dogs are different.
things not to use with a doggie splash pad.
Since we began innovating our specialized splash pads for dogs over a decade ago, our top priority has been to make them as safe as possible. As we have learned, what works safely for children does not mean it is safe for animals. Not only is their physical and biological make up different, they also interact with water differently. If you are considering a splash pad for dogs, please see our top list of what you should absolutely avoid.
#1 - Treated Water Recycling Systems
Everyone wants to do it and it can be done. However, it has to be done correctly and with systems unlike anything commonly sold for pools or (people) splash pads. Recycling water for a kids' splash pads is okay because it is sanitized by the application of chemicals. A child's skin repels and sweats chlorinated water away. Dogs absorb it into their fur. Read the whole story on this one here
#2 - "Safety Surfaces"
Soft style surfacing of any type is a bad idea for aquatic applications - especially this one. Aside from the fact that it will become 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 wash into the surface, not off of it. The use of this type of surface is highly controversial in the water park industry for children. Don't even think about it for dogs.
#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 dogs 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 because it is what most all fiberglass products are coated with. 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
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. 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 pried apart or even cut away if necessary.
#6 - Features That Hold Water
One of the great things about a splash pad is that the water is fresh and clean. Water is always in transit without enough time to become stagnant. So add anything that captures and holds water and your clean splash pad will have 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. Our automated puddling systems are a cleaner alternative for containers!