn’t bend too easily. We used an electrical conduit to make our doggie pool ramp since we already had some. It’s strong enough to hold EeeeeDeeeee’s weight without bending.
How to Make a Dog Pool Ramp
First things first. Measure your fur babies. The ramp needs to be long enough for them to sit, or lie on comfortably and at least 20 cm (about 8”) wider than they are.
We made ours big enough to fit Lulu Bell who’s a bit
plumper rounder more voluptuously gorgeous than EeeeeDeeeee. She tends to stay far away from the pool though, but we wanted to be sure it would work for both of them. Cut a piece of canvas or rubber mat to size using the measurements. Since we used electrical fittings to make the pool ramp, we needed to seal the elbows and T-pieces with silicone first to make them watertight. If you’re using plumbing elbows and T-pieces you can skip this step.
Using your piece of canvas as a template, cut the PVC pipe into two long pieces and two shorter pieces with a hacksaw. Remember to add a little extra when cutting the PVC pipe to take into account the extra bit that will fit into the elbows.
You should end up with something like this.
Sorry, the piccy above is missing the two 90-degree elbows on the left-hand side. Now to add those T-pieces that will help stabilize the pool ramp and make it easier to attach it to the side of the pool.
Adding the T-Pieces and Making the Frame
You’ll be cutting one of the shorter PVC pipes up into smaller pieces to add the T-pieces. The T-pieces and PVC pipe bits will be joined together as follows:
- a small length of PVC pipe that connects the T-piece to the elbow on the left,
- a T-piece,
- a piece of PVC pipe,
- a T-piece,
- a small length of PVC pipe that connects the T-piece to the elbow on the right
I’m hoping the picture below explains it better than my words 😉
Once all the pieces have been cut, glue the bits together to form the frame for the dog pool ramp as shown below. Make sure the two T-pieces point upwards.
PVC adhesive takes about 15 minutes to harden to a point where it can withstand water pressure and two hours to cure fully. To finish off the frame insert two 12 cm (4.5″) PVC pieces into an elbow and glue them into the T-pieces. Finally cut a piece of PVC pipe to join them together.
Adding the Canvas
Use zip ties to attach the canvas to the frame making sure to pull the canvas really tight.
Cut a pool noodle to size and zip tie it underneath the canvas for extra floatation. One can never be too safe when it comes to our fur babies 😉
That’s it. The dog pool ramp is ready. Time for a test run.
Testing the Dog Pool Ramp Out
Place the ramp inside the pool, tie a rope around the top part of the frame and secure it to something strong and stable. Make sure the pool ramp is right up against the side of the pool. We tied ours to a bush that grows near the pool. I think we unintentionally knocked this little guy into the pool while we were tying the rope. So the very first thing that the dog pool ramp saved was actually a six-legged critter and not one of our fur babies 😀 Poor little thing.
But I’m happy to say, it works for EeeeeDeeeee too.
Impawtant Things to Keep in Mind When Making a Dog Pool Ramp
Glue all the pieces together with water-resistant glue or adhesive so it doesn’t come loose.
Choose the right size and stiffness of PVC pipe. Make sure it holds the weight of your fur baby.
This doggie pool ramp is only suitable for small to medium dogs. Our EeeeeDeeeee weighs 4 kg (9 lb) and Lulu Bell is around 14 kg (32lb) and it works for both of them. Lulu is still not speaking to us after we put her in the pool 🙁
You will need to teach your fur baby where the pool ramp is. We put EeeeeDeeeee in the pool three times before she figured out that the ramp is her “safety net”. Now, as soon as she goes in she swims straight towards it. TRY not to help your fur baby out of the water. They need to do it by themselves, otherwise, you’ll never know if the doggie pool ramp works properly. I really struggled with this one 🙂
The choice of canvas is also important. Not only should it be really strong and UV resistant, but it needs to be the right color too. Fur babies don’t see colors the way we do. Their color perception is similar to a person who is “red-green” color blind, so they only see shades of blue, yellow, and green. We used a pale yellow canvas to contrast with the blue of the pool. Look for a canvas that has a tight weave so your fur baby’s claws don’t get stuck. You can also use a rubber mat as long as it’s textured to prevent your fur baby from slipping.
