Summer is officially here, and what would summer be without a trip to the pool or beach?
Your dog–especially the Labradors and Lab mixes–may love water. However, other dogs are more anxious around the water, may not be natural swimmers, or may want a more restful option.
But most dogs, regardless of their swimming preferences, like to be around their people. So, we’ve compiled this list of canine-friendly dog floats so that your dog can participate in the summer fun, too.
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Dog Float Buying Tips
Before you make a purchase and head to the pool (or beach!), keep these factors in mind:
- Look for weight limits: some dog floats are clearly meant for smaller canines, so have an idea of your dog’s weight while making your purchase.
- Pool vs Lake/Ocean Usage: swimming in a lake or the ocean is great, but when it comes to dog floats, there’s a few more things you’ll need to consider. If you want a pool float for your dog to use in a lake, ocean, or other natural body of water, you’ll want a way to tether it so they don’t float away. You might also want to choose a more stable option. This is because they will have to contend with larger waves than you might find in a pool.
- Material: even if your dog has neatly trimmed nails, there’s still a chance of puncturing the float if it’s made from thinner material. As such, we tried to look for floats especially made for dogs that with hopefully withstand Fido’s claws.
- Your dog’s preference for stability, shape, and water proximity: some dogs want to stay completely out of the water. In that case, you’ll want to avoid floats that allow dogs to sit “into” the water. Likewise, some dogs are more nervous or just plain ‘ole wiggly, so a more stable or larger float will suit them better. Likewise, if your dog likes to curl up, then a longer (human-shaped) float won’t be the best option for them.
It’s also crucial to note that these floats are not meant to be used without supervision. Much like kids, you’ll want to keep an eye on your pup as they float around the pool or lake.
Paddle Paws Dog Raft from SwimWays
The all-around most popular and most affordable option is the Paddle Paws dog float from SwimWays. This dog float is more of a water hammock, as it lets in a little bit of water around the dog. While this can help provide some much needed thermal relief during hot sunny days, not all dogs prefer to get wet, so keep this in mind.
It does not have handles, so it’s not appropriate for open water, but is made with claw-resistant material. This dog float comes in two sizes, one for big dogs (over 65 pounds), and one for smaller dogs (under 65 pounds). It requires inflating, but is easier to fold down and store.
Lazy Dog Loungers Pool Float
If your dog loves the water but wants a more relaxing experience, check out the Lazy Dog Lounger Pool Float. It allows the dog to sit into the water, but has a drain to allow excess water back into the pool or lake. Plus, it’s made with a puncture-resistant material.
This is more suited for dogs who want to lounge on a pool float, instead of lots of climbing on and off. It comes in multiple different colors (including camo!), sizing for large and small dogs, and has a handle for drying, or for tethering to a dock while in open water.
Paw Dog Float from KOOLTAIL
The KOOLTAIL paw dog float is great for larger dogs that want a stable dog float that keeps them out of the water (but not away from the action). Plus, it’s a cute paw shape.
Customers say that the PVC material is much thicker and pierce-resistant compared to standard floaties. It’s a good option for dogs that need more stability, because of its wide and sturdy design. This float also has handles for tethering or moving the dog around.
Christine Pup Pool Mat
If you hate inflating pool floats, this one is for you. This giant dog bone float is made with foam. So, there’s no need to inflate it (although this may make it harder to transport).
It comes in sizes for small and large dogs. It’s covered with vinyl coated fabric that is durable and sun-resistant. There is a handle loop on one side that will allow you to move the float around, or tether it.
Inflatable Pup Plank from Solstice
This last option isn’t quite a pool float, but is useful to water-loving dog owners nonetheless. Anyone with a boat or pool knows that it can be difficult for dogs to get into or out of the water. This “plank” option allows them to safely step into a net, and then up onto a solid surface.
So, it isn’t a true dog pool float. But, it does help your pup stay close to their family when it’s time to swim, so we included it on our list.