Ideal for larger dog breeds and farm animals. Telescoping design more secure than folding models. Aluminum construction is rust-resistant and lightweight. Sturdy base and good traction on tread.
Grip tape not as strong as ribbed rubber. Design is awkward for one-person carries. Non-slip surface has sandpaper texture.
Fits easily in car trunk or near furniture. Very easy to assemble and transport. Height ideal for beds, low furniture and pet houses.
Original tread cover can be slippery, needs modification. Ramp angle is shorter and steeper than expected. Not ideal for older dogs with mobility issues.
Rubberized tread surface softer than sandpaper material. Uses side rails to guide animals safely. 18" tread width encourages larger dogs to use the ramp.
Quality of rubber tread coating can be variable. Folding design creates pinch points. Bulky, challenging to transport and set up. Not great for heavy dogs.
Fiberglass and plastic construction will not rust. Lightweight, easy for one person to set up. Popular choice for older or health-challenged dogs.
Very narrow tread width, some dogs may fall off. Angle can be steep, and ramp does not attach securely to all vehicles. Abrasive tread cover.
Longer ramp means gentler incline for older dogs. Fits easily along the side of a bed. Solid furniture-like construction that is built to last.
Original carpeting can be very slick. Some concerns about weight capacity. Construction can be challenging, holes misaligned.
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Our dogs and cats might be clever and capable most of the time, but occasionally they need a helping hand, whether due to an injury, illness, old age, or simply their diminutive size. Pet ramps are perfect for aiding your four-legged friend onto spots they usually can't easily reach.
Picking out the perfect pet ramp isn't as simple as it might first seem. You need to get the right ramp for where you plan to use it and select one that's suited to your pet. Finding the information you need to simplify your purchase isn't always easy, but we have done the research and compiled it in an easy-to-read manner.
First off, check our five favorite models, then read on for our full guide to pet ramps.
Stationary pet ramps
Stationary pet ramps are designed for helping your dog or cat get onto furniture they can't easily reach, such as your bed or couch. They tend to be made to stay in one place long term, so they may be made from heavy, solid materials, such as wood. They let your pet have more independence, as they can climb up and down whenever they please.
Portable pet ramps
Portable pet ramps are designed to help pets into cars. More specifically, medium and large dogs who are too heavy to lift (you can simply pick up a small dog and put them in the car, and cats usually travel in a carrier). Portable pet ramps are useful for elderly or injured dogs who aren't able to jump up on their own, or for use in large trucks and SUVs that are too high off the ground for your pooch to jump in and out of safely.
Pet ramps will have a maximum weight limit. Never exceed this as the ramp could collapse and injure your pet.
Foldable vs. telescoping
If you choose a portable pet ramp, it will be either foldable or telescoping. Foldable options fold either once in the center or in two places, depending on the overall length of the ramp. With telescoping models, you make them longer or shorter by sliding one part over the top of the next, much like how a telescope extends. Telescoping pet ramps tend to be easier to extend than foldable models, especially if you're doing it solo. However, they are also generally more expensive.
The majority of pet ramps are either height adjustable or are designed in such a way that they can be clipped onto items of varying heights (though the incline will be steeper when affixed to taller items). However, some stationary pet ramps are of a fixed height. Of course, if you choose a fixed-height pet ramp, you'll need to check it matches the height of the item your pet needs to climb up on.
A pet ramp should have a non-slip surface with plenty of traction. Not only does this help avoid accidents due to your pet slipping, it will also make them feel more confident climbing the ramp. If they start to walk up it and find themselves with little or no grip, they're more likely to retreat and refuse to go near it again.
Textured rubber is perhaps the most common surface choice, and generally provides adequate traction, as long as it has a quality tread. Carpet is another common option, but it should have a thick shag to provide enough grip. We've seen some other options out there, too, such as textured plastic and fake grass.
The incline refers to how steep or shallow the ramp is. Generally, pets will be happier climbing a gently sloped ramp than a steep one. Gentler slopes are also safer, especially for senior, injured, or disabled pets. Pet ramps with a fixed height will have a fixed degree of incline. However, adjustable ramps or ones that can be attached to items of different heights will be steeper the higher you adjust them. You can remedy this by choosing longer ramps. For instance, if you need a ramp so your dog can get into the trunk of your SUV, which is a few feet off the ground, a four-foot ramp would give you a much steeper incline than a six-foot ramp.
Take time to acclimate your pet to their new ramp and teach them to safely walk up and down it.
If your pet is nervous about noises, avoid metal ramps as they can be quite loud when walked on.
Stationary pet ramps start around the $50 mark. They can cost as much as $300 to $400 for high-quality solid wood options, but most mid-range models are priced between $80 and $120. Portable pet ramps can cost as little as $50 to $70 for shorter models made from plastic, but sturdier metal models cost more like $100 to $150. Some extra-long, extra-durable models are priced as high as $200 to $300.
Check if your chosen ramp is wide enough for your pet. If it's too narrow, there's a chance your pet could fall off with a slight misstep. Large pets are also quite likely to be nervous about climbing a narrow ramp.
Choose the right pet ramp for how you will be using it. For car use you'll need a portable, foldable ramp that you can take with you to use at the other end. You can choose a larger stationary model for in-home use.
Think about the stability of your chosen pet ramp. It should be well-constructed from durable materials. Rubber feet help prevent them sliding around or wobbling. If a ramp doesn't feel stable, your pet won't be comfortable climbing it.
Decide what material you'd like your pet ramp to be made from. Plastic and aluminum are the most common options for portable pet ramps, with aluminum being the sturdier option. Solid wood is great for stationary pet ramps, as it's strong, stable, and attractive. You also need to lift/move it, so take weight into consideration, too.
Picking our five favorite pet ramps was extremely hard. We came across several more that were so great it was almost too close to call. The Pet Gear Travel Lite Ramp was a huge hit with us, thanks to the range of length and width options and the "SuperTrax" surface that provides exceptional traction for your pet. What's more, it's lightweight and easy to fold for easy portability. Another excellent choice is the Gen7Pets Natural Step Ramp for Pets. It stands out due to its faux grass finish, which makes walking on it feel more natural to your pet. If you're looking for an attractive pet ramp to have a more permanent position by your bed, the Pinnacle Woodcraft Wooden Pet Ramp is beautiful and highly durable, but it does come with a sizable price tag.
Q. Why should I buy a pet ramp instead of steps?
A. Steps are great for some pets, but can still cause issues for very small dogs or dogs and cats with serious mobility issues. A ramp with a gentle incline is easier for some pets to climb up than a set of stairs. Although you can find some portable pet stairs, portable pet ramps are more prevalent, and tend to be more reliable and easier to use, too.
Q. Are portable pet ramps easy to fold and unfold?
A. Portable pet ramps can be a bit of a pain to fold and unfold, especially when you've got some inpatient dogs waiting to climb in or out of the car. That said, it's certainly possible for the majority of people to manage it alone. If you're worried about folding up your pet ramp, you could opt for a telescoping model, instead.
Q. What are pet ramps useful for?
A. You'll find a range of scenarios in which pet ramps are useful. For home use, they're great for toy dog breeds who are too small to jump up onto furniture by themselves. You might choose to use them because you want your pooch to be able to access your couch or your bed freely, or you might be worried that they'll attempt to jump up while you're not around and end up injuring themselves. Stationary pet ramps are also handy for old or infirm dogs or cats who can no longer jump easily, letting them get into their favorite spots, despite their mobility issues. Portable pet ramps are predominantly used for helping dogs in and out of tall cars, particularly if those dogs are too large for you to pick up.
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