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​​What to Do About Animals in Your Pool

Although our site is all about frogs, they are not the only animals that are often found in swimming pools or spas.

Animals including frogs, toads, salamanders, mice, rats, squirrels and birds often fall into pools and die due to the lack of an escape access to the exterior of the pool. This problem can easily be prevented by adding 1 to 2 FrogLogs to pools 15’x30’ or 2 to 4 FrogLogs in pools up to 25’x50’.

The FrogLog isn’t just made to save frogs that fall into swimming pools and spas, although they are the most common animal people find in their pools.

FrogLog Escape Ramp for Critters in Pools

  • Save Frogs & Small Animals
  • Easy Setup
  • Simple Design
  • Keep Water Clean

Let me walk you through what to do if you find animals in your pool, how to avoid them dying in your pool, and how to prevent the problem in the future.

Why Animals Are Dying in Your Pool

Pool owners generally find dead frogs, squirrels, birds, and rats in their pool skimmers due to the animals having fallen into their pool with no way to escape. The easiest way to solve this problem is to provide the animals a way to escape the pool.

Animals are generally attracted to pools and spas for a few reasons:

  • Aquatic frogs and salamanders: due to their natural tendency to live and breed in water. Oftentimes, their natural habitat or breeding site was in your backyard or the surrounding area before your pool was installed.
  • Toads: live on land and may be looking for a meal at the surface of the water if there are bugs present. They may accidentally fall in as is common for them with window wells as well.
  • Rodents and birds: often fall by accident while taking a drink

Once the animal falls in, they typically swim to the ledge of the pool where they get stuck due to their small size.

They are often too small to exit the pool due to the gap between the water and the brim.

That gap may seem tiny to us, but is huge for a small salamander or frog.

The natural wetlands of these animals have sloping sides allowing them to easily enter and escape freely. 

However, pools have cut off edges, sometimes with ledges or coping that would be difficult for small animals to climb over.

Also, pool linings are typically smooth which prevents animals from gripping the sides to escape like they would in nature. 

Amphibians, including frogs, toads and salamanders, have permeable skin through which they breathe and drink:

  • The hot pool water typically induces temperature shock
  • And the chlorinated water can penetrate their skin and enter their bloodstream

Once the animal gets tired it generally either drowns, dies due to excessive chlorine exposure, or gets sucked into the pool’s skimmer basket where it dies.  

How to Avoid Dead Animals in Your Pool

Animals die in pools because they have no way to escape, and the easiest way to solve this problem is by providing the animals a way out of your pool.

The easiest way to avoid dead animals in your pool or spa is by adding one or more animal escape ramps.

FrogLog Escape Ramp for Critters in Pools

  • Save Frogs & Small Animals
  • Easy Setup
  • Simple Design
  • Keep Water Clean

You could go the DIY route and come up with some kind of mesh netting or plastic device allowing animals to escape your pool. 

But this may not be effective as their limbs can get caught, or it may not be sturdy enough for them to climb if the water is moving.

FrogLog saving toads that fell into a swimming pool

I much prefer the Frog Log as a quick and easy way to save common critters and small animals that fall into pools. 

The FrogLog is  an inflatable floating platform, mesh ramp, and fabric pouch to hold it down.

When an animal falls into your pool, its first reaction is to try to find the edges. Once it gets there, the Frog Log consists of a quick, easy way out of the pool.

The FrogLog can help the following small animals, bugs and critters escape your pool:

  • Frogs
  • Toads
  • Salamanders
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Squirrels
  • Chipmunks
  • Hedgehogs
  • Gophers
  • Rodents
  • Turtles
  • Ducklings
  • Large bugs
  • Gnats
  • Bees
  • Beetles
  • Spiders
  • Lizards
  • Geckos
  • Snakes
  • Bats
  • Birds

The FrogLog can also help save the following baby animals:

  • Bunnies
  • Raccoons
  • Opossums
  • Armadillos
  • Muskrats
  • Ducks
  • Bevers
  • Skunks
  • Crocodiles
  • Alligators
  • Chameleons

However, the FrogLog cannot help the above-mentioned animals escape your pool as large juveniles or adults since most would be too large for the FrogLog to handle. 

Simalry, if the animals are tiny, like baby toads, they may still die due to excessive chlorine exposure or due to temperature shock upon falling into the pool.

However, the FrogLog is extremely effective for most small animals, critters and bugs and was 94% effective at allowing trapped amphibians to climb out of the pool during its initial testing phase on frogs.

