While some families in the US may live in areas that allow them to use their pools year-round, summertime is still the prime time to enjoy the pool. There’s nothing better than a plunge into cool water on a sweltering day. Dog owners always want their pups to be a part of the family fun, but the heat can be a little much for our friends in fur coats. Especially for dogs who love swimming, we’d love for them to enjoy the pool with us on those hot summer days. Unfortunately, though, pool ladders weren’t created with paws in mind. It can be pretty difficult for dogs to safely get in and out of the pool. Even if your dog is able to jump into your pool, it can be a struggle for them to have to haul themselves out. That is why we’ve created the PetStep Pool Ramp for Dogs!
How Does the PetStep Pool Ramp Work?
The PetStep Pool Ramp for Dogs consists of the PetStep ramp and PetStep’s exclusive pool legs and locking braces. The aluminum pool legs are secured to the underside of the PetStep ramp using the included fiddle screws. The locking braces are attached similarly at the hinge of the ramp to keep it locked in the deployed position.
Once the legs and locking braces are attached, simply place the ramp in your pool and it is ready to use! The pool legs are hollow so they will fill with water once submerged, creating a stable base for your pup. The legs are also capped with rubber feet so that they will not scratch the pool bottom, and are safe to use with vinyl pool liners. The surface of the ramp features an exclusive paw-friendly ridged texture that delivers unbeatable traction even when submerged in water.
Dog Ramps in Shallow vs. Deeper Pools
To accommodate a variety of pool types and depths, PetStep offers two pool leg lengths: Standard and Long. With two pool leg lengths available, which one is best for your pool and canine buddy?
Measuring Your Pool
Before we explore how to choose between the Standard or Long pool legs, we want to explain how to properly measure your pool for your pool ramp. The depth measurements we refer to are the depth of your pool, not the water. Use a measuring tape to measure the depth of your pool starting at the pool floor and extending to the top of the pool coping, above the water line. Alternatively, if you know the exact depth of the water in your pool, you can measure the gap between the water line and the top of the pool coping, adding the two measurements together to calculate the floor-to-coping depth.
Now that you’ve measured your pool, you can determine which pool legs will work best!
Should I Get Standard or Long Pool Legs?
The Standard pool legs lift the end of the ramp 23 inches from the pool floor while the Long legs lift the ramp 30 inches from the pool floor. For pool depths from 42 to 52 inches, we recommend the Standard pool legs. For pools deeper than 52 inches, we recommend the Long pool legs. This ensures that the incline of the ramp is not too steep for your pup, depending on the depth of your pool. If your dog is older or has conditions like arthritis or hip dysplasia and would benefit from a very gentle slope, you can use the Long pool legs instead of the Standard in pool depths down to 42”.
Want Even More Stability? Try Weights.
In deeper pools, like pools with a 62″ depth, the water movement and pressure can increase the buoyancy of the ramp. Although the ramp is still stable for your dog’s use, many owners with active dogs prefer the ramp to have even more stability. In cases like this, weights can easily be added to the ramp to prevent floating. All you’ll need is a pair of rubber or vinyl coated weights and some zip ties (8” or longer). We recommend using hand weights because they are accessible and most families usually already own a pair, however, other weighted objects can be used if they can be attached via zip tie.
To attach the weights to the PetStep pool ramp,
- Thread a zip tie through each of the two middle holes on the steel locking brace brackets.
- Attach the brackets to the ramp with the fiddle screws.
- Place a weight over the brackets on each side of the ramp.
- Loop the zip ties around the weight, and secure them.
With the pool legs also installed, the ramp can now be placed into the pool. The weights will prevent any buoyancy and create an even more stable base for your dog as they use the ramp. Here is a link to our Adding Weights to a Pool Ramp instructions page.
The Dog Ramp for Every Pool
The construction of the PetStep ramp allows it to be exceptionally versatile so it can function in a variety of pools. Because every pool is unique, the simple adjustments mentioned above can ensure that your PetStep ramp works perfectly for your dog in your pool.