If you don’t have the time right now to read our full guide to the best dog ramps available, our top pick is the Laura James Portable Folding Ramp. This was the outright winner through our extensive testing, research and analysis. However, do make sure to read on and find out more.
Sometimes, every dog needs a bit of a helping hand. That goes for their owners, too! From small dogs to larger breeds, you may find that, from time to time, you need a bit of extra support in getting your canines up and into vehicles and even onto furniture and bed. We’ve run a complete guide to dog steps elsewhere on the site, but this time around, we’re going to be looking through the best ramps for our dogs available on the market right now.
Dog ramps are really useful if you know that you are going to need to take your dog in a vehicle regularly, or if you are struggling to encourage them to get to where they needs to be! Some people prefer stairs and steps, though these tend to work better for various needs. On the whole, a dog ramp is likely to work well outside, however, there are also models out there which you can use indoors, too.
That’s why I’ve made the point of hunting down and reviewing the very best in dog ramps for various dogs and purposes. I want to make sure that you have access to a cross-section of the best picks around, meaning you can be sure to give senior dogs or heavier dogs the help they need getting up and down, in and out.
The products we will be reviewing in this guide include:
- PetSafe Happy Ride Extra Long Ramp
- PetSafe Solvit Ultrlite Bi-Fold Pet Ramp
- The Fellie Dog Ramp Ladder
- Hewitt & Blue Large Dog Ramp
What is a Dog Ramp?
This might well seem like a fairly easy question to answer, but it is always worth asking! A dog ramp is a ramped unit which you can set up to help your pet get in and out of the car, or in and out of boats, or even for simple training purposes. In many cases, pet owners invest in ramps for dogs which they can install to easily put their pets into vehicles and to help ease them out again.
Dog ramps for car purposes and otherwise do come in a range of sizes, types and styles, meaning that hunting down the most fitting options may not be as easy as you assume. It all really depends on the dog that’s going to be using it, and how and where you are likely to be setting your doggy ramp up. If you feel you don’t have the need for a ramp, then it’s probably not worth making the investment. Trust me, however, as you will certainly know when you can really do with a ramp for dogs to stroll on and off with ease.
Who Needs a Dog Ramp?
There are different dog owners and pets who are likely to benefit from a ramp the most. Again, if you’re unsure whether you do or not, it’s probably likely you don’t need to make the investment just yet. However, it’s worth keeping in mind how a dog ramp or ramped surface might come in handy for everyday use, even whether or not you have a car. Here are a few scenarios where a ramp for dogs might just come in handy over time.
Your Dog Has Mobility Problems
It’s safe to say that dog ramps come in really handy for those pets who have aching joints, arthritis or problems with their muscles. These pets might not find it so easy nowadays to get up and down from high points, or to climb in and out of cars. Therefore, it makes sense to set up a ramp of sorts to help them along. Otherwise, you’d normally have to lift them in and out – and that’s not going to be healthy for dogs or their owners in the long run!
You Take Your Dog in the Car a Lot
One of the main reasons why people invest in dog ramps at all is for the car functionality and flexibility. This type of surface works great if you have a vehicle that’s particularly hard or high up for your pets to leap in and out of. Again, this may well apply if you have an older dog or one with mobility issues. It will also help heavier and bigger dogs, too, as well as small dogs who simply can’t reach.
If you’re likely to be taking your dog on the road a lot, then a ramp or ramp system is likely to be a solid investment. Try and consider an option that is easy to store and to bring out again and again, so that you’re not having to fumble around.
You’re Training Your Dog to Use a Ramp
There are also pet ramp options out there which are great for training. You may well have seen ramp training portions of shows such as Crufts before! Therefore, encouraging agility and stability through the use of a ramp is always a great idea. However, you must differentiate between a ramp that’s built for the car, and a ramp that is built for training in the house. Crucially, while shopping around, you may find that there is a ramp you can use for practical purposes, and a ramp or two which you can use to build up a dog’s strength and dexterity.
You Can’t Lift Them
Of course, a ramp will likely come in handy if you’re having problems of your own, too. Whether your dog is on the heavier side, is a big breed, or you have mobility or joint problems of your own, it makes sense to shop around for a ramp option which will easily support you both, and get you on the road to where you need to be going. Fitting a dog ramp to car or van shouldn’t be too tricky, and the best car ramp options should be simple to open up and flatten down from time to time. Easy storage is a must, particularly if you have strength or mobility concerns of your own. This is more than just a flexible surface – it’s a surface and system which is going to open things up hugely for you and your dogs!
You Want to Protect Their Joints
It also stands to reason that you should invest in a ramp or steps if you are worried about your dog’s joints and muscles. Some breeds are at higher risk of muscle and joint problems in later life, and frequent leaping in and out of cars will, unfortunately, only do them more harm than good in the long run.
