Choosing a Pool Float That’s Right For Your Dog
The weather is warm and it’s important to keep our beloved pups cool in these record-breaking temperatures. Older and younger dogs alike will enjoy floating effortlessly as the day wiles away. This shopping guide will help you choose the best and most lasting option for your pet, based on size, activity level and durability of materials.
The benefits to owning a pool raft for your dog are numerous. The main draw to owning a leisure item like this for your pet is to increase relaxation and stress-relief. Smaller dogs can be observed being nervous around large bodies of water, but a pool raft makes them feel at ease and as if they are part of their families activities. A pool raft also allows your dog to enjoy the outdoors without wetting their fur and producing that familiar wet dog musk. A raft will keep your pet clean and tidy while also letting them join in family fun around the pool area.
Studies have shown dogs, like humans, need an adequate amount of sunlight and leisurely activities to remain healthy. While you may not want your dog exposed to the harsh chemicals of your pool or the muck of a lack, a pool raft gives them the freedom to reap the benefits of outdoor exercise and sun exposure.
Floats made for dogs are used to prevent wetness and exposure to harsh chemicals that are present in treated pool water. A float will keep your pet minimally exposed to the health hazard of bleach and water conditioner while also allowing them to relax and float leisurely.
Leisure is a pool float’s man use. Dogs enjoy jumping on and laying in the sun as much as owners do. A dog may be concerned or frantic when they see their owner using a float in the middle of a pool where they cannot reach them, but a pool float for your pet will ensure they are stress-free and enjoying their time in the sun.
Playtime with pool floats is also popular. There are many videos of a dog playing a game of fetch using a pool raft to glide effortlessly across the surface to retrieve it, all without becoming wet furred.
The float also allows your pet to cool off on hot days by giving them safe access to the pool, exposing them to the cooling vapors as the pool evaporates in the sun and creates a cooling mist for your dog to enjoy.
The size of your pool raft needs to suit the dog’s weight and length. A dog bed of any type should always be just enough for them to comfortably lay upon and no larger. Larger rafts for smaller pets may seem more roomy to pet lovers, but these can actually pose a significant danger to them. Mis-sized rafts can cause capsizing, either by sinking or flipping. Choose a raft that is enough for your dog to stand comfortably on fully extended but no more and no less.
Small dogs from 5-12lbs should use a raft that is 19″ x 24″.
Medium sized dogs from 13-16lbs should use a raft that is 21″ x 36″.
Large dogs from 17-26lbs+ should use a raft that is 36″ x 54″.
If in doubt of your dog’s weight range or size category, do research on what type of dog bed size would be best suited for them and use your best judgment.
Raft materials need to be sturdy and resistant to the scratches of the dog’s claws and regular wear. Materials should also be weather resistant and hardy enough to withstand constant exposure to the elements. For this reason, the best possible raft material is Heavy Duty Vinyl, Urethane, Hypalon or high-quality PVC. Thin PVC, which is often used for cheap pool floats, breaks and tears easily under a dog’s claws. It is paramount to choose a material that will stand the test of time and most importantly, feels high-quality.
Cleaning your dog’s pool raft will increase its lifespan and protect it from use damage. Most waterproof materials are slick with a slight texturing that holds grime easily. After each use, hose down with clean water to rinse away most of the grit. Once a week even if you are not using the float currently, wash thoroughly with a soft sponge or wash cloth with a gentle soap and water. Do not use bleach or heavy duty cleaning materials on your pool raft, as the fumes can be harmful to your pet. Rinse thoroughly after each cleaning to make sure all traces of soap are removed from the raft as to ensure the safety of your dog.