A dog ramp can greatly improve your dog’s quality of life especially if your dog is elderly or has health issues that cause physical limitations. As your dog ages, she may have aching joints, hip problems, arthritis or other physical disabilities or injuries that make getting around more challenging.
* Can be a great benefit to tiny or small dog breeds as they may not be able to jump up high enough to get on or off furniture on their own.
* Plus jumping off the bed or other furniture can cause physical injury to your petite pal.
* A dog ramp can help your dog:
- get in and out of a vehicle
- on or off your deck
- on or off the furniture or other resting areas
* Your dog may want to access these areas but physically cannot do this any longer without assistance. For this reason, there are indoor dog ramps or outdoor dog ramps available depending on where your dog will be using the ramp.
* Dog ramps can benefit you as well as the physical strain on your back and the rest of your body from lifting your dog on and off furniture or in and out of a vehicle can be relieved by your dog using a ramp for assistance.
You will need to decide between a variety of options before choosing the dog ramp that is right for your dog:
1. Indoor or outdoor ramp – An Indoor dog ramp will sometimes have carpet or rubber for grip on the walking surface whereas an outdoor dog ramp will be more durable to withstand the weather conditions with non-slip rubber on the walking surface. (You can choose from foam, plastic, aluminum or wood ramps.)
2. Length of ramp - The higher your dog needs to go requires a longer ramp so that the incline is not too steep for your dog.
3. Lightweight or Heavy Duty - Do you need a lightweight dog ramp that it is easy to move around often for a small or medium sized dog or something more sturdy and wider that you will not be moving frequently and is able to handle a large or heavy dog.
4. Foldable - Some ramps are foldable for easy transport or storage and some ramps come with a carrying handle once folded up.
5. Washable Covers – Some foam ramps come with washable covers in a variety of colors and designs to suit your home decor.
6. Raised Sides – there are some ramps with raised sides to provide more security for older or unstable dogs.
7. Safety Latch and Non-Skid Bottom – ramps should either have a safety latch that hooks onto your furniture or vehicle and non-skid footings or bottom to prevent the ramp from sliding while in use.
**Many of these ramps are easy to use and bring when travelling with your dog as many are foldable for easy storage, light weight and often have carrying handles for easy transport.**
** An alternative to a dog ramp is dog steps/pet steps (or dog stairs/pet stairs).**
* One advantage of dog stairs(or pet stairs) is that they use up less floor area than a ramp to get to the same height as they can be placed alongside your furniture or vehicle which works well for limited space.
* However, for elderly or physically challenged dogs, the ramp is generally a better option as it is a more gradual incline and decline without any step heights to get up or down.
* Ramps are better for dogs that have always lived in homes without stairs as they may not be comfortable going up and down steps and if they are older or suffering with health issues, now is not the time to learn to use steps.
A dog ramp (or dog steps) gives your dog their independence back as they can now get where they want to go on their own without your help. Your dog will feel much happier with their renewed freedom and may start moving around a bit more as it won’t be such a huge effort to get to their destination.