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Dogs are energetic and can’t just sit or lie down, they need to jump, get to certain heights that are at times not physically possible. When a dog is hurt or gets older, it becomes weak and less energetic. This makes it difficult for it to do some movements or be active as it was before. For instance, it becomes challenging to leap into the back of the car. You can find an easier way to assist them by purchasing a dog ramp to make those difficult movements possible. A dog ramp for car offers an easy way for dogs to go up and down your car.
What is a dog ramp?
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A dog ramp is a flat piece of plastic, metal or wood that extends from a lower surface to a higher surface to help your dog reach a higher place without lifting him, jumping or climbing. It ensures that the dog doesn’t struggle when getting to higher grounds. A suitable dog ramp is one that can comfortably hold your dog’s weight and can be carried around easily.
When Is A Dog Ramp Necessary?
Dog ramps play a crucial role in the following groups of dogs;
Dogs suffering from arthritis may find it hard to hop up and down as this may cause pain, increase joint damage, and slow down the healing process.
An elderly dog is often worn out and may have experienced a lot of tears and wear throughout the years. This makes it weak and may need some assistance when getting into a car.
The bones and joints of puppies haven’t developed fully, thus exposing them to a hard landing, frequent jumping or awkward leaps may lead to injuries. A dog ramp can help reduce the occurrence of such injuries.
Small breed dogs
These dogs love jumping on and off regularly. You can minimize the frequent leaps to avoid injuries or problems in future by using a dog ramp.
A recovering dog
Dogs recovering from a surgery or injury are weak and need some assistance as they get into the car. A car ramp will help them navigate easily, and ensure that the dog is comfortable when using it.
Injuries That Can Be Avoided or Minimized When A Dog Ramp Is Used
- Footpad injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Broken toenails
- Sprains to the shoulders, wrists, and legs
- Slipped knee caps
Are Stairs or A Ramp Better for Dogs?
This highly depends on the reason for using stairs or ramp. They both work well to offer assistance to dogs, but this highly depends on the situation. We will consider the groups discussed above.
- For arthritic dogs, a ramp could be better than stairs. This is because the dog will not strain a lot as it makes good use of it.
- For puppies, stairs would be better than a ramp since they are more energetic. It can be interesting for them to take stairs up to the car as compared to when using a ramp
- For senior dogs, a ramp could be better. As previously mentioned, these dogs are weak, thus a ramp would be easier for them than stairs.
- Small breed dogs would be more comfortable using stairs. This is because they like making leaps regularly, stairs would enhance this while still protecting it from injuries.
- For a dog that is recovering from a surgical procedure or an injury, a dog ramp is a better option to select. This is because they are easier to navigate than stairs. This would prevent more injury and make it easier for your dog as it gets into the car.
What is the best dog ramp for SUV?
The best dog ramp is dependent on your needs, style, and purpose. We will review some of the best dog ramps for SUV. Features that comfortably and efficiently suit you make a dog ramp best for you.
PetSTEP Original Folding Pet Ramp
This dog ramp is offered as a universal fit such that there will be no need of sizing anything before purchase. It’s portable as it can fold easily to compactly fit into your car. This feature is also great when the ramp needs to be stored when not in use. It consumes a little portion of your storage space.
Interestingly, it has a weight capacity of 500 pounds, thus it can comfortably hold your dog’s weight without the risk of falls or strains. Its life span is enhanced by an advanced composite plastic that doesn’t rust or corrode easily. Moreover, to prevent any struggle when walking on the ramp, this unit has a soft texture and is non-slip. With this combination, this dog ramp can be easily cleaned using water and a little soap. It’s thus less troublesome to use and maintain.
You can choose from two color options provided by the manufacturer. It has received an impressive rating of 4.3 by over 500 customers who have reviewed it on Amazon.
Solvit XL Telescopic Dog Ramp
This ramp works very well on heavy dogs, and won’t flex even after being used continuously. This is due to its weight capacity of 300 pounds. It’s foldable and weighs 18 pounds, making it very portable. Since it’s extra-long, it can be used on SUVs effectively as it can reach their height easily. This feature also gives a gentler incline making it easy for the dogs to use. You don’t have to extend it fully to get to the angle that you need, it’s quite versatile.
It has a non-skid surface that is well complemented by rails all around it. This is meant to give your dog a good grip and improve its stability on it. This minimizes the occurrence of damages or injuries even when dogs walk on it fast and agitated.
Prairie View Industries SFW330 Portable Single fold Ramp
This is a wide dog ramp that has an anti-slip feature to keep your dog safe and stable when using it. Its width is large enough to accommodate even the timidest dogs. It measures 30” W by 36”L. This width is great as it ensures dog’s comfort as it’s using it, eliminating the need to force or struggle with it.
