Sprinklers are great, because they not only provide a cooling jet of water, but also engage your dog’s attention so that they take the steps to cool themselves down. If you’ve ever seen a dog play with a standard yard sprinkler, then you already know how appealing these devices can be. But there are also a wide range of sprinklers with an even more unique appeal to dogs.
Our favorite sprinkler for dogs is the Scuddles Dog Water Fountain Sprinkler, which lets your dog operate the flow of water with a big, easy-to-paw footpad.
Scuddles Dog Water Fountain Sprinkler
Two-way splitter connector
Brass parts for durability
Doesn't waste water
Easy and stimulating for dogs to learn how to use
Water can heat up if hose is left in the sun
Small dogs may struggle to activate
The Scuddles Dog Water Fountain Sprinkler has a big, friendly paw pad that your dog depresses in order to dispense water in a single jet. Unlike other sprinklers, this can be left out all day long, since the stream is only activated once your dog is using it. The stream itself can vary, depending on your water spigot’s water pressure, but generally is more powerful than a water fountain, combining a drinkable jet of water that’s high enough to splash back down and entertain them.
The Scuddles sprinkler attaches to your house’s exterior spigot or a hose and has a two-way splitter, so you can use it at the same time as another hose. It has brass parts for durability and multiple points of adjustment, so you can vary the water pressure or change how much weight is needed to depress the paw pad.
Made of heavy gauge steel, the Scuddles Dog Water Fountain has rounded edges and a big enough top surface that most dogs should eventually master. While it’s possible to adjust how much pressure it takes to activate the fountain, very small dogs may struggle. And while it can also be an excellent source of drinking water, it’s possible for the water in the hose to warm up if left out in the sun between infrequent activations.
Price at time of publish: $36
Materials: Heavy gauge steel, brass components | Accessories: Two-way Y-splitter for water spigot
Best for Multiple Dogs
Prime Time Toys Hydro Swirl Spinning Sprinkler
Multiple water streams
Omnidirectional for multiple dogs
Good for kids as well
Requires high water pressure for best results
Some dogs pull off the rubber hoses
The Hydro Swirl Spinning Sprinkler creates chaos with multiple jets that spray through flexible rubber tubes, creating a completely randomized pattern as the tubes flail around. The spinning center portion of the Hydro Swirl sprays water upward, while additional water is forced through narrow rubber tubes, causing them to gyrate in random patterns. These jets of water create multiple, chaotic streams that can hold the attention of dogs and children alike.
Dogs should be closely supervised while using the Hydro Swirl, as they may get too excited and rip off the flailing metal tubes. The whole unit is also relatively small, and large dogs might be able to upset it easily.
Price at time of publish: $20
Dimensions: 8.75 x 7.5 x 4 inches | Materials: Plastic, rubber
Best Splash Pad
VISTOP Non-Slip Splash Pad for Kids and Dogs
Pad is BPA and phthalate-free
Water level/height is easily adjusted
Available in three sizes
There's a risk of sharp nails puncturing the pad
The VISTOP Splash Pad for Kids and Dogs is like a combination wading pool and sprinkler, with a non-slip interior surface that allows for jumping and play. It’s made from phthalate- and BPA-free PVC that’s .45 millimeters thick, which should stand up to most animal paws (however, the manufacturer recommends trimming your dog’s nails beforehand).
The VISTOP connects to a standard garden hose, which inflates a sealed edge, pushing water up through narrow spouts around the perimeter of the splash pad’s surface. Easy to drain, dry, and fold, it’s simple to store and/or transport as needed. It’s also available in four different sizes and three different color schemes.
Price at time of purchase: $40
Dimensions: 59-, 67-, 75-, 87-inch diameter | Materials: PVC | Colors: Blue; rainbow; blue and yellow
Aqua Joe Indestructible Metal Base Oscillating Sprinkler
Available in two sizes
Can spray water up to 70 feet
Durable metal base
While the Aqua Joe Oscillating Lawn Sprinkler isn’t designed specifically to entertain dogs, it’s a fantastic multi-use sprinkler that has 20 nozzles and a wide range. The Aqua Joe has a durable metal base with plastic toggles that make screwing a hose in as simple as possible. A separate knob allows for different coverage patterns. It’s an ideal sprinkler for most medium-sized yards. Its slow, sweeping oscillations will keep your dog wet and happy, since it’s easy to chase back and forth across the yard.
The Aqua Joe is available in 16-inch and 20-inch versions.
Price at time of publish: $32
Dimensions: 15 x 16 x 4 inches (small) | Weight: 5 ounces
Our favorite dog sprinkler is the Scuddles Dog Water Fountain Sprinkler, which your dog learns to operate on its own, delivering a jet of water whenever it presses down on the big friendly stomping pad. Splash pads offer a more thoroughly wet experience. Our favorite is the VISTOP Non-Slip Splash Pad for kids and dogs, which is non-slip and BPA-free.
What to Look for in Water Sprinklers for Dogs
When you’re looking for a dog toy of any kind, durability is a must-have. Whether your pooch is still a puppy or has grown into a full-size pooch, dogs tend to chew on everything, especially toys. While most sprinklers use plastic components, look for metal parts—brass or steel—at connection points. This will ensure reliable use since the connectors will be less likely to warp and stop screwing properly onto your hose or exterior house spigot.
It’s also a good idea to closely supervise your dog when playing with a sprinkler. While most dogs will find plenty of distraction and entertainment in the jets of water, a clever dog might go for the sprinkler itself, either upturning it or chewing nozzles.
One of the best times to have your dog play with a sprinkler is when you are also out in the yard. This means that it can be especially useful to have a sprinkler that will still allow you to perform yard work of your own. Some products come packaged with a splitter, which will allow you to use your standard garden hose while the sprinkler is also operating (assuming you have the requisite water pressure for both to operate at once).
Sprinklers aren’t the most complicated devices, but it can be worthwhile to look for ones that have a bracket for a hose that has tabs or other features that make it easy to screw the sprinkler and hose together. Look also for sprinklers that have a wide base that won’t get overturned during operation. Finally, sprinklers with adjustable flow settings can enable you to customize the sprinkler pattern to fit your yard and water pressure capacity.
Are sprinklers safe for dogs?
While dogs typically can play in water safely, occasionally there will be water that is swallowed, and some might be inhaled and go down the wrong way, ending up in their airway. That could be harmful for them, so watch them carefully when playing with any type of water toy. Symptoms like gagging or coughing, bluish colored gums or lips, difficult or noisy breathing, and lack of appetite or energy can indicate that they’ve inhaled water, and a visit to the vet may be in order.
How can I stop my dog from chewing sprinkler heads?
This can sometimes be handled with training, and seeking out a professional trainer for guidance is advised. You can also try applying bitters when the water toy is not turned on (so it won’t wash off); if the dog tries chewing on the sprinkler head, it won’t like the flavor and will give up on the chewing. If the habit becomes compulsive, you may need to seek out an animal behaviorist for extra wisdom.
Why Trust The Spruce Pets?
KJ Callihan is a writer for The Spruce Pets, as well as The Spruce and The Spruce Crafts. You may also find her work in CNET, AAA Northeast magazine, Oh My Veggies, and more. She enjoys researching and scrutinizing products to find the very best options for our readers.
To ensure that our picks for this roundup were the best selected, KJ also consulted professional dog trainer Maegan Payne for guidance. Maegan offers group and private classes, as well as behavioral consultations. She can be reached via her website, All the Dog Things. Additionally, Olivia Obringer, a veterinary student at Eastside Animal Clinic, shared her wisdom with us on keeping dogs cool.