Dogster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

5 DIY Dog Pool Ramp Plans You Can Make Today (with Pictures)

Written by: Chantelle Fowler

Last Updated on April 15, 2024 by Dogster Team

5 DIY Dog Pool Ramp Plans You Can Make Today (with Pictures)

Thousands of family pets die every year due to drowning incidents. The true number is unknown as many of these accidents go unreported. If you have a pool at home, you need to take safety precautions to avoid becoming a part of this statistic.

Dog pool ramps are a great accessory to have as they provide your pup with easy access out of the pool should they fall into it. These ramps aren’t that easy to get a hold of, though. Commercial options are often terribly overpriced for what they are. Why drop hundreds of dollars on an expensive ramp when you can DIY one for much cheaper? Keep reading to find five simple DIY ramps you can whip up in an afternoon.

dogster paw divider

The 5 DIY Dog Pool Ramp Plans

1. Pool Noodle Ramp

DIY Pool Noodle Ramp
Image Credit: acraftymix
Materials: Pool noodle, zip ties, canvas, nylon rope, PVC pipe fittings, PVC adhesive, silicone
Tools: Hacksaw
Suitable for: Small to medium dogs
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This pool noodle ramp is a custom design that’s fitted specifically to your dog’s size. You will need to measure the width of your pup to ensure the ramp is wide enough to accommodate them. This extra step takes only seconds but will provide you with peace of mind knowing that your dog won’t fall off the side of your ramp.

Though you might have some of the materials at home for this project, chances are you will need to take a trip to your local hardware store to get the PVC pipe fittings. The pipe fittings act as a frame for the canvas ramp and are necessary to provide the stability your dog will need when using the ramp. Make sure you attach the ramp to something strong and stable outside of the pool such as a tree.

You need to use water-resistant glue or adhesive so the fittings won’t come loose as soon as they make contact with the water.

2. Doggie Dock

Materials: Industrial mat, pool noodle, zip ties, nylon rope
Tools: Box cutter
Suitable for: Small to medium dogs
Difficulty Level: Easy

This Doggie Dock is one of the easiest DIY plans in our guide. All you need to do is cut an industrial mat to the size necessary. The author of this plan used a 3×3 mat but made it longer by cutting off one strip of the mat to add to the 2×3 for extra length. He attached the extra strip using zip ties. You can make your dock longer if you need. Once your mat is the length necessary for your dog, you’ll zip tie cut up pool noodles vertically to your mats. The number of noodles you’ll need will depend on the length of your mat. The original creator wound up with a 4×2 mat so he used four strips of noodles to provide the right amount of support and floatation. All that’s left to do now is use your nylon rope to attached the doggie dock to something stable on land. The creator tied his around a nearby fence.

3. Doggie Dock II

DIY dock and boat ramp
Image Credit: Halifax Dogventures
Materials: Industrial rubber mat, nylon rope, zip ties, pool noodle
Tools: Box cutter
Suitable for: Medium to large
Difficulty Level: Easy

If this Doggie Dock DIY looks similar, it’s because the original creator used a lot of the same methods as the previous plan. There are some small differences between the two ramps, though. This ramp is much larger which gives medium and large breed dogs a way to enter and exit the pool.

To create this dock, you’ll need several pool noodles in differing sizes as well as rubber anti-fatigue mats. The creator used one 3×4 mat and one 3×2 to end up with a ramp that’s 3×5. You’ll start this DIY by zip tying the two mats together. The more zip ties you use here, the better. The mats are quite heavy so any additional support is helpful.  The next step is to zip tie the noodles to the mats. Be sure to attach the pool noodles to the smoother side of the mats. The side of the mat that would typically be on the floor is what you’ll want facing up in your pool as it’ll provide the most grip for your pup. The zip ties will attach both vertically and horizontally to ensure adequate floatation and support.

Attach large carabiners to your pool ladder or another stable item close to the pool. Use nylon rope to weave through the holes on each side of the mat and tie it onto the carabiner.