It can be carried around with less hassle as it easily folds up and has a handle that allows you to carry the ramp just like a suitcase. Its weight capacity of 800 pounds ensures that even the chubby puppies aren’t left out.
Pet Gear Bi-Fold Half Ramp
This dog ramp is effective for heights up to 20-inches. It’s kept steady by a non-skid carpet on the front surface and rubber grippers on the bottom. This ensures that your dog is comfortable as it navigates through it.
Its portability is enhanced by a built-in handle and ability to fold easily. Consequently, you can efficiently move with it around and store it easily with little space consumption. Additionally, this ramp is easy to maintain since the carpeting is removable and can be hand-washed for satisfying results. Interestingly, the sturdy plastic doesn’t attract bacteria, enhancing ramp’s safety.
Fascinatingly, this model is available in a variety of sizes and colors. The different sizes provided allows you to choose from a higher and longer model depending on the height of your car. With the different colors, you get to choose one that fits your car’s color and taste.
Paws and Pals Dog ramps
It’s a lightweight ramp that suits both small to medium dogs effectively. It has a weight limit of 120 pounds, thus suitable for most dogs. It’s portable, as it easily folds into a small block with a width of 10 inches. Moreover, it has a handle to carry it around easily. Durability of this dog ramp is provided by a strong PVC plastic that is easy to clean and store.
It has four large non-slip tapes to enhance a dog’s stability. This gives the dog comfort, eliminating too much struggle when training it to use it. It also prevents the occurrence of injuries or strains. The provided stickers are easy to apply, so this shouldn’t be a worry.
Mr. Herzher’s Smart Ramp
This ramp utilizes simple technology but is very sturdy. The raised side rails are made with properties similar to fiberglass making it rigid for a good performance. Proprietary technology is used on the tread surface to give even the largest dogs a perfect grip for more comfort. This technology is referred to as ‘Shur-Foot’.
This ramp has been continuously recommended for heavy-duty use. For instance, unstable dogs who would be uncomfortable using any flimsy pet ramp, and for dogs that will frequently use it. Interestingly, its sturdiness doesn’t make it heavyweight, as it weighs 16 lbs.
For this Smart Ramp to work effectively for senior and weak dogs, you’ll need to stretch it completely to make it less steep. You can always adjust the stretch depending on how you find your dog comfortable. Roughly, it measures 16.75’’ in width, that is from left to right bumper. Alternatively, the inside width is 13’’.
Rage Powersports extra-wide pet ramp
This is a perfect dog ramp for giant dog breeds. It can efficiently hold dogs weighing up to 110kg (250lbs). Although it’s heavy-duty, it utilizes lightweight materials enhancing its portability. Moreover, you can easily move it around due to the presence of a built-in carrying handle and ability to fold in half. With these features in place, you can easily store it.
Its surfaces are dirt-repelling making it easy to clean. As you clean the tread, you should do it smoothly as scrubbing it too much would damage the perfect grip. It just needs a simple cleaning of water and soap, thus aside from being easy to clean, it’s easy to maintain.
Gen7Pets Natural Step Ramp for pets
This dog ramp utilizes a unique Poly-Grass technology that makes the walking surface soft, yet non-slip for safety and comfort of your dog. Artificial grass’ texture is friendly to the dog’s pads, as it won’t scratch or hurt them. It’s also gentle to your vehicle’s interior, thus risk of scratches is eliminated. It’s portable as it can easily fold into two, and has a built-in rubber grip handle. The rubber ensures that you don’t get hurt as you carry it around.
Moreover, it has an automatic locking latch that secures your dog ramp safely on the vehicle. It has a width of 16’’ and 6 feet long, making it suitable for most dogs. This suitability is enhanced more by its maximum weight capacity of 250 pounds.
Titan Ramps Collapsible Pet Ramp
An impressive feature of this dog ramp is that it has small rectangular ridges that provide non-slip surfaces that are superior to their conventional textured counterparts. The non-slip rubber feet are extra-large, unlike small non-slip surfaces provided by other types of dog ramps. Safety and comfort of your pet are provided in this manner.
Moreover, as compared to most models that fold for portability, this unit uses a telescoping or ingenious sliding mechanism. With this mechanism, the three panels slide on each other, providing a 28-inch long, 4.5- inch thick, and 16.75-inch wide device. This feature makes it easy to store and occupy a very small storage space.
Additionally, there are guide rails that increase stability of your dog as it navigates through the ramp. It’s durable and lightweight due to a rigid plastic construction in place and an aluminum frame. Despite its rigid construction and a maximum weight capacity of 180 lbs, it only weighs 13 pounds.
Kurgo Wander Collapsible Dog Ramp
This dog ramp is 62 inches long and 15.5 inches wide. When it’s fully extended, it follows the shape of a slide rather than becoming straight as in many models. It slopes gently at the top before getting steeper towards the bottom. It takes a durable and sturdy plastic construction that’s lightweight.