This is especially going to be the case if you have a small but heavy dog that is often leaping down from high places. The pressure on their joints will likely cause them a lot of pain – and not only do you need to ensure their joints are as healthy as possible for the years to come, you need to ensure they are not in any discomfort, either!
Trust me – a ramp could be just what you need when it comes to supporting your pet on a daily basis. However, there is an alternative option out there – dog steps or stairs – and it’s probably a good idea to consider which options are likely to suit your needs the most.
Are Stairs or a Ramp Better for a Dog?
The jury really is out on whether or not stairs or ramps are ideal for dogs, though there are pros and cons to both. As mentioned, I do have a separate guide available on dog steps and stairs which you may find useful if you are unsure which options are likely to work well for you.
On the whole, however, a heavy duty dog ramp is probably going to work well when easing your pet into a vehicle. For example, a folding dog ramp will be simple to set up and take down again for storage on the move. This type of ramp won’t just be useful in helping you get your dog in and out of a road vehicle, but even boats, too.
What’s more, there are different types of training you can use when you introduce dogs to either stairs or ramps. Therefore, it all depends, too, on the regime you have in mind for them. Both options have very specific scenarios they can fit, meaning it would certainly be our advice to look carefully at what other dog owners and ramp users have to say for the full lowdown.
If you ask me – if you have the money, and if your dog really could use the extra help – why not invest in steps and a ramp? One for indoors, one for out. Take a look at both of my buying guides and shop around to find the top fits for you and your pet.
What Should You Look for in the Best Dog Ramp?
As you might expect, when it comes to dog ramp systems, no one option really fits all. That’s why it’s always worth shopping around, looking at top brands, and making sure you know what separates the different surface and portability options available.
Before you go ahead and invest in any kind of dog ramp for your car or otherwise, here’s a quick breakdown of what to include in your checklist.
Ease of Portability
If your main reason for buying a dog ramp is to allow your dogs easy access into a vehicle, then it makes sense to look for an option which is really easy to move around. A telescopic dog ramp might be a good idea, as these dog ramps for cars will compact down and pop back out again as and when you need them. What’s more, you should be looking for a ramp that is lightweight to handle. This might mean that it is made in plastic, however – so ensure you are investing in a hardy plastic ramp that’s unlikely to splinter or crack easily over time. Once again, that golden rule – read up on what other ramp buyers and users have to say.
Look for a ramp that folds in half, at the least, as well as those which have a carry handle. This will be an asset to you if you’re taking your pet on holiday, for example!
Durability and Load
Of course, investing in a heavy duty dog ramp makes perfect sense if you have a bigger or heavier pet than most. This is why it is also often worth avoiding the cheaper or nastier plastic only models. You want to look for a high traction system that is built to withstand high pressures and heavy loads. This means investing in a sturdy surface as well as strong foundations, so be sure to look carefully at the options you come across in terms of marketing and reviews.
Durability and load are key things to keep in mind if you are looking for a pet ramp for large dogs. It is all well and good looking for cheaper options which seem big enough, but you must ensure that you invest in a high traction dog ramp that’s not going to buckle or break through regular use.
Flexibility and extendability are absolute musts, too. In many cases, you will find a telescopic dog ramp is particularly useful when you’re unsure how much space you need, or which angle you need to set up at. You can normally fold pet ramps which are telescopic, too, which means that they should also tick a firm box for portability. Of course, this is not always a given so do ensure to look carefully before you buy.
As well as durability and load bearing, you should always look for a dog ramp that offers a non slip surface. This might be skid resistant by design, may have rubber feet, or may be water resistant. The top picks, of course, will have all of the above. A non slip surface on a ramp, of course, is going to be a real asset to large dogs and senior dogs alike. This means looking for more than just a simple plastic surface to the ramps you consider buying for your car access.
Try and look for non slip dog ramps in the first instance, as these will help you to ensure that even the largest of dogs don’t skid about on the surface.
Of course, it’s also worth thinking about how a ramp is going to come into use with your car. In most cases, you will find that a telescopic dog ramp is perfect, as it will largely fit most vehicles. This may even be worthwhile considering if you have a 4×4 or utility vehicle, for example, where getting your dogs off the ground and into your vehicle is a near impossibility.
Try and look for a ramp that’s a multi-fit, or one which will support your specific type or brand of machine. This way, you won’t have to worry about fiddling about with it too much when it comes to actually getting your dogs into your car and out again.
Of course, as I’ve briefly mentioned, not all dog ramps are built for getting pets in and out of the car. Some of them are great for training purposes, which means that you may find some which are perfect for indoor or garden use. These ramp systems, naturally, are going to be much smaller than those telescopic ramps you’d normally need to fit to your car.