If you like the idea of making a pool ramp for your fur babies, don’t forget to pin it for later.
How does your fur baby handle the water? Are they pool-safe?
Oh and by the way, if you’re struggling to find some of the things we used, I’ve got you covered. Disclosure: If you click on the links below, we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us come up with more unique DIY and craft ideas for you;-)
Until next time, happy crafting and thank you for popping in for a visit.
46 thoughts on “DIY Dog Pool Ramp – Don’t Let Them Drown”
So would you use more pool noodles for a bigger dog? We have a 58 pound lab mix who you would think could swim well but we don’t know. He was dropped off and we brought him into our family. BUT…as clumsy and awkward as he is…really not sure how well he can swim. He’s a big lovable oof for sure. 😀
I’m really not sure Amy. I would hate to say yes and something happens to that big lovable oof of yours. Our big fur babies know how to swim and can get out of the pool without a problem. All I can suggest is to put your lab in the pool under supervision and see how he copes. The labs I’ve met are really strong swimmers and he’ll probably love it. Enjoy your new fur baby. I hope he gives you years of beautiful, uncomplicated love and happy memories ❤
Thank you and so do we, plus our little EeeeeDeeeee is safe
I found your article about the pup pool ramp very clever and and nicely written. We don’t have a pool, and our dogs are Border Collies so they are bigger than yours. But you have such a clever way of writing and such a love for animals – even the Praying Mantis – that I really enjoyed reading this.
? Thank you so much Gerry. I often really struggle to find the right words. English isn’t my first language so it makes me smile inside when someone leaves a comment like you just did.
We fostered a Border Collie for a few weeks and she was soooooooooooo busy but had such a sweet personality. They’re lovely dogs. Give them a hug from South Africa for me please ?
Something to remember is that regular white PVC pipe will get brittle in sunlight . Use electrical PVC pipe and fittings . The grey color makes them UV resistant . If you have already made your ramp with white PVC , Spray paint it to protect it from UV rays .
Thank you so much for pointing that out Jerry, I really appreciate you adding your comment. We used electrical conduit for our pool ramp, they’re white here in S Africa. But you’re 100% correct when it comes to PVC pipes. They do need to be protected from UV rays.
I don’t have a pool or a dog but I really enjoyed reading this. I hope the mantis lived, they eat lots of bad bugs and pretty good for your garden.
Oh Val I can’t tell you how happy your comment made me. We put that little mantis straight back in the garden in a protected spot so she could recover from her near drowning experience and go on to make us some more babies. We love our bugs, except mozzies and flies. We like them but would prefer it if they stay far away ?
I love critters too but your heart is much bigger than mine. I can’t even pretend to like skeeters, ticks or biting flies. I too enjoyed your article. Thank you.
You are most welcome Barbara. Thanks so much for coming to visit us and for all your lovely comments
Love your clever humour and your love for your furry babies. Good on you. Dont have a pool here in the south of New Zealand but some may so you probably have saved many people’s puppies.
Aaaaaw Jan I can’t tell how much that means to me. I couldn’t imagine losing one of ours to a drowning incident, they make our world a better place just by being in it ?
EeeeDeee (I think I’m missing some eees) is a cutie pie. I’m assuming that’s Lulu in the header? This is a great idea and one I’ll pass on to my daughter who has a pool and a couple pets.
? So glad you like the pool ramp Lydia. I had nightmares about our EeeeeDeeee and the pool before we made it. The fur baby in our header is Zia. She’s a Husky x Alsatian and loves swimming. Lulu Bell is our little sausage dog, with something else mixed in just for fun ? She’s not good with water either but tends to stay far away from the pool, but we did test the pool ramp with her too, just in case
That’s a great project, Michelle! It would be horrible if one of your furry babies would drown. Now you don’t have to worry anymore. This is such a great inspiration for pool owners with pets!
