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5 Best Dog Floaties For The Pool, Beach & More

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Last Updated: May 9, 2024 | 8 min read | Leave a Comment

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Your family’s warm-weather fun isn’t complete until your canine buddy joins in. Dogs enjoy nothing more than being part of all of our activities. And that includes cooling off on a relaxing raft in the pool, floating or boating around a lake, or riding ocean waves on a floatie. Dog floaties can come in very handy to keep your pup safe and comfortable in the pool. Canine claws can clash with rafts designed for humans. Before you blow up that inner tube of floating lounger for your pup, learn more about my recommendations for the best dog floaties.

Fortunately, you have some super durable options made with materials that can withstand your pup’s nails and bouncy personality. I discuss what to look for in dog floaties, canine water safety tips, and more. Let’s get into it.

WinnerRunner-UpThird Place
SwimWays Spring Float Paddle PawsPaws Aboard Doggy Lazy RaftPoolCandy Inflatable Pet Float
SwimWays Paws AboardPoolCandy
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Read ReviewRead ReviewRead Review

Pool Floats For Dogs: A Buyer’s Guide

Two small dogs sitting on a pink floaty in the pool wearing sunglasses.

There are a surprising number of dog floaties on the market, and the best ones aren’t cheap. So, it’s important to purchase the right raft for your pup’s specific needs. Here are some of the things to consider when choosing a float for a dog.

  1. Weight limits — Adhering to a float’s weight limit is extremely important for your dog’s safety and comfort.
  2. Design — Consider the shape and design of the float. Some let water in the base, while others sit on top of the water. They also come with inflatable sides or are entirely flat. Your furry friend may prefer to feel more secure with raised sides or may not like getting wet. You also want to ensure that the float is stable enough to hold a wiggly, active dog.
  3. Material — You’ll want to make sure that the float is made of durable, puncture-proof material that can withstand your pup’s claws.
  4. Tether points — If you plan on using your doggy float in the ocean, river, or lake, it’s a good idea to tie your pup’s raft to yours or hold on to the tether.

Best Dog Floaties

We’ve based our top picks and reviews on several factors, including durable materials, stability, performance, customer feedback, pricing, and more.

Winner: SwimWays Spring Float Paddle Paws Review

SwimWays Spring Float Paddle Paws

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We give this doggy raft two enthusiastic paws up for its durability, stability, and ease of use. It’s constructed with claw-friendly materials and has an inner-spring design around the outside edge to keep it from tipping over easily. The puncture-resistant inflatable ring surrounds a sturdy mesh bottom, which lets in a bit of water to keep your pup cool on sweltering summer days.

SwimWays Paddle Paws float comes in two sizes: small/medium (48″ x 27″) for pups up to 65 pounds and large/extra-large (64.5″ x 43.25″) for dogs weighing 65 to over 200 pounds. It folds down flat into three compact circles for easy portability and storage in the included carry bag.

ProsCons
Puncture-resistant materialsSome pups may not like water pooling in the base
Large size is wide and long and can hold 200+ poundsSome complaints that one side folds over when dogs get in
Very stable
Easy to inflate and deflate (with a pump)
Comes with a carry bag

Price

  • Starting at: $33.83

Runner-Up: Paws Aboard Doggy Lazy Raft Review

Paws Aboard Doggy Lazy Raft

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If you’re looking for an incredibly heavy-duty, above-the-water float, you should consider this Paws Aboard Doggy Raft. It’s made of thick, puncture-resistant vinyl that holds up even with the most rambunctious pups (according to customer reviews). And it’s an excellent choice for dogs who’d rather stay on the dry side when floating in the pool with you.

It comes in three sizes: small for little ones up to 30 pounds (30″ x 23″), large for pups up to 90 pounds (50″ x 40″), and extra large for dogs over 90 pounds (70″ x 55″). They have plenty of room for your furry friend to fully stretch out and relax. A few customers advise going up a size for maximum stability.

ProsCons
Made of heavy-duty, puncture-proof, and UV-resistant vinylSome dogs may feel insecure without raised sides
The largest size is extremely spaciousA few complaints that it gets a ball of air in the middle, so it’s not completely flat
Excellent stability
Quick and easy to inflate with a pump

Price

Third Place: PoolCandy Inflatable Pet Float Review

PoolCandy Inflatable Pet Float

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Although this floatie comes in two sizes, we recommend the smaller size. It’s an extremely popular pick for its compact design, which owners say their little buddies love. It’s similar to the SwimWays float in that it has a raised side with small holes in the base to let water in. But with this PoolCandy float, you have the option of closing the holes if your pup prefers to stay dry.

The side and base are made of inflatable, heavy-duty PVC, which stands up to most dog claws. The base is well-cushioned for your pup’s comfort. The small size accommodates dogs up to 35 pounds (34.5″ x 27″), while the larger size can hold up to 100 pounds (54″ x 40″). However, several owners of medium to large-sized dogs said it’s not durable and sturdy enough, so we recommend the small size.

Our Personal Experience With The PoolCandy Pet Float

My family spends a lot of time in the water during the summer, and my dogs like to get in on the fun. I have used the PoolCandy pet float for multiple dogs. I really like the option of keeping the holes closed, as my pup, a Poodle Beagle mix, doesn’t like to get wet and float. He likes to be in the pool with me but is not a huge fan of the water, so this feature is perfect for him. I have also used it with my Toy Chihuahua and found it to be very comfortable for her. It allows my pups to float and enjoy the cool of the pool without feeling like they are stuck or having to get soaking wet. For small dogs, this is a great option. It is also sturdy enough to place an umbrella or other type of shade.