Why Buy on FrogLog.us, Not on Amazon?

FrogLog.us sells the original FrogLog which is manufactured by Swimline and sold by the inventor and Wildlife Biologist Rich Mason. Products sold on other sites are generally “cheaply made imitations.”

Here is a message directly from the product inventor:

“The FrogLog has become a popular item for swimming pool owners.  As a result, many cheaply made imitations are listed on Amazon, Ebay, and other ecommerce sites. We advise caution in purchasing a fraud product as customers have told us about the poor quality of less expensive and cheaper imitations. Our product is manufactured by a reputable pool products company called Swimline. Our product has a guarantee by the developer.”

Rich Mason, FrogLog.us

So don’t purchase a poor quality, cheap imitation on Amazon, eBay, or some other random site that is not backed with a guarantee or support.

Purchase the real FrogLog, not some cheap imitation

Support the small business owner and inventor who should be rewarded for the great care he put into creating this awesome solution.

The FrogLog has saved thousands of critters and small wildlife from dying swimming pools and supporting Rich directly is a great way to say thanks.

Aslo, if you purchase directly through FrogLog.us you get free technical support from the inventor himself (Rich Mason), as well as a 100% money back guarantee. 

How the FrogLog Works

An animal that falls into a pool generally swims towards the edges and circles around the sides looking for a way out of the pool. 

The animal will bump into the FrogLog and climb onto the floating platform, up the mesh ramp, and out over the pool edges to exit the pool.

The FrogLog is made of 840 denier non-scratch nylon with a nylon mesh “ladder,” and dernier pouch attached to it.

FrogLog before installation

The floating platform of the FrogLog is 14” x 11” and works in pools with water levels between 3” and 10” below the deck or brim.

1. FrogLog Setup

The FrogLog floating platform simply needs to be filled with air, and the pouch section needs to be filled with some pea gravel or sand to be anchored down and remain in place.

Here is what is included in the package:

Contents of Frog Log package
  • Instructions and warnings
  • FrogLog Escape Ramp
  • 1 x Repair patch for PVC
  • 1 x Plastic bag to fill with sand (may be included depending on type of order)

It only takes a few minutes to setup and place FrogLogs in your pool.

Simply follow these instructions to setup your FrogLog:

  1. Open the Velcro flap on the back edge of the floating platform. Pinch the inflator nozzle at the base and inflate the bladder to a firm consistency. Then close the inflator nozzle. If you are having any trouble with this keep reading.
This flap is located on the straight edge at the back of the FrogLog
Notice the valve that may be making it difficult to blow in air

Note: There is a flap inside the base of the nozzle that helps keep air in as illustrated on the instruction image in the package (see above photo). This flap can stick shut making it difficult to blow air in. If this occurs, use a small Phillips head screwdriver or other small tool and insert it into the nozzle to loosen the flap. Pinch the base again and inflate.

  1. Remove the paper inserts in side the mesh hem located at the top of the FrogLog ladder, below the pouch. Insert
Remove the papers
Insert the plastic strips

3. Remove the small plastic bag from the fabric pouch that has the FrogLog logo. Fill the bag with 1.5 to 2 cups of sand or pea gravel. Insert the plastic bag back into the fabric pouch.

Fill the pouch with something heavy but nothing sharp

Pro Tip: If you live in a windy area or find that the sand or gravel is not heavy enough, replace some of the sand with small fishing weights to add more weight.

I have a ton of leftover Allen keys from DIY projects which could work like weights.

However, do not place sharp objects in the pouch, especially if you are placing the FrogLogs at ground-level; someone could step on the pouch and could injure themselves.

If you need to replace the plastic bag for any reason you can get some at the Dollar Store for cheap.

2. FrogLog Installation

Where you place your Frog Log may be slightly different depending on the type of swimming pool you have, as well as the presence (or not) of a deck around your pool.

So let’s have a look where to place the FrogLog depending on the type of pool that you have.

In-Ground Pools

Place the bladder or floating platform in the water and place the weighted pouch on the pool deck or surround.

Be sure to place the FrogLog upstream from the flow of water moving toward the skimmer opening, and keep the back edge of the float against the pool wall. 

Aboveground Pools With a Deck

Similar to unground pools, place the floating platform in the water and place the weighted pouch on the pool deck or surround.

Be sure to put the FrogLog upstream from the flow of water moving toward the skimmer opening, and keep the back edge of the float against the pool wall. 

