The Single Most Important Thing You Need to Know About Dog Ramps

gen7pets dog ramps

dog ramps

I must admit I’m always surprised by how few people know about dog ramps.

The thing is, that makes me concerned for three reasons

  1. People are lifting some very heavy dogs in and out of the car, potentially injuring themselves
  2. Dogs are missing out on quality family time
  3. Dogs of all ages are putting unnecessary wear and tear on their joints.

What is a dog ramp?

Very simply, it is a ramp for your dog to use to gain access to places he can no longer jump into or onto.

Who needs one?

Every household with a dog

Who benefits?

You

If you’ve been lifting your dog into and out of the car for quite some time now, I imagine you’re either feeling it physically or emotionally. If you have a big dog it’s likely taken two of you, and gen7pets dog rampseven lifting a small dog can become problematic, especially if you have some mobility issues of your own.

When I say emotionally I mean it can take a toll on us when we see our dogs aging, unable to do the things they used to.   

You and your dog

Everyone benefits by not having to leave the dog behind, keeping him as involved in your lives as ever.  

Trips to the vet with a dog of any age recovering from surgery or injury, are made easier with the use of a ramp. Even if they aren’t able to walk 100% unaided, supporting him as you guide him up the ramp is easier than carrying him.

Small dogs

Small young dogs can benefit by reaching places too high for them to jump onto.

Any aged dog

To protect the joints of any age dog.  

**ADDITIONAL NOTE** Another reason your dog may get left behind is, even if you can get him in and out of the car, if he isn’t able to walk much when you’re at your destination, he’ll have puppystairs two piece dog rampsto stay home. A pet stroller is a wonderful mobility aid that can work perfectly in conjunction with a dog ramp.   

Where can I use it?

Anywhere really – car, boat, indoors   

Styles of ramps

Ramps come in a wide variety of styles, to suit any need.

  • Folding
  • Rolling
  • Telescoping
  • One piece
  • Free standing
  • With a platform at the top

Features to consider before buying

Sturdiness

The ramp must be sturdy, no buckling in the middle as your dog walks on it.

How secure is it

Does it casually rest against the couch or open car? Is there a risk of it falling or moving? If it tips petstep folding dog rampsor wobbles, your dog may not only risk injury, it may scare him off using one for good.

Incline

Take into consideration the steepness of the incline before buying. Longer and gradual is easier to navigate than steep.   

Weight limit

I would underestimate when it comes to the weight limit of the ramp you buy. While a 90lb dog on a ramp suited for 100lbs should be no problem, I would look at the next one up, just to compare.

Additional safety features

Things like non-skid surfaces and elevated sides are important safety features to look for. Non-skid should mean exactly that, no matter the weather, and elevated sides prevents your dog from accidentally stepping off when using it.  

Weight

You may only be carrying the ramp from the car door to the trunk or back seat, but some can still have quite a bit of weight to them. Think about how much you’ll be moving it, and whether or not you can manage on your own before buying.

Indoor or outdoor use

Know its’ intended use, and buy the one that’s suitable. A ramp for indoor use will not need to be weather resistant for instance, and that could impact the price you’ll pay, meaning it might be cheaper!   

Ease of storage

When not in use, where will you store it, how much room will it take up and do you have the space?

Design

If you need a ramp for outdoor use, what it looks like will probably not be an important factor in your decision making process. If it will be permanently on display, you’re likely going to want gen7pets-natural-pet-rampsomething that at least is not an eyesore.  

Cleaning

Will a simple spray with a hose be enough to keep it clean, a quick vaccum, or will elbow grease be the only way.

Price

Your budget will ultimately determine your selection, so shop around to get the best deal. There are so many ramps available online, you should find the perfect one for your needs and budget.   

Dog ramps – conclusion

Almost forgot…the single most important thing you need to know about dog ramps? You really need one!

 

Stop by my Facebook page, and please like it, share tips, advice, stories and pictures of life with your senior dog.

 


The Single Most Important Thing You Need to Know About Dog Ramps
Hindy Pearson
Helping people care for their senior dogs
I am a certified dog trainer and pet care consultant, specialising in working with rescue dogs and first time pet parents. I foster and adopt senior and special needs dogs, and advocate for shelter adoption of all animals, particularly older dogs and cats. I am currently working on a spay/neuter program in Spain.

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38 thoughts on “The Single Most Important Thing You Need to Know About Dog Ramps

  1. Excellent article! You really covered every aspect on doggie ramps! We needed one for our larger dogs and a ramp was wonderful for them and us!
    I wish we had thought of it sooner!

  2. Such a great reminder. Sometimes problems have an easy fix, just like this. We think cats who are aging should have ramps, too.

