With the pool season ramping up fun is being had but the ever present topic of safety must be brought up. These days people are fairly aware of the dangers that can be found in and around pools. From pool covers and fences to alarms and life vests, people are prepared.

That said, sometimes we forget about the furrier side of life. What about pets and wildlife? Pools can be just as dangerous for them.

Fortunately there are precautions that homeowners and pool professionals can take to protect animals. Below we’ve rounded up several animal friendly devices that aid in preventing animal drownings.

Critter Skimmer

The Critter Skimmer is device that replaces the normal pool skimmer. It features a spiral ramp that small animals can climb up. Frogs and toads tend to get stuck in the filter baskets and can’t find a way out. This device allows them to find a resting place. The escape hole is 2-inches wide and 1 ¼ inch tall. If an animal is too large for the hole they can rest on the ramp until the skimmer is moved. It’s available in round or square shapes. Contact: Critter Skimmer, 866.583.7647; critterskimmer.com

FrogLog Escape Ramp

Like the Critter Skimmer, the FrogLog is designed for smaller creatures that might end up in a pool. The difference here is that the FrogLog rests on the water surface. A weighted pouch holds the product on the deck while a resting pad and ramp give the endangered creatures a place to stop and take a breath.  The manufacturers do recommend turning off pumps and filter cycles at night because animals might get pulled into the skimmer before finding the FrogLog. Contact: FrogLog, 410.588.6007; froglog.us

Skamper Ramp

Not every animal that gets stuck in a pool is frog or mouse sized. For larger animals like dogs, cats, and raccoons there’s the Skamper Ramp. The Ramp attaches to the side of the pool and features small holes, but the manufacturer says that small animals won’t fall through. It can hold animals up to 200 pounds. The ramp lowers into the water allow animals to find a purchase so they can climb out.

Contact: Skamper Ramp, 888.442.8361; skamper-ramp-store.com


This device is built specifically with dogs in mind, but there’s no reason that other animals couldn’t use it. The dock is a floating ramp that allows dogs to get out of the water onto a boat platform, dock or pool deck. At 72 inches, the device is long enough that animals can find purchase in the water without exhausting themselves looking for the wall. For storage the dock folds up and lays flat. Contact: DoggyDocks, 866.781.7877; doggydocks.com

Other things to keep in mind

Like ensuring safety for children, it’s important to consider building a fence around a pool. It might not keep out frogs and mice but it will deter the family pet and other large animals.

For pool builders specifically, it is recommended that some kind of lounge ledge or shallow stairs be considered for clients that do have pets. Designing these features into the build provides an easy escape way for pets.

In the case of wild animals, adding a pond or other water landscaping to a yard can be away to attract animals away from the pool to a more natural setting.