The guide rails of this ramp are higher to give a dog better grip during use. Walking surface is non-slip for the safety of your pet. Moreover, it’s folding design is easy thus provides less hassle when moving it around and storing it.
It weighs 10.4 pounds and offers a maximum weight capacity of 200lbs. A safety lock mechanism ensures that the ramp is placed securely on your vehicle thus eliminating risks of falls and injuries.
Key Features to Consider when Selecting a Dog Ramp
It’s weight capacity
As previously mentioned, it’s crucial to select a dog ramp that can hold your dog’s weight comfortably. Even after checking the weight capacity, there are a few aspects to consider for safety and comfort of your dog. An instance is when you have a very enthusiastic or anxious dog. In this case, you will need a dog ramp with a big buffer to efficiently support it without wobbling.
Does it utilize telescoping or folding?
For a dog ramp to be portable, it needs to have a mechanism that will make it smaller to fit in your car. You can minimize its size by folding it or use telescoping. Most of the portable dog ramps fold into half lessening their length significantly. Contrary, when telescoping, ramps slide over each other.
Apart from folding and telescoping, the ramp should have a lock to securely put it place when extending it for use. This will provide safety and comfort to your dog.
This is a crucial feature to consider since a slippery ramp will make it difficult for your dog to navigate through it as it gets on top or moves downwards. The risk of your dog slipping is reduced meaningfully when the ramp is non-slip.
There are ramps design and texture good enough to provide a good grip to the pet. Contrary, some need additional non-slip stickers for more efficiency. You may be provided with the stickers as you make a purchase, but you may be required to buy your own when the manufacturer fails to provide.
A dog ramp for a car needs to be lightweight as you’ll need to carry it around frequently. The weight that you can’t physically handle is thus not suitable for you. Although huge dogs need ramps with a higher capacity, there are ramps designed to hold the heavyweight comfortably, but materials used during construction are lightweight.
Friendly on paws
The surface of a dog ramp doesn’t have to be necessarily rough for it to be non-slip. Having a sandpaper surface would provide a good grip, but would end up hurting the dog’s paws. You should always check the surface texture to ensure that it’s easy on paws. If you find the surface of your dog ramp slippery, you can consider purchasing non-slip stickers that are less rough and will make your dog more comfortable.
You should always put your dog’s needs first when purchasing a ramp. After all, it’s meant to be used by the dog. Consider the category of your dog from those provided above depending on their needs. For instance, a senior dog, one that is ailing or recovering from a surgical procedure are weak hence, a ramp with a gentler incline is suitable. Heavier dogs will require a stronger ramp to support their weight comfortably and effectively.
How Long Should A Dog Ramp Be?
Ramps that are meant for humans are at least 12 inches long for every 1 inch in height. This shouldn’t be the case for dogs since they are quadrupeds and have a lower center of gravity. This makes them better climbers naturally enhancing their ability to handle a steeper incline. Moreover, longer ramps can be climbed easily by dogs.
This is however not the case when a dog has an injury, is ailing or has aged. These groups of dogs will need a less inclined ramp for more safety and comfort. Generally, a dog ramp for a car with a height of 24 to 30 inches, should be 5 to 6 feet long.
Nevertheless, your pet’s size determines the best width for your ramp. Narrow ramps are effective for the narrow and toy breeds, while wide ramps are effective for medium to large breeds. The best width is one that is larger than the biggest measurement of your dog’s hips or shoulder.
How Do I Get My Dog Used to A Ramp?
Not all dogs resist using a dog ramp, some need a little coaching for them to understand the concept of climbing onto it. For those who resist using it, you should train them progressively and patiently to help them adjust easily. This will be a suitable way that you can get your dog used to a ramp. Follow the steps below to train your dog on using a ramp.
- Lay the dog ramp flat on the ground and place an enticing item across it. The item will encourage your dog to cross it. You could repeat this step several times to ensure that the dog is used to the ramp’s texture.
- You can also use your hand to signal and encourage your dog to walk across the ramp
- After noting that your dog has grasped the concept of crossing the ramp when laid flat, you should repeat the same step but without an enticing item or a hand signal.
- You can now gradually raise the dog ramp. This should happen for quite some time to ensure that your dog is adjusting to the new heights easily and comfortably.
- After much patience and persistence, your dog will get used to the ramp and utilize it accordingly with less or no struggle.
With the above information, selecting, purchasing and using a dog ramp isn’t a difficult task. If you’re pet lover, you will enjoy the process of making your dog more comfortable using car ramps. Once you’re aware of your dog’s needs, your needs, and features that will satisfy those needs, then you can comfortably make a wise selection. You can check for more customer reviews to know their level of satisfaction with the product.