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Dog swimming pools are a great option for exercise and enrichment during the hot summer months. But they can also take a little getting used to, especially for our fearful and anxious pups. As the famous proverb goes, you can lead a dog to water, but you can’t always make them swim . . . at least not right off the bat. Sometimes it takes a lot of patience and a sturdy pool that can handle the repetitions (and those sharp canine claws) as you ease your pup in.
Even if your dog doesn’t need convincing, you’ll still want a dog-specific pool that doesn’t get shredded easily. That’s why we tested both the highly-rated and reviewed Yaheetech Foldable Hard Plastic Dog Pool, as well as a similar newcomer on the scene, the Frisco Dog Pool in Hawaiian Print. In a surprising turn of events, one didn’t stand up to the test, while the other was a paw above the rest.
Do You Need a Swimming Pool for Your Dog?
Contrary to popular belief, not all dogs know how to instantly swim or are immediately comfortable in the water. Others may enjoy getting their paws wet in creeks, lakes, and rivers but detest getting into the tub for bath time. A dog swimming pool is an excellent way to bridge that gap and give pups more choice and comfort before throwing them into the deep end.
That’s where my apprehensive adolescent dog Roo comes in. At 1.5 years old, she’s simultaneously the most fearless and fearful pup that I know. She’s also working through some reactivity, so we haven’t been able to give her as many opportunities to explore local watering holes.
I wanted to find a quality pool that gave her more exposure to water. I knew that we’d have to take it slow and make the pool really fun with various activities like sniffing, running, and jumping before adding in the water. I needed a pool that was strong enough to handle our repetitions but also versatile in case we needed to pivot and use it as a dig pit or other form of entertainment instead.
So, we unpacked the pools, broke out the games and toys, slowly added water, and put the two to the test.
Yaheetech & Frisco Dog Pools: The Specs
The Yaheetech dog pool and the Frisco pool both have a foldable design that doesn’t need to be inflated and is easy to put up. They also each offer an XL size that measures 12 x 55 inches—perfect as Roo is pushing 45 pounds and is surprisingly long for a Lab/Terrier mix. The weight of each pool is nearly the same, with the Frisco being slightly heavier at 13.86 pounds compared to Yaheetech’s 12.35 pounds. Other similarities include:
- PVC as the main material
- wrapped edges to help prevent punctures
- a lower drain valve to quickly remove water
- bonus patch kits for future repairs (*insert foreshadowing here)
Obviously, the Frisco pool’s vibrant Hawaiian print is a stark difference from the Yaheetech’s solid red color, which also comes in black, blue, and gray. The Frisco dog pool also only comes in larger sizes (XL and XXL), while the Yaheetech sizes range from M to XXL. The Yaheetech also packs a few extra perks, including:
- an anti-skid bottom
- frost- and UV-resistant coating
- a max fill line
- a pet brush
Testing the Yaheetech & Frisco Dog Swimming Pools
During the first stage of testing and acclimating Roo to the new pools, I set them up inside and filled them with toys and ball pit balls. We played games where she would jump in and out of the pools and search and sniff for hidden treats. Roo enjoyed both pools equally, had no trouble getting in and out the sides, and even chose to curl up inside them to play with her toys or take a nap.
After a few days, I moved the pools outside and we repeated the process again, slowly adding water bit by bit. While we’re still working on building Roo’s confidence to jump into a full pool of water, we were able to test both pools by filling them up and letting her bob for toys from the side.
Note: It’s a good idea to keep a close eye on your dog as they’re exploring their new pool—and that goes double for pups with natural enthusiasm for water. Splashing around can quickly turn into drinking, and in rare cases, the excitement can lead a pup to drink too much, causing a serious condition called water intoxication. Always supervise pool play to keep things safe and fun!
Yaheetech vs. Frisco Dog Swimming Pools: The Results
In all honesty, I thought the Yaheetech would blow the Frisco dog pool out of the water when it came to construction. It currently has a 4.4-star rating with over 6,000 reviews. Plus, there were all the extra details like the anti-slip bottom and the UV-resistant layer that made it seem like it would have a heartier frame.
But when setting up the two pools, I immediately noticed that the Frisco dog pool did a great job of holding its shape with very little water—or even without water at all. The sides of the Yaheetech pool, however, folded in slightly like an accordion when empty or partially filled. Other reviewers have also noted that the sides tend to cave in a bit when the water isn’t to the marker line.
The seamlines of the Frisco pool were also neat and tidy, whereas the Yaheetech dog pool had a seam with a long plastic end dangling loose in the bottom—not exactly the built-in tug toy that you want in your dog’s swimming pool. Not to mention that the Yaheetech dog pool had a very strong plastic smell for the first couple of days after opening it (not ideal when using the pool inside your home).
Then the ultimate dealbreaker: in the final round of testing, the Yaheetech pool sprang a leak where the bottom meets the sides. Fortunately, the provided patches made it easy to repair, and we were back in business in no time. But it was a bummer to find a leak so quickly, and it made me wary about how much wear and tear it could handle in the future. The Frisco dog pool, on the other hand, showed no tears or leaks and held solid from the get-go.
Recommendation: A Qualified Yes to the Frisco Dog Pool in Hawaiian Print
And the recommendation goes to . . . the Frisco Dog Pool in Hawaiian Print! Who doesn’t love a good underdog story?
Here’s what I liked about the Frisco in comparison to the Yaheetech pool:
- It held its shape even when it was empty or partially filled, making it easy to go at Roo’s pace.
- The design withstood all of Roo’s sniffing, pawing, and jumping—proving it could be used in a variety of ways like a playpen or dig pit.
- The seams were clean with no loose fabric that could tempt curious chompers.
- It was odor-free and didn’t give me a headache upon first opening it. I felt comfortable using it immediately inside.
- The pattern is super cute and vibrant, giving an alternative to the typical solid colors of most dog swimming pools.
Here’s what I didn’t like about it:
- It’s only available in larger sizes, which could be inconvenient for pup parents with smaller dogs or limited space.
- Even though the drain valve is lower, I still had to tip the sides of the pool to get all the water out.
- While the bottom had texture, it didn’t offer the same slip-resistant thickness as the Yaheetech dog pool.
- It didn’t offer a max fill line, which I thought was a nice touch to the Yaheetech pool.
Despite these few qualms, I was impressed with how the Frisco dog pool held up to our romps and Roo’s paws. Not just a pretty design, this pool is great for pet parents who want both style and stability in a dog pool. And if a Hawaiian print doesn’t fit your decor theme, Frisco also has fun designs in flamingo and rubber ducky.
If you have a smaller dog and want something more compact and portable, the V-HANVER and Alvantor dog pool are solid choices, both features in our roundup “The Best Dog Swimming Pools that Can Hold Up to Canine Splashing.”Buy on Chewy
How We Chose the Frisco Dog Pool in Hawaiian Print
The dog swimming pools featured here were selected based on a combination of our own hands-on testing and a comprehensive look at customer reviews across a wide variety of retail platforms. We evaluated pools based on durability, convenience, flexibility for different play styles, and ease of use. We’re also guided by the experience of living and playing alongside our own much-loved and strongly opinionated pets (like Roo), who are never stingy with their feedback.