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

Written by: Chantelle Fowler

Last Updated on May 14, 2024 by Dogster Team

dog walking down on pool ramp

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 since many of these accidents go unreported. If you have a pool at home, you must take safety precautions to avoid becoming a part of this statistic.

Dog pool ramps are a great accessory since they give your pup easy access out of the pool should they fall into it. However, commercial ramps are often terribly overpriced for what they are. Why drop hundreds of dollars on an expensive ramp when you can construct one for much cheaper? Keep reading to find five simple DIY ramps you can whip up in an afternoon.

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The 5 DIY Dog Pool Ramp Plans

1. Pool Noodle Ramp

DIY Pool Noodle Ramp
Image Credit: acraftymix
Materials: Pool noodles, 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 unique design you can customize for your pup. You will need to measure the width of your dog to ensure the ramp is wide enough to accommodate them. This extra step takes only seconds but will provide 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 it. 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 when they come into contact with the water.

2. Doggie Dock

Materials: Industrial mat, pool noodles, 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 to.

Once your mat is the length necessary for your dog, you’ll zip-tie the 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 attach 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 noodles
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 many of the same methods as the previous plan. There are some small differences between the two ramps, however. This ramp is much larger, which allows medium and large-breed dogs to enter and exit the pool. To construct this dock, you’ll need several pool noodles in differing sizes and 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 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 since it’ll provide the most grip for your pup. The zip ties will attach vertically and horizontally to ensure adequate floatation and support.

You’ll also 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 screwdriver
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 must 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 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 since 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 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 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 them 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.

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

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

Know Their Swimming Level

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

Know Their Health Status

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

Dogs with seizure disorders should never be left alone in a pool since 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 can occur in animals and humans. It happens when too much water gets inhaled into the lungs. If your dog has had a close call but has coughed up water or there’s water draining from their nose or mouth, they still could be at risk since 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 signs 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. However, the pool cover you use needs to be strong enough to support your weight; otherwise, it 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 they can’t get close to the pool, there’s no way they can fall in when unattended.

Alarms will alert you if they detect movement in the pool. They aren’t the best safety devices since they don’t necessarily prevent your dog from entering the pool, but they will let you know when your dog is in danger.

man putting pool cover
Image by: lara sh, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

There’s no need to rid your home of the swimming pool if you’re worried about keeping your pets safe. With swim training and safety accessories like fences, alarms, and ramps, you and your dog can swim safely.

Related Reads:

Featured Image by: GoDog Photo, Shutterstock

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