Give your pooch and easy out.

By Melissa Locker
Dog Jumping into Lake
Credit: Tyler Stableford/Getty Images

For dog lovers, nothing quite says summer like having a 100-pound golden retriever diving into a lake or swimming pool to chase after a ball or a kid. It's a quintessential summer scene—until you have to get the dog out of the water. While most pups are natural swimmers and look for ways to stay cool (bulldogs and basset hounds not withstanding) they are not particularly good at getting themselves out of the water. If they get too tired looking for a way out, they can become too exhausted to swim and drown. While we all want our dogs to be safe, there's nothing idyllic or fun about hoisting a soaking wet pup in and out of the lake or pool—it's just wet and hairy and occasionally earns a scratch or two. If your dog is aging, that can make the transition between water and land even more difficult for everyone involved.

That's where Doggydocks, Skamper Ramps, and other pool and boat ramps come in. These lightweight ramps serve as an easy way for your pup to get in and out of the water without a boost from you. Instead, these floating dog ramps easily attach to a boat, dock, or pool side and make it easy for your furry best friend to simply walk in and out of the water, no human helping hand required. It's an easy way to keep your dog safe while they enjoy the water. Companies like Paws Aboard and PetSTEP make ramps that can be used for helping your pet get in and out of pools and lakes as well as into trucks and up staircases.

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It's not just dogs who benefit from these ramps. A newly-invented pool gadget called a FrogLog can help save the lives of animals who fall into swimming pools by giving them an escape route. The floating raft was invented by a wildlife biologist and basically gives animals something to climb onto so they can get out of the pool almost as easily as they got into it.