Many breeds of dogs love swimming! Swimming can be the perfect summer activity to do with your dog. However, you want to make sure that your dog can get in and out of the pool with ease to not feel overwhelmed.
We’ve researched the best dog ramps and stairs to help your furry friend enjoy a day of swimming. These options are safe, comfortable, and easy to use.
My top choice, the WaterDog Adventure Gear Dog Ladder, is portable and lightweight. It can be removed from the water or transported so your dog can easily get into any pool.
The best dog ramps for pools are easy to use with non-slip steps and can support dogs of all sizes. They’re versatile, easy to install, and durable.
Because not every dog is the same, I’ve rounded up a few options to get your dog swimming in no time. I’ve tried to collect great options that are different from each other so that you and your dog can find one that’s right for you.
Are you ready to hit the pool? Get your doggy-sunglasses on, make sure your humans are all sunscreen-ed up, choose the perfect pool ramp for you, and get swimming!
Five Dog Ramps Perfect for Taking Your Dog to the Pool
Here are my top five choices of dog pool ramps. Read on to find some pros and cons about each, so you can make an educated decision about which to purchase.
WaterDog Adventure Gear Dog Ladder for Swimming Pool – Best Overall
The Waterdog Adventure Gear Dog Ladder is the best because of how versatile it is. This ramp is lightweight and portable, at only 17lbs, but can hold a dog’s weight up to 130lbs.
This ladder is wide enough for most large dogs, but the steps are small and close enough together that most small dogs will also be about to get out of the water quickly. The stairs have plenty of texture to help dogs get their footing and prevent any slips.
One of the best things about the WaterDog ladder is that the steps are bright yellow. Dogs see colors differently than us humans, and yellow and purple are two of the colors they can see most easily. These yellow steps will be easy for them to spot and might make it easier for you to train your dog to use the steps.
One final pro of this ladder is that you can quickly take it out of the pool. If you have a small pool and need more room, you can take the ladder out while you’re swimming and then drop it back in when it’s time for your pup to climb out.
Above Ground Swimming Pool Step to Deck – Best for Family
The Above Ground Swimming Pool Step to Deck doesn’t advertise itself as a dog ramp, but it works great for dogs and people. If you have children and dogs, these might be the steps to get. The hand-rails make it easy for humans to get in and out, and the slip-proof steps give dogs an easy way in and out as well.
These stairs are thick and wide, making it easy for most dogs to get in and out. If your dog knows how to use regular stairs, they should be able to easily learn to use these. Small dogs may have difficulty.
One drawback to the Above Ground Swimming Pool Step to Deck is that the stairs need to be weighted down to prevent them from floating up. You may use sand, weights, or other tie-down methods.
Make sure the stairs are secured in place before your dog tries them, since they might be scared if the stairs move while they’re still learning to use them.
Paws Aboard PoolPup Steps – Most Affordable
The Paws Aboard PoolPup Steps are small, lightweight steps that attach to the edge of the pool. They don’t take up much room and are just meant as a stepping platform for your dog to use as a boost getting out of the pool.
The steps are contoured to help your pet get plenty of traction, though some pet-owners added grip to make it even easier. Some users also reported that small dogs have a difficult time making it over the last step.
This is the ideal pool step for medium size dogs. It may be difficult for small dogs and can’t support the weight of large dogs.
Dog Pool Exit Ramp – Best for Small Dogs
This ramp is the best for small dogs and the only actual ramp on the list. The ramp has yellow ridges, which are easy for dogs to see and use and provides the grip they need to get out of the pool.
This ramp is also a great choice if your dog is older. Many stair ramps will be difficult for dogs with joint problems, but a ramp is easy and ergonomic.
This ramp is an excellent option because it won’t damage the pool and can easily be removed to be cleaned, moved, or stored.
One drawback to the Dog Pool Exit Ramp is that it only works for small to medium dogs. It only supports up to 65lbs and is relatively narrow, making it a bad choice if you have a large dog.
WaterDog Adventure Gear Dog Ladder for Hunting Boat – Most Portable
My final dog pool ramp choice is the WaterDog Adventure Gear Dog Ladder for Hunting Boat. This ladder attaches to hunting boats, but also works in most swimming pools.
It’s very lightweight at only 8lbs and can be moved from place to place easily. For example, you could use this on a boat and at the pool.
The steps have ridges for good grip, and the ladder’s frame has rubber ends to prevent damage to your boat or pool. The ladder is sturdy and stable, making it the right choice for medium to large dogs.
Before you jump into purchasing a dog pool ramp, are there any special considerations you should have in mind? What questions do you need to ask yourself before buying? Here are a few.
What size do I need?
Some of the ramps and steps in this listing have specific dogs in mind. How much does your dog weigh? Does your dog have difficulty getting up and down steps? How high can your dog jump?
Make sure you’re buying a ramp that is suited for your size dog!
Will I need the ramp to be portable?
You also need to take a look at where you’ll be installing your dog pool ramp. Do you need a set of stairs that will live in the pool permanently or will you need to take the ramp in and out? Will you need to travel with the dog ramp?
These are all important when deciding how much the ramp weighs, whether it folds up, and how easy it is to install.
How much am I willing to spend?
The last question is about the cost. There’s a large range in the cost of a dog ramp, so you want to go into the search with a budget. More expensive doesn’t always mean better, but it could mean that the product is made with more durable materials. It’s up to you to decide whether or not it’s worth it to you!
Final Tip: Training Your Dog to use the Dog Pool Ramp
Before ending this listing, I wanted to leave you with some advice on training your dog to use a ramp to get in and out of the pool. Some dogs will intuitively jump on the stairs or scamper up a ramp, but some will need additional coaxing.
First, get your dog familiar with the new object on solid ground. Place the ramp on the floor and let your dog sniff around it. A slow introduction will help your dog be comfortable using the ramp to get out of the water.
You don’t want to scare your dog by introducing a large foreign object with no warning!
Next, place the ramp in the pool. You should get in so that your dog feels safe coming to you and knows they have someone there to catch them!
If your dog loves water, there’s a good chance they’ll jump right in without using the ramp. If your dog doesn’t, you can use treats or toys to lead them down the ramp and into the water.
Make sure to take this process slowly to avoid scaring them or making them feel unsafe.
Once your pet is ready to get out, you should stand near the exit ramp. Guide them up with a toy or treat. You may need to help your dog up by directing them and maybe even lifting their paws to show them how to do it for the first few times.
Be patient as they learn, reward with plenty of treats, and make sure to spend lots of time practicing and playing!