dogs are different
things you should avoid with a doggie splash pad
Since we began specializing in splash pads for dogs, we have always prioritized safety - and learned a lot along the way. What works safely for children doesn't mean it is safe for dogs. If you are considering a canine splash pad, please see our list below of what you should absolutely avoid.
#1 - Treated Water & Recycling Systems
Recycling water for a kid's splash pad works because it is sanitized by the application of chemicals. But there is a big difference between kids and dogs. A child will naturally reject the taste and not drink it. A dog will lap it up...lot's of it. Children sweat away water while dogs retain much of it in their coat. These are only two of the reasons NOT to attempt to capture and reuse water. Contact us for more detail on this very important safety topic if you are considering this type of system.
#2 - Rubberized "Safety Surfaces"
Soft style surfacing of any type is a really bad idea and here is why; Aside from it becoming very STINKY, it is porous and will trap water that won't evaporate. Bacteria breeds within these tiny pockets and can infect your four-legged splashers as well as the people who are exposed to it. Dirty accidents will wash into the surface, not off of it. If you already have soft surfacing on your splash pad, don't worry, dog claws will remove most of it soon.
#3 - Fiberglass Features
Fiberglass is made almost entirely of (you guessed it) glass fibers. Dogs gnaw on things, and this thing is full of glass shards. When ingested, they can become lodged in a dog's digestive tract and cause illness that can be life-threatening. Your splash pad will make dogs playful and excited, which triggers the urge to chew. So best to use better-suited materials that cannot be ingested.
#4 - Painted Features
Since our # 3 no-no is fiberglass, this has to be #4 since fiberglass products are coated with paint. Solvent-based paints, including urethane enamels, will crack and peel, leaving pieces and residue to be lapped up or inhaled by your sniffing little snoopy ones. Water-based paints would be a possible solution but would never last in a splash pad environment. Be sure finishes are always dry powder coatings.
#5 - The Wrong Drain Grates
Always use easily removable grates/covers in the event a claw or paw gets stuck. Avoid metal covers like steel, brass, or bronze and opt for cheaper plastic versions that can be quickly removed, pried apart, or even cut away if necessary. Be sure that the slots or holes in your drain covers are not large enough for paws to get through - but not so small that they may trap claws.
#6 - Features and Containers That Hold Water
One of the great things about a splash pad is that the water is fresh and clean. Water should stay in transit without pooling long enough to become stagnant. Adding anything that captures and holds water will become an unwanted dirty element. It may be tempting, but do not use water toys, bowls, or plastic pools that hold water in your splash pad.