Unpoppable dog paddling pool for cooling down in summer

Phoebe and Frank love to play with the hosepipe, and the hilarious water fountain we got them from B&M. They also love having a splash in streams on a walks, and a gentle paddle in the sea. So, I thought it would be nice to get them a paddling pool for the garden, to help them cool off in the hot weather.

Naturally, I didn’t want to be spending upwards of £20 on something for the dogs that they’d tear with their dew claws within 5 minutes of assembling – like with the B&M cooling canopy pet bed. Fabric and inflatable pools were a no-go, as sturdy and durable as they may have claimed to be.

I found that searching for sand pits yielded better results, and it wasn’t before long that I discovered the Chad Valley sand and water pit at Argos for £20. The roughly metre square pool comes in pink or blue, and because it’s made from polypropylene, it can be left outside overnight in all weathers.

The pink version features two halves of an apple, so really, they work out as £10 each – bargain. It’s designed to be filled with water, sand or playballs – so for the dogs, we filled it with water. Each pool can hold 111 litres, but we just filled one pool deep enough for a little splash about. We let the water warm up a little in the sun before letting the dogs out to check it out.

We filled one of the pools with the hosepipe, both Phoebe and Frank watching very intently from the edge. They were keen to chase the water spurting from the hose, which has always been a favourite pastime. But hilariously, once the paddling pool was filled, the Scamps had no intentions of putting a single paw in the water. It became clear that whilst my dogs love water, that interest is entirely dependent on the vessel in which its contained – and if it in any way resembles a bath, they’re not taking any chances.

In a bid to tempt them, I threw a handful of treats into the pool, which Frank craned his neck to reach rather than placing a paw into the tepid water. Some of the treats sank to the bottom of the pool, and he even went so far as to snorkel to get them – but still wouldn’t get into the paddling pool. I rolled up my trousers and hopped in myself, splashing the water to see if I could entice them, but to no avail. I had no other choice but to lift 25kg Frank into the pool where he stood completely frozen still. Once in the water, he didn’t seem to hate it and wasn’t in a rush to escape, but also wasn’t exactly the picture of a perfectly happy pup enjoying a paddle.

As temperatures soared over the weekend, we filled the pool up again, and this time, Frank could be persuaded to dip a paw when lured with a biscuit. He took refuge in the cool water, and would just paddle his paws and dunk his snoot in.

Phoebe still won’t even go near the pool for love nor money (nor treats or toys). We’ve tried launching her favourite toy across the garden and into the pool, we’ve tried throwing in treats – but there’s no hope of catching her to get her in it. I guess I knew buying the dogs a paddling pool was a gamble, but remained hopeful that, as the weather warmed up, the dogs may pay more interest in it. I reckon after a few more days, Frank will certainly learn to love his pink paddling pool – but Phoebe may need a bit more time to get in on the idea.