    1. Thank you. I know, it’s such an easy solution to what is, for some, a very big problem. It’s perfect for cats of all ages. I’ve had a couple of cats who weren’t fantastic jumpers, they could have used a bit of help to reach the high spots.

  3. Dog ramps really help enormously for dogs of all sizes, especially when their humans have trouble lifting them. Small dogs that can’t jump in, with people who can’t bend/lift, benefit just like the big old arthritic canines. Great post!

  4. We recently received a pet ramp from Solvit and I’m glad we’ve finally made the switch. Mauja and Atka are HEAVY and sometimes I just can’t lift their butts into the car! 😉

  5. Awesome! Yup, ramp girl here too. I also bring a set when I can when I travel for the hotel beds. If I cannot, I have to make a make-shift one for the up and down. OK, Hindy, when are we going to meet? 🙂

    1. Didn’t think of hotels, great point Tonya. I’ve never stayed in a hotel with my dogs before, all our travelling is from our place to family. They’ll be staying in a hotel for the first time next month. I’ll take lots of pics!! Agreed, we should meet!

  6. I can’t imagine having to lift a big dog into the back of a car. These ramps are immensely useful. It’s only when people Don’t have one they will suddenly miss it and buy one!!

  7. We have small dogs. At present, although we try to lift them up, and down, they can jump. I imagine we will have a ramp for the bed in years to come. I want them to be able to continue the routine of napping on the bed while we’re at work.

    1. Sounds like a great idea. If it’s more difficult for them to jump onto the bed at some point in the future, they shouldn’t have to give up their favourite resting spot!

  8. Ramps are a great idea. They can help preserve a dog’s joints too by reducing all that jumping in & out of the car over time.
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    1. You’re right Cathy. Even though young dogs can easily jump in and out, using a ramp is a great way of reducing stress on the joints. Hopefully that will prevent problems later in life.

  9. A great post and so true – all dogs (and people) benefit from using ramps! You always have to be so careful with dog’s backs and support them during the transfer – ramps just make it easier and empowers them to become more comfortable with a variety of surfaces. Great post!

  10. When my dogs get older, I’ll be looking for a ramp to make it easier for them to get onto the furniture. They are all small, so lifting them isn’t a problem, but I think they will appreciate being independent for as long as possible.

  11. Thank you for this – about six months ago I looked high and low for ramp and stairs recommendation for Bruisy. We have ramps to the bed and to all the couches and ottomans in our house for the doxies which are also great now with two seniors!

    1. Hi Christine, I bet everyone’s life is so much easier now. If you’d like to send in a picture of one or both of the seniors on the ramp or stairs, I’d be happy to post it on my FB page, and include it in one of the articles.

  12. Great article and have in my closet some small stairs for Layla if necessary, I do not have place for a ramp in my shoe box of a studio LOL

    1. Hi Ruth, stairs definitely take up less room, especially if you’re going to be leaving them out. I know we tend to see ramps and stairs and exclusively for seniors, but I’m going to make sure my younger dog Jack uses them. He’s recovering from spinal surgery, so his days of flinging himself off the couch are over.

  13. Great post! Having cared for a special needs Husky, I did purchase a pet ramp that served double-duty – as a ramp, and as a makeshift stretcher if needed. My Husky was 98 pounds and epileptic, so having one on hand gave me a peace of mind that he could be transported if need be, rather than hoisting him up in a sheet, which took stronger family members than I to move him. I keep it handy so in case as my other Huskies age they need it, I already have it at the ready!

    1. I can’t imagine how you could possibly lift a big dog like that, without help and even then! Clever that it was able to perform double duty in the event of an emergency. I wish more people were aware of dog ramps and the difference it can make in the lives of their dogs.

    2. Hi! We have a 13 year old husky and I’m looking to purchase our first ramp. Do you recommend a certain brand?

      1. Hi Maribeth, that’s wonderful you’ll see how much easier things will be once you buy a ramp. You’ll notice brands like Pet Gear and Solvit are consistently mentioned in positive reviews. If I were you I would think about what I need the ramp for, have a look around at options, read some reviews about specific ones and some real customer comments, positive and negative. You’ll often find major differences in opinion, but I tend to look for common positives or complaints. The important thing is it does what you want it to do, and is sturdy enough to support your dog’s weight. I would underestimate – if your dog weights 90lbs, I wouldn’t buy a ramp with a limit of 100, I would go sturdier. Hope this helps, and feel free to send in a picture of your new ramp in use and I’ll publish it on my FB page.

  14. I don’t think we’ll need one as Mr. N is good about jumping into the car and even after, I think it would just be easier to lift him in and out. He really doesn’t weigh that much… One of his big dog friends needs a new ramp though. He doesn’t like the current one.

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