Small dog on ramp next to bed

Though a healthy diet and good grooming habits can keep your dog’s skin and coat looking good, several pet owners prefer to give their dog a skin and coat supplement that will make their skin more supple, cut down on shedding, and help relieve allergies that cause itching and fur loss.

Our vet advisor, Dr. Suzanne Harrington, reviewed dozens of dog ramps and evaluated each feature with a critical eye, and she chose the Alpha Paw DachRamp as her top pick. It has an impressive weight capacity and is made with a ridged no-slip carpet that won’t hurt your pup’s paws. Read how she chose the top 5.

Our Vet’s Top Pick

Alpha Paw DachRamp

For the best dog ramp for your dog, don’t miss the Alpha Paw DachRamp.

Check Price

If you have a senior dog, there may be more ways to make his life more comfortable, and the same goes for a puppy – but a dog ramp can help your dog in all stages of his life.

Our Vet’s Top 5 Dog Ramps

Here are the top picks from our veterinarian. Compare the ratings and features of different models.

Vet’s PicksModelRatingWaterproofStorageWeight Limit
Best OverallAlpha Paw DachRamp4.9Folds flat80 lbs
Best Budget BuyPet Gear Stramp Stair and Ramp Combination4.51 solid piece150 lbs
Best AdjustableGarmin Astro 450/T 5 Dog Tracking BundleN/AFolds flat200 lbs
Best IndoorRoyal Ramps Pet Ramp4.81 solid piece75 lbs
Best for CarWeather Tech Folding Pet Ramp4.6Folds in half300 lbs

*Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 and based on reviews, feedback, and opinions of actual customers

Who Should Buy a Dog Ramp

  • Old dog parents – For older dogs, or those with arthritis or an injury, a dog ramp is the best way for them to get into a car or onto the bed and couch.1 With a ramp, your dog doesn’t have to jump, so he’s less likely to fall or injure himself.
  • Parents of chondrodystrophic breeds – Chondrodystrophic breeds – breeds with short legs and a long back, such as dachshunds, corgis, and basset hounds – are at a much higher risk of injuring their backs. Our vet advisor, Dr. Suzanne Harrington, highly recommends all chondrodystrophic breeds use a ramp if they get on and off furniture.
  • Big dog parents Even if your dog is just a puppy, jumping into a car or up onto a bed can be a big strain on their joints.2 If you need to take them places (even if just occasionally) and you can’t lift them, a ramp makes it easy for them to get where they need to go without the strain.
  • Little dog parents – For small dogs, even when they’re puppies, getting into a car or on a bed is a hard task. Not only do they have to jump, but they may not be able to see their destination, making a fall or injury more likely without a ramp.3

Who Should Not Buy a Dog Ramps

  • If you have a low-riding car – If your pup doesn’t have to jump to get into your car, then you may not need a ramp at all. Low-riding cars or dogs who are easily lifted may not need a ramp.
  • When they’re not allowed on beds and furniture – Though you may still need a ramp for your higher cars, if your pup isn’t allowed to jump up on your couch and bed, then it may not be worthwhile to purchase a ramp for indoor use.

Research Tips (From a Veterinarian)

Pets use steps or ramps for many reasons. Arthritis, orthopedic surgery, or simply short legs are just a few reasons. The best kind of dog ramp depends on what you need the ramp for and your dog’s size. In the meantime, here are some features to consider when picking out a ramp for your furry friend.

  1. Opt for a firm ramp – In my experience, dogs are more hesitant to use ramps that they do not feel are sturdy. They will likely be averse to a ramp that they can feel shifting under their weight. If the ramp you choose is cushioned, just be sure it is very firm and that it supports a weight limit significantly higher than the weight of your pet.
  2. Choose a ramp wide enough for your dog – Make sure the ramp is plenty wide for your pet. Dogs are going to be hesitant to walk up and down a ramp that they feel is narrow or that they could fall off of.
  3. Avoid slick surfaces – Dogs will not use a surface that is slick. Make sure that the ramp either has a rough, carpeted, or cushioned surface so that it will not slip.
  4. Consider incline and adjustability – Make sure that the ramp you choose has a gradual incline. If it’s adjustable and you have to position it at a significant incline, your pet will likely not be willing to use it. If you’re going to be using the ramp for different areas of your house, then an adjustable height ramp will be a better choice for you.
  5. Pay attention to the weight limit – It goes without saying that you’ll need a ramp that will hold your dog’s weight. But you’ll also need a pretty big buffer if you have an anxious or enthusiastic dog who’s going to bounce or jump on the ramp.
  6. Compact folding and telescoping are ideal for storage – If you’re planning on using this ramp for your car, making it more compact is an absolute must. You can fold it up or telescoping slide it to minimize the size of several types of ramps to make this easier.

