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Yes, a doormat could help save an animal if it falls into a pool. But there are better options

A viral photo circulating around Facebook and Reddit shows a simple doormat could actually help save the lives of your pets and wildlife.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With the weather warming up in the Carolinas, more people will probably be getting their pools ready for swimming and lounging.

But it’s also important to protect your furry family members as they start to venture out near the pools. A viral photo circulating around Facebook and Reddit shows a simple doormat could actually help save the lives of your pets and wildlife.

But does this trick actually work?



Yes, a simple rubber doormat attached to the edge of a pool could save the life of a smaller pet or wildlife. But for larger breed animals, a pool ramp is advised.

This is true.


In the photo, someone has attached a rubber doormat to the edge of the pool. the post claims an animal who has fallen in an unsupervised pool can use it to climb out.

Arsenault said this method does work and said she had seen some success with it but also notes there are better alternatives that are also cost-effective.

“In something like the doormat method, which we have seen some individuals use before," Arsenault said."This can be successful for smaller mammals and reptiles that may accidentally make their way into a pool they may or you know, shouldn't be in." 

Arsenault said for smaller wildlife animals like squirrels and frogs this method is perfect. but for medium and larger breed dogs, the doormat would likely not be able to support the weight of the animal. 

“You would want to use something that's a little bit sturdier to support their body weight," she said.

 Arsenault said there are some pretty cheap pool ramps on Amazon but said you could also DIY something similar.

"There are actually some really good resources on websites like Pinterest with some DIY home solutions that can be done with PVC pipe and pool noodles," she said.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, backyard swimming pools can be deadly for wildlife. The humane society said there are some simple pool precautions homeowners can use to help dramatically lower the danger to animals. Some of these include: 

  • When building a pool, design lounge ledges along the sides just below the water's surface
  • Build a fence around the pool.
  • Install one or more water-exit devices
  • Place knotted nylon ropes along the sides, securing them to the pool edge


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