4. Wooden Pool Ramp

Materials: 2-board (1”x10”), outdoor carpet, 2 – hinges
Tools: Box cutter, jigsaw, drill or strew driver
Suitable for: Small to large dogs
Difficulty Level: Medium

This project involves a bit more effort but what you’re left with is a sturdy and safe ramp so it’s worth the effort. You’ll start with two 1 x 10 boards from your local hardware store. The boards will need to be cut to size to fit into your pool. The boards will form a triangle shape to allow your dog to climb up and down on either side of the pool. One end of the triangle will be on the ground outside the water and the other end will go into your pool. The hinges will attach the two boards, forming the point of the ‘triangle’. The next step is to attach the outdoor carpet to the ramp as it provides extra traction for your dog when entering and exiting the pool.

5. Chair Ramp

DIY Chair Ramp
Image Credit: loveyourdog
Materials: Beach chair, perforated plastic tile, plastic covered wire, rope
Suitable for: Small to medium dogs
Difficulty: Easy

This ramp uses a folding-type lawn or beach chair which you might already have sitting in your shed. The best chair for this project is made of aluminum and has a plastic covering to prevent damage to your pool’s lining. You’ll attach a few strips of perforated plastic tile to the chair using a plastic-covered wire to protect your dog from any scratches. Place one strip of the tile where your dog will need to get a grip while in the water and another strip in a place that allows him to step up from the water to the pool deck. Fully open the chair and place it in the pool with the backrest against the pool wall. Anchor it to a stable item like a fence or tree using a strong plastic rope tied around the carrying handle of the chair.

dogster paw divider

How Can I Keep My Dog Safe Around the Swimming Pool?

Poolside safety is an absolute must if you choose to have a pool at home. The following guidelines can help you keep your dog safe around your pool.

Know His Swimming Level

Not all dogs are proficient swimmers. In fact, some will never pick up swimming at all. You should never leave your dog unattended in the pool. Your pup might seem like an excellent swimmer when he first gets in the water, but you don’t know how long his stamina will last. He could tire out quickly and not be able to make it out of the pool before tiring.

Know His Health Status

Even though swimming is an excellent cardiovascular activity for your senior dog, he should never be left alone in the pool. His aging joints and muscles could tire out faster than you and your dog are used to and he may not be able to get out on his own if he becomes too tired.

Dogs with seizure disorders should never be left alone in a pool as they will not be able to swim to safety if they start seizing.

dog swimming in the pool
Image Credit: JCFUL, Pixabay

Watch for Water Inhalation

Secondary drowning is a very real thing that can happen to both animals and humans. It occurs when too much water gets inhaled into the lungs. This happens often in near-drowning incidents. If your dog has had a close call but has coughed up water or there’s water draining from his nose or mouth, he still could be at risk as residual water may remain in the lungs. Secondary drowning can occur days after the incident so it’s essential to keep a close eye for symptoms such as:

  • Lethargy
  • Coughing
  • Anxiety
  • Distress
  • Vomiting
  • Dazed movements
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Skin and gum color changes

Take Extra Safety Precautions

Fences, alarms, and pool covers are great tools to protect your pet from the pool.

Pool covers do pose somewhat of a risk, however. The cover you use needs to be strong enough to support your weight otherwise they can trap your dog underneath if they were to fall into the pool with the cover on.

A pool cover works better when it’s paired with a safety fence. The fence should go around the entire perimeter of your pool and be tall enough that your dog can’t jump over it. If he can’t get close to the pool, there’s no way he can fall in when unattended.

Alarms will alert you if they detect movement in the pool. They aren’t the best safety device as they don’t necessarily prevent your dog from entering the pool, but will only let you know once he’s already in danger.

man putting pool cover
Image by: lara sh, Shutterstock

dogster paw divider

Final Thoughts

There’s no need to rid your home of its swimming pool if you’re worried about keeping your pets safe. With some swim training and safety accessories like fences, alarms, and ramps, you and your dog can live in harmony alongside your backyard pool.

Related Reads:

Featured Image by: GoDog Photo, Shutterstock

Get Dogster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
Dogster Editors Choice Badge
Shopping Cart


© Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.