How Much Do They Cost?

Between $50 and $200

How much you spend on your dog ramp will depend on the size of your dog and the quality of the ramp. For smaller dogs, you won’t need anything more than a softer plastic ramp, but for your more frequently used ramps for large dogs, you’ll want to invest in a ramp that will be heavy-duty enough to keep them safe. For a quality ramp made with sturdy materials, you’ll probably spend between $50 to $200. 

Our Methodology: Why Trust Pet Life Today

As a veterinarian, I’ve discussed the best dog ramps with customers and other professionals in my field. We’ve carefully considered dog ramps that convert into stairs and those that fold flat. We found the best permanent additions to your home and the most portable ramps. In my experience and in my professional opinion, the ramps included below are the best of the best for you and your dog. – Dr. Suzanne Harrington, DVM

The Best Dog Ramps: Full Reviews

Our Vet’s Top Pick

Alpha Paw DachRamp

For the best dog ramp for your dog, don’t miss the Alpha Paw DachRamp.

Check Price

The Alpha Paw DachRamp is specially designed and aptly named for the dachshund in your life, but will, of course, work brilliantly for other dogs, as well. It comes pre-assembled and when not in use, you’ll be able to fold it into a 3.5″ height so that it easily slides under your bed, behind the couch, or in the closet.

There is a rugged, yet comfortable no-slip grip carpet, so you won’t have to worry about your clumsier pup falling. The height is adjustable to the two most commonly used pieces of furniture: the couch or the bed.

Pros
  • 90-day risk-free guarantee
  • 2 size options: full or lite
  • 4 color options
Cons
  • Indoor only
  • Length doesn’t fold for compact storage (40″)
Best Budget

Pet Gear Stramp Stair and Ramp Combination

For a dog ramp that gives the best bang for your buck, try Pet Gear Stramp Stair and Ramp Combination.

The Pet Gear Stramp Stair and Ramp Combination has a traction mat attached that will allow your pup to get a firm grip as he simply walks onto your bed or couch. The foot of the ramp starts just off the floor at step height (five inches) so that your dog won’t have to jump, nor will he trip by approaching a ramp that is level with the floor.

It’s lightweight enough that moving it won’t be a struggle, though the bulk may get in your way. It’s best for indoor use and is not weatherproof. It also doesn’t fold for portability, but if your pup has a favorite spot, then this may be the best solution to make sure he can always reach it comfortably.

Pros
  • 2 styles: standard or gentle slope
  • 3 color options
  • Up to 150 lb weight capacity
Cons
  • Does not fold for storage
  • Assembly required
Best Adjustable

Doggie Ramps.Com The Original Dog Ramp

If you’re looking for a versatile ramp that will adjust to the obstacle, check out The Original Dog Ramp.

Check Price

The Doggie Ramps.Com The Original Dog Ramp is an indoor use, adjustable ramp that will fold flat when not being used. That makes it perfect for the dog who struggles with new furniture or when you have company over and don’t want your guests to trip over your dog’s couch ramp.

The ‘Pawtraction’ carpet will ensure your dog doesn’t trip, and the ramp comes completely assembled so you can pull it right out of the shipping box and use it immediately. It features six height adjustments so you can move it wherever you need it at the right height.

Pros
  • 200 lb weight capacity
  • Collapsible for portability and storage
  • Wide platform – 16″
Cons
  • Indoor use only
  • Length doesn’t fold for compact storage (40″)
Best Indoor

Royal Ramps Pet Ramp

The Royal Ramps Pet Ramp will keep your dog feel comfortable in his home.

Check Price

The Royal Ramps Pet Ramp is specially made to allow your pup to get onto the couch without any struggles. It’s the exact height (14″) to make getting onto all standard couches easy. The one-piece design means you’ll get a stable ramp that won’t accidentally buckle or fold under too much weight.