We’ve never lost a fur baby to a drowning but I can only imagine how terrible it must be. A really good friend of ours lost her english bulldog like that just before Christmas and it broke her heart. You don’t know what to say to make it better other than sharing all the memories and listening ? They really are such a big part of our family
Great project! I had to check it out since it was so popular (I don’t have a dog) and wanted to see how you build the ramp. You are so clever to have figured out a way to make a ramp and keep that cutie pup safe. Have a wonderful weekend, Kippi #kippiathome
Thank you ? I was a little surprised to find out the doggie pool ramp was most popular, but I’m guessing everyone saw Eeeeeee Deeeeee’s cute face and couldn’t help but click through ?
What a cutie! I didn’t even know doggie ramps for the pool were a thing, but it’s definitely a great idea. We had a pool in the backyard growing up. They are lots of fun, but you can never be too cautious with them.
Thanks so much Amy. We spend so much time out at the pool here at home and you’re right you do have to be super cautious when you have one, especially if you have little ones running around.
Oh such a little cute face! You are such a kind person Michelle. You have a noble soul… only you as far as I know could think to make this for her furry child. Kisses & Hugs 🙂
? Our fur babies are such a big part of the family, we just have to make sure they’re safe ?
What a little sweetie. So glad you showed her how to find the ramp. We lost one of our little one 3 years ago to a drowning incident. It breaks your heart
Oh Connie, I’m so very sorry to hear that. I can’t imagine how terrible that must have been. Sending lots of love, they’ll always live on inside our hearts ?
Baie oulik. Waar het julle die materiaal gekry?
Hi daar Mattie. Ons het die materiaal by Builders gekoop. Dis daai wat hulle normaal weg gebruik vir ‘n stoep – Coolaroo. As jy dit in ‘n rol koop is dit baie goedkoper
Your pooch is adorable! I love this idea so much!
She just the cutest, feistiest little thing ever. So glad she’s part of our fur baby family
This is brilliant and it doesn’t look at all difficult to make. My husband is a plumber and I know he has a whole bunch of plumbing fittings that we could use to make one. I’ll be showing him your tutorial later. We have two scotties and the are terrible swimmers and I always worry that something will happen to them
Awwww Scotties are my Mom’s favorite kind of fur baby. We had so many when we were growing up and you’re right, they’re the worst when it comes to swimming. Please let me know if anything in the tutorial seems unclear and use the strong pipes, scotties are quite heavy for their size ?
EeeeDeee is such a doll, her eyes melts you! And your pool ramp is a great idea! So thoughtful 🙂
Hey Mel ? EeeeeeDeeeee seems to steal everyone’s heart
This is an excellent idea. After all, we want our furbabies to be safe. EeeeeeDeeeee is so cute!
Right?!! Our fur babies give us so much love and just make the world a better place ?
Aw your little pup is adorable and I’m happy she’ll be safe swimming now!! As always you guys just come up with the best stuff! I think this would work for bunnies too, hey??
Oh I never thought about that ? Yes I’m sure the ramp will work for bunnies as long as they’re familiar with swimming and know where to find the ramp to get out of the water.
Well, isn’t that clever? But I’m not surprised, you are super creative! Oh…and that face. Too cute!
Isn’t she just the cutest thing ever. Thanks so much Kim
This is so adorable Michelle, just perfect for your little fur baby! EeeDee is such a cutie and of course you always want her to be safe. And thanks to your information, I know I’ve been doing something right, I’ve been adding lots of blue to my house without knowing it I have been making Tatou happy!
? Tatou must be one of the happiest little fur babies ever Mary. He’s found such a loving home now and yes you’re right he’ll be able to see all the blues you’ve added to your decor
So cool Michelle! ? We have stairs on both ends of our pool so the animals could get out but I’ve been wanting something for the frogs to get on so they can get out. Some are lucky because I see them sitting on the skimmer handle and get them to safety but others are not so lucky. ?
Oh shame yes. We have loads of frogs at the bottom of the garden too and so many of them fall into the pool when they migrate up to the top pond. I hope the little pool ramp works for them too. ?
LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea! Super easy to make (thanks to your awesome instructions) and I can totally see this doing it’s important job.
? Dankie jy. I’m super happy we made the pool ramp for EeeeeeDeeeee and she’s super comfortable using it too.