Aboveground Pools Without a Deck

Place the floating platform in the water and place the weighted pouch over the pool edge.

You can fasten it in place using a clamp to secure it.

Clamps can be found for a few dollars at local hardware stores like Home Depot or Canadian Tire.

Intex Inflatable Pools

Place the floating platform in the water and place the weighted pouch over the inflatable pool edge.

You will need to secure it in place and the best thing I have found to do so is strong duct tape.

You can get some at your local Dollar Store or hardware store like Home Depot or Canadian Tire.

Keep in mind that you may need more than one FrogLog depending on the size of your pool.

3. Number of FrogLogs Needed

Larger pools will naturally need more Frog Logs than smaller pools due to their size. 

If the animal gets sucked into your pool skimmer before they reach the FrogLog, they probably will not survive.

Therefore, having an amount of FrogLogs adapted to your pool size is essential.

Here is a table with how many FrogLogs you need depending on the size of your pool or spa:

Pool Size (in)Pool Size (cm)Number of FrogLogs
15′ x 30′38 x 721-2
15′ x 30′ to 25′ x 50′38 x 72 to 64 x 1272-4
25′ x 50′ to 50′ x 80′64 x 127 to 127 x 2033-6
> 50′ x 80′> 127 x 2035-8

You should also consider a few more FrogLogs than the recommended number if you:

  • Run the pump filter at night since this creates movement reducing ease to escape
  • Have high chlorine levels since this can kill animals quicker
  • Find many animals in your pool since this may require more escape routes
  • Mostly have small mammals like rodents in your pool since they are larger and take up more room than amphibians
  • Have multiple skimmer intakes in your pool since they can suck in animals before they can safely escape

Be sure to purchase at least as many Frog Logs as the amount of pool skimmer entries you have.

When using multiple FrogLogs, simply space them evenly around the pool upstream from the flow of these skimmers to provide animals a reliable escape before they get sucked into the skimmer.

What the Frog Log Cannot Do

The FrogLog is not a lifesaving device and cannot help neither pets like cats, dogs, or raccoons, nor large wildlife out of your pool including bears, wild boar, moose, or deer.

You may be surprised if this is not an issue you are facing directly, but very large animals also often fall into pools as well.

Needless to say, the FrogLog will not be helpful to get the following animals out of your pool due to their sheer size.

The FrogLog cannot handle large wildlife including:

  • Bears
  • Wild Boar
  • Moose
  • Deer

The FrogLog is not made to save your pets either (CTNF).

The FrogLog cannot handle pets including:

  • Raccoons
  • Dogs
  • Cats

However, if these pets are your main concern, you may want to consider a Pup Plank:

The FrogLog is not a lifesaving device and will not prevent drowning so it should not be used to save humans of any size.

Warnings on the FrogLog

The FrogLog will also not help you with issues related to having frog eggs or tadpoles in your pool. You will have to deal with those differently. 

Luckily, we explain exactly how to get rid of frog eggs and tadpoles on our blog:

  • Frog Tadpoles in Pools
  • Frog eggs

How to Prevent Frogs Falling in Your Pool

Although I covered different animals that fall into pools in this article, our specialty really is frogs.

Here are articles on our blog that can help you prevent frogs from falling into your pool:

If you have different types of animals in your pool, those articles may still be helpful since many of the tips will be applicable to different animals.

However, if you find bears, moose, or other large wildlife in your pool, that’s another story.

Contacting your local wildlife department for tips may be the best option when it comes to larger species.

Cleaning Your Pool After Removing a Dead Animal

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, most dead animals in pools “do not pose a health risk to pool users.”

However, dead raccoons can pose a health problem if they are infected with a worm called Baylisascaris since it can be spread to humans. 

Pre-weaned calves and lambs can also pose a health threat if found dead in a pool since they can be infected with Cryptosporidium, a chlorine-tolerant germ (CTNF). 

After removing a dead calf or lamb from the pool, a professional must come to hyperchlorinate the water. 

The CDCP recommends contacting your local health department for advice since hyperchlorination protocols should be performed by a qualified professional.

For more information on cleaning your pool after finding a dead animal, please refer to the CDCP website.

Daniella Master Herpetologist

Daniella is a Master Herpetologist and the founder of toadsnfrogs.com, a website dedicated to educating the general population on frogs by meeting them where they are in their online Google Search. Daniella is passionate about frogs and put her digital marketing skills and teaching experience to good use by creating these helpful resources to encourage better education, understanding, and care for frogs.