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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. She’s 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 😮
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 we decided to DIY this Dog Pool Ramp for her.
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 electrical conduit to make our doggie pool ramp since we already had some. It’s strong enough to hold EeeeeDeeeee’s weight without bending.
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.
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:
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 at 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.
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.
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 😀 Shame poor thing.
But I’m happy to say, it works for EeeeeDeeeee too.
Glue all the pieces together with a 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 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, 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 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.
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