It may not fold for storage, but it’s comprised of high-density foam so you won’t hurt your toes if you do happen to kick it while walking around your living room. You can even remove the cover and pop it in the washer for easy cleaning – even if your dog is prone to messiness.

Pros
  • Perfect for couch height
  • Machine washable cover
  • 2 width options for larger dogs
Cons
  • Does not fold for storage
  • Not adjustable
Best for Car

Weather Tech Folding Pet Ramp

The Weather Tech Folding Pet Ramp will make traveling with your dog a breeze.

The Weather Tech Folding Pet Ramp is a rugged ramp ideal for any traveling dog. It folds in half for easy storage, and the lightweight design (16 pounds) is far less than you would expect for the ease of transport. The folded design features a convenient handle to allow you to simply toss it back into the back of your car until you need it.

The ramp features a waterproof design and non-slip surface, and the rubber feet grips prevent it from sliding on your car’s bumper. It’s made in the U.S. and is perfect for any size dog – it will hold up to 300 pounds!

Pros
  • Non-slip design
  • Lifetime warranty
  • 300 lb weight capacity
Cons
  • Large even when folded (33.5″ L x 6″ H)
  • Does not “lock” into place

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a dog ramp and how does it work?

A dog ramp is a flat piece of metal, plastic, or wood that is positioned at an incline from a lower surface to a higher surface to help your dog reach the higher ground without climbing, jumping, or you lifting him. They’re often used for transporting your dog in your vehicle, as getting into cars is often awkward for dogs. Dog ramps are also commonly used indoors to help your pup get onto the couch or bed. You will need to make sure the ramp will hold your dog’s weight and that you’ll be able to transport it if needed.

How do you train a dog to use a ramp?

If you’ve trained your dog to do anything, there’s a good chance you can train him to use a ramp. Start with getting him used to the ramp without actually using it. Put it, lying flat, in his space. You don’t need to do anything else, but if he smells it, or spends time getting familiar with it, then you can encourage that behavior with rewards (your call on if that’s just praise or treats). Then have him walk over the ramp while it’s flat (make sure it’s stable). Reward him frequently, even after just a few steps in the beginning.4 Gradually add height on the ramp after he becomes comfortable at each height until he’s using it as you intended.

Are ramps or stairs better for dogs?

Whether ramps or stairs are better for a dog depends entirely on your dog’s needs. That is to say, if your dog just can’t make the jump for the height he wants to get to, a set of stairs would be equally sufficient to a ramp. However, even shallow steps will put strain on the joints, so you’ll need to keep that in mind as your dog ages or if your pup has arthritis.5

How steep can a dog ramp be?

There is no length in inches that we can suggest for every dog’s ramp, but rather a number for the angle. For example, we can’t say definitively the ramp should be 28 inches long to obtain the required incline or desired steepness. However, we can say the angle should be 18-20 degrees for small dogs and 22-25 degrees for medium to large dogs. From there, you’ll need to do a bit of math to determine the right ramp length. For example, if you’re using the ramp for a couch, then the cushion will be approximately 16 inches high, so you’ll need a ramp about three feet long. For a vehicle ramp, the height will probably be around 24-30 inches high and you’ll need a ramp about five to six feet long.
  1. King MD. Etiopathogenesis of Canine Hip Dysplasia, Prevalence, and GeneticsVet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 2017;47(4):753-767. doi:10.1016/j.cvsm.2017.03.001
  2. Anderson KL, O’Neill DG, Brodbelt DC, et al. Prevalence, duration and risk factors for appendicular osteoarthritis in a UK dog population under primary veterinary care. Sci Rep. 2018;8(1):5641. Published 2018 Apr 4. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-23940-z
  3. Levy M, Hall C, Trentacosta N, Percival M. A preliminary retrospective survey of injuries occurring in dogs participating in canine agility. Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol. 2009;22(4):321-324. doi:10.3415/VCOT-08-09-0089
  4. Todd Z. Positive Reinforcement is More Effective at Training Dogs than an Electronic Collar, Study Shows. Avsab.org. Published August 17, 2020. Accessed March 18, 2021.
  5. American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation. Managing Canine Arthritis. Akcchf.org. Published September 19, 2011. Accessed March 18, 2021.
Dr. Suzanne Harrington