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Tips to Design a Perfectly Pet-Friendly Pool

Splish, splash, I was taking a bath. And what do you know - my pet wanted to party too! If you're planning ahead for the warm summer months, take a look at our tips for a pet-friendly pool setup.

man holding pug at pool party

Splish splash, a pool in your yard can be the perfect way to relax! They're useful whether you want to cool off in a hot area or spend time relaxing with friends and family.

However, there are a lot of safety considerations you need to think about if you are designing a pool and have a pet or two who call your yard home. In fact, the Barkitecture trend is projected to take off in the upcoming year for just this reason! And while we recognize the massive priviledge that comes with having the means to not only decorate a pool, but design it with your pet in mind, we like to let our minds wander these aspirational, Instagram 'what if's'.

Even if you're not designing a pool from scratch (let's be real, most aren't) if you have a pool already, it's vital to keep kids and pets safe around them. Let's cover some of the most important tips for dog parents to keep in mind in this guide.

The importance of considering pets while designing a pool

Contrary to popular belief, not all pets are natural swimmers. If that's the case for your soulful sidekick, your pool design should consider them and whether they can access the pool safely.

Many pet parents love it when their pets join in the fun with them, which is absolutely fine as long as you take the right precautions.

Safety features

No matter if you're talking about human or animal inhabitants, all pool plans need to incorporate safety features. There are plenty of considerations when it comes to avoiding accidents, and around water, you really can't be too careful.

Non-slip surfaces

Grassy airbnb pool

Photo cred Contemporary villa steps from Nelayan Beach

Pool-adjacent surfaces should ideally be non-slip, which can prevent nasty falls from pups with the zoomies. Artificial grass for dogs is a great option for avoiding slips in the area which could potentially cause injury or lead to a bigger accident.

Fenced-in areas

Pool with fence

Photo cred franklin_fpa on IG

The pros know, fencing is a good way to separate areas within your outdoor space. Blocking off dangerous areas ensures that they're inaccessible to dogs that might not have their sea legs. If you want to prevent puppies, senior dogs, or just poor swimmers from jumping in the pool unattended, then this is a critical addition. It is also an important safety measure if you have children.

Shallow areas for easy entry and exit

There should be plenty of easy methods of entry and exit from the pool that don't require too much effort and make it easy for pets to wade in shallow spaces. They can test the water much more easily this way.

We suggest a sloping ramp design or even just an overall shallow pool that's dog-height-friendly.

Staircases and ladders with pet-friendly designs

Stone pool with steps

Photo cred Villa Arjuna

It is crucial that pets have an easy method to leave the pool if they want to or are struggling. Even strong swimmers can become fatigued and may need to get out quickly. Specific pet-friendly ladders can make it easy for dogs in particular. Even better, take some one on one time to show your dog how to use the ladders.


When it comes to accessibility, it's important to consider everyone in your home. Particularly if you want your pool to be the spot to hang and relax, ensuring that it's comfortable for all is key! So how can you make your pool more accessible for your pet?

Ramps and steps for easy access

Shallow step pool

Photo cred manololangis on IG

A lot of pools have ramps or steps that lead into the water. This is a good way for your pets to test whether the water is right for them, allowing them to walk away if they don’t feel confident.

Shaded areas for pets to rest

Parasol pool

Photo cred taylor_michelle_design on IG

Pools are often in hot and sunny areas but don’t forget that you need a space for your pets to rest and get out of the sun. Parasols can be ideal for this.

Pet-friendly pool toys and accessories

Bark/Funboy pool float

Photo cred Bark/Funboy

Your pets will likely want to play in the pool, or may like to float on top of the water. Make swimtime fun with a few pool toys and accessories can take their enjoyment to the next level.

Maintenance and cleanliness

Keeping your pool clean is always essential, but even more so if you have pets using the same space. Pet hair may make your filters work overtime, and pets should be watched around any cleaning chemicals, as should children.

Drain covers and skimmer baskets to prevent pet hair and debris

Pets introduce the problem of blockages coming from pet hair. The drains in your pool must have covers, and you should use skimmer baskets to remove pet hair and other debris. When it doubt, fish it out, and maintain your pet's regular grooming routine so they don't shed excessively.

Chemical levels suitable for pets

The level of chlorine in pools should be 1-3 milligrams per liter. This makes it safe for your pets as well as humans. Don’t ingest too much, and you should be fine to play away!

Regular cleaning and maintenance routine

Chlorination and cleaning are utterly essential. Beyond just skimming the pool, there are many different treatments you can use to keep the pool water clean. A pool maintenance company can also help you to take some of the worries away so we recommend you consult one local to you.


Pools aren't just about the aesthetic. Comfort is equally important for your human and pet guests.

Pet-friendly pool furniture and lounges

minnidip tent

Photo cred Minnidip on IG

A pet-friendly lounger can be a great way to encourage them to keep you company near (or even in) the pool. Keep this in the shade on extra sunny days and make sure it doesn’t get too hot.

Toys and play areas for exercise and entertainment

Of course, pets need stimulation in the form of play and this includes toys and activity areas. You can create a specific space for your pets, or just ensure they have enough toys to keep them amused.


It is perfectly possible to keep your pool clean and encourage your pets to join simultaneously. Pets are part of the family, so designing your pool with them in mind can ensure you share experiences while keeping everyone safe at the same time. Splish, splash away!

Lizz Caputo is a Content Strategist at Figo, animal enthusiast, and owner of a rescued senior American Bully. Her hobbies include checking out new restaurants in her area, boxing, and petting dogs of all shapes and sizes.

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