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 Ramp & Pool Kit!
How Does the PetStep Pool Ramp Work?
The pool kit bundle includes the PetStep Folding Ramp as well as the Pool Leg Accessory Kit. The 23.5” aluminum pool legs are secured to the underside of the PetStep ramp using the included fiddle screws. Once the legs are attached, simply place the ramp in your pool and it is ready to use! The pool legs are hollow so that they will fill with water once submerged, creating a stable base for your dog. The legs are also capped with rubber feet so that they will not scratch the pool bottom, and are safe to use with vinyl pools and 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
The more shallow the pool (down to 3.5’), the gentler the slope of the ramp. In deeper pools (up to 5.5’) the ramp slope will be a bit steeper, but still manageable for most dogs to use with ease. In deeper pools, where both the ramp and legs sit lower in the water, there’s a natural increase in the buoyancy of the ramp can that can cause the ramp to bend slightly at the hinge until your pup starts its way up the ramp. Thankfully, there is a super simple solution to a ramp that might be slightly folding in a deeper pool.
The Locking Brace Kit Solution
When using the PetStep ramp in pool depths on the deeper end of the functional spectrum, from 5 ft to 5.5 ft, the locking brace kit can be used to lock the ramp into its deployed position, preventing any slight folding. The brackets included in the locking brace kit are constructed on steel, meaning they will not bend and will be able to keep the ramp secured in the deployed position.
How It Works
The Locking Brace Kit is simple to install onto the PetStep ramp. It can be completed in just a few steps:
- Turn the ramp over to reveal the underside of the ramp. At the hinge in the middle of the ramp, you will see two screw inserts on either side of the ramp.
- Position each locking brace over the inserts, being sure to line up the holes in the bracket with the inserts on the ramp.
- Finally, use the included fiddle screws to secure the brackets to the ramp.
Once the locking brace is in place, the PetStep ramp will remain in the deployed position and will not fold up. If you want your PetStep ramp to fold up for storage, simply remove the locking brace by unscrewing the fiddle screws.
Want Even More Stability? Try Weights.
In deeper pools, like pools with a 5.5 ft 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.