Danielle DeGroot, Small Breed Dog Owner, Canine Journal Research & Writing
ProsCons
Ideal for smaller dogs May not be durable or stable enough for larger dogs
Made of heavy-duty PVCSome complaints that it leaks air
Option to have water enter the base or keep it dry
Comfy, cushioned base

Price

  • Starting at:

What About Milliard And BING PET Dog Floaties?

Although the following dog pool floats didn’t make our top cut, you may find the perfect solution to laze away the dog days of summer with your furry sidekick.

Milliard Dog Float Review

Milliard Dog Float

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Looking for a dog floatie with a tether? This extra-large raft is equipped with a built-in hook and included rope to keep your big buddy safe when she’s on open water with you. Ideal for large breeds, it can accommodate dogs weighing up to 220 pounds (60″ x 45″) and is made of UV and puncture-resistant vinyl.

It sits nine inches above the water and is stable enough to support two medium or large-sized dogs. As a bonus, it doubles as a floating drink holder when you flip it over (as long as your pup agrees). It also comes in a slightly smaller size that’s 50″ x 45″ (without the tether).

ProsCons
Ideal for medium and large dogsSome complaints that it doesn’t hold air well
Made of heavy-duty, puncture-proof, and UV-resistant vinylOwners of giant breeds say it’s too small
Built-in hook and rope included
Easy to inflate with a pump
Can flip it over to use as a floating drink holder

Price

BINGPET Inflatable Dog Raft Review

BINGPET Inflatable Dog Raft

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The BINGPET inflatable raft is perfect for giving your pup a nice, cool afternoon in the pool. It can support dogs up to 100 pounds. Its solid bottom, rather than mesh, is helpful for bigger dogs and those who don’t want to sit in the water.

The raft measures 60” x 33.5” x 6”. It is made of durable PVC and withstands claws and teeth. The BINGPET raft is simple to use and set up and perfect for all sizes of pets. It can accommodate one medium—to large-sized dog or two small pups. Customers report that the raft is sturdy and durable, even with extra-wiggly pups.

ProsCons
Ideal for medium and large dogsNot for giant breeds over 100 pounds
Made of durable PVCMay be too big for one small dog
Solid bottomDoes not lay flat if over-inflated
Easy to inflate with a pump
Folds up for easy transport

Price

Check Amazon for availability

Water Safety Tips For Your Dog

Following these expert safety tips can give you peace of mind when your furry friend is splashing around in a pool, lake, or other body of water.

  1. Get a dog life jacket to give your dog extra protection, especially if she’s not a good swimmer.
  2. Always keep your eyes on your pup when she’s near or in any body of water.
  3. Before each use, check your pup’s raft for any holes or tears and make sure it’s fully inflated.
  4. Some dog floats have tethers, but it’s extremely dangerous to pull your dog behind a boat with a motor.
  5. If you’re planning on taking your dog to the ocean or a river, check water conditions for strong currents or rip tides. If you plan on being on the open water, consider a dog life jacket as well.
  6. Have fresh drinking water on hand (in a handy doggy water bottle). Drinking from lakes, rivers, oceans, or pools can make your dog ill because they can contain algae, bacteria, parasites, chemicals, or salt.
  7. You also need to take care of your dog floaties. Trim your pup’s nails before use to avoid punctures. Store the floaties away from sharp nails, corners, and other sharp objects that can puncture the raft.

Frequently Asked Questions

I know there are still questions about dogs and pool safety. I address some of the most common below. If I missed yours, let me know in the comments.

Can Dogs Float In Water?

Some dogs can float, but not all are as buoyant as others. Body shape is a contributing factor. Dogs with long bodies and short legs have difficulty floating, as do those with deep chests and larger, rounder bodies (often described as barrel-shaped). Bulldogs, Pugs, Dachshunds, Corgis, Basset Hounds, French Bulldogs, and Boxers are among the breeds that have difficulty floating and swimming. Pups with higher body fat are usually more buoyant and float better.

Is Chlorinated Water Bad For Dogs?

Chlorinated water is not harmful to dogs as long as they are not ingesting large amounts of it. Properly balanced pool water is safe for them to be submerged in and to drink a small amount. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), dogs and humans can ingest chlorinated water in concentrations up to 4 milligrams per liter. According to the CDC, pools should be kept at a chlorine concentration of 1-3 milligrams per liter. So, a properly chlorinated pool should not be a risk if your pup is not drinking from it excessively.

Will My Dog Damage My Pool Liner?

It is possible that your dog could damage your pool liner, depending on the liner type, your dog’s nails and teeth, and comfort with the water. Vinyl liners will not hold up to teeth or claws, and it is asking for trouble to risk them. However, concrete and fiberglass pools are unlikely to sustain damage from your pup.

Protecting Your Pup For Summer Fun

Whether your warm-weather adventures with your dog involve water rafting, hiking, spending time at the park, or merely long strolls through your neighborhood, you must ensure your pup is protected. Check out our reviews for the best dog sunscreen as well as booties to keep her pads from burning on the scorching pavement. And don’t forget to give your pup a flea and tick preventative to keep these common pests at bay.

Why Trust Canine Journal?

Sally has researched and reviewed hundreds of different dog care products. She’s part of a team of dog specialists at Canine Journal who have over a decade of experience in researching, testing, and writing about everything you need to know to keep your pup healthy and happy. We test and research the best pet products, not only for our own pups but for all of our readers.

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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