Therefore, consider your purposes carefully. Otherwise, you could end up investing in a ramp which really doesn’t serve you any kind of convenience.
Easy to Clean?
Lastly, it’s a really good idea to look for ramps which are easy to clean. A ramp you can just wipe down after a muddy day, or should your older dog have an accident on the way up or down, is going to be a genuine asset in the long run. Dogs aren’t likely to care too much about whether or not you can clean down a ramp. However, for your convenience and peace of mind, it makes sense to find ramps which are easy to maintain over long periods.
What Are the Best Dog Ramps?
Let’s take a look at my top picks for the best ramp options you and your dogs can use for mobility, training and more. Keep in mind that I have carefully considered the following picks in line with what other users have to say, as well as through testing methods we normally exercise for our buying guides.
Best Collapsible Dog Ramp – Laura James Portable Folding Pet Ramp
This no-frills dog ramp is the cheapest in the list, but that doesn’t make it inferior to any of the other products. It’s a fantastic asset for smaller and lighter dogs, with a weight limit of up to 4.5kg acceptable. The marketing for this product lets us know that it’s built with arthritic dogs in mind.
As the name suggests, this dog ramp is easy to collapse and unfold again. At less than 5kg, it’s also very light to carry and pack away, meaning it is probably going to be a good pick for holidays and regular trips in the car.
- Might be a bit steep for some dogs
Best Dog Ramps For High Cars – PetSafe Happy Ride Extra Long Ramp
There are going to be some makes of car which needs bigger or longer ramps. Therefore, if you have a bit of a truck or a 4×4, it’s worth investing in this super-long model for dogs to easily walk up and down.
This telescopic dog ramp is one of the top rated online, and even better, it can support up to 140kg in weight. This means it not only compacts down easily for storage, its surface is amongst some of the most durable you’ll find on the web.
- May be a little expensive for some people
Best Ramp For Large Dogs – PetSafe Solvit Ultrlite Bi-Fold Pet Ramp
This bi-fold ramp is likely to be one of the most popular picks for families with bigger breeds, and for those who want to save a little more money in the support they pay for. This reasonably-priced dog ramp is great for large dogs in that it bears considerable weight, and that it has a great safety locking mechanism to keep you and your pet safe at all times.
What’s more, this is an impressively lightweight ramp that’s also easy to fold away when not in use. The PetSafe Solvit system is a good all around bi-fold pet ramp, perhaps more convenient than many people generally expect from this kind of system.
- Some dog ramps may seem better made (but will cost more)
Top-Rated Indoor Dog Ramps – The Fellie Dog Ramp Ladder
This dog ramp is a little different to others in the list in that it’s ideal for helping smaller dogs get on and off furniture. However, there is nothing to say you can’t use it for training, either. This dog ramp has two set heights in its cheapest model, though there is a four height option available if you need or want the added flexibility. The choice is yours!
This is a durable ramp option which easily holds up to 60kg, and which boasts a textured grip carpet, meaning it shouldn’t ever be too slippy for your pets to cling to when moving up and down. It’s ideal for getting dogs on and off beds and furniture without them risking their joints and bones!
- Maybe not the best for larger dogs
Best Ramp For Heavy Dogs – Hewitt & Blue Large Dog Ramp
With a surface that will support animals of up to 110kg in weight, this impressive dog ramp is ideal for owners who have bigger or heavier dogs who are impossible to lift into the car. Instead of giving yourself an injury, this simple ramp system will allow your pets to trundle in and out of vehicles without any kind of fuss.
Impressively, it’s really lightweight. Just because it supports heftier breeds doesn’t mean it has to be large or cumbersome on its own! It weighs less than 7kg, and glides up and down for you to easily slide into the boot of your car.
- Can be a little expensive, but worth the investment
A dog ramp is going to be a great purchase if you and your dog go driving in the car regularly. As mentioned, there should also be plenty of picks out there for ramps which you can use indoors, too, whether your dog needs help getting in and out of bed, or if you simply want to train them!
Finding ideal ramps for your dog doesn’t have to be a hassle. However, do ensure you look through all the points I’ve listed above, as some will be better fits for bigger dogs, and with some ramping, it can be difficult to fit things at the most suitable angle. So, do always feel free to shop around. If you’re asking if we had to pick one, it would be the Laura James Portable Folding Ramp as it is great value for money and ideal for most sized dogs.
Whether your dog needs a little help getting in and out of the car, or if you find you can no longer lift them in and out of where they need to be, a dog ramp system is likely going to give them plenty of support. Take a look through my picks of the top five ramps available right now and see what other owners and reviewers have to say, too.