We may think of our dogs as just another member of our family, but sometimes its more obvious than others that they walk on four legs rather than two. Being only a foot from the ground keeps them from using our furniture the same. They can’t just sit or lie down in bed and they can’t scoot into a car like we can. For much of their lives, they need to jump or even get a running start to get up to these heights and doing so isn’t always easy and sometimes just not physically possible. Finding an easier way for them to keep up with you is also a huge help for your life, too. The purchase of a dog ramp may be just the thing to keep your dog feeling like a puppy.
We reviewed dozens of dog ramps to identify the best of the best. We looked at 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. No matter your need, we found the right ramp for your dog.
Fairly early on in our research we made the decision to list the PetSTEP Original Folding Pet Ramp because it was absolutely the clear winner. It has an impressive weight capacity and is made with an advanced plastic that won’t hurt your pup’s paws.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Dog Ramps
|Best Overall||PetSTEP Original Folding Pet Ramp||4.3|
|Runner Up||Prairie View Industries SFW330 Portable Singlefold Ramp||4.7|
|Best Budget Buy||Trixie Foldable Dog Ramp||4.0|
|Best Dog Ramp for Beds||Pet Gear Stramp Stair and Ramp Combination||4.3|
|Best Dog Ramp for Cars||Gen7Pets Natural Step Ramp for Pets||4.3|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: PetSTEP Original Folding Pet Ramp
The PetSTEP Original Folding Pet Ramp is a universal fit for any vehicle, so you won’t need to size anything before purchase. It folds for easy storage when not in use, or to fit compactly into your vehicle so you can take it with you wherever you and your furry friend go. And, despite the folding, you can still count on it holding up to your dog’s weight; it has an impressive weight capacity of 500 pounds.
The ramp is made with an advanced composite plastic that will not rust or corrode and with a non-slip and soft texture for walking your dog won’t be bothered walking on this ramp one bit. This composition also makes it easily cleaned; just a bit of soap and water and it’s as good as new.
With well over 500 customer reviews on Amazon, its overall rating of 4.3 is all the more impressive. And what’s even better is that you can pick it up for around $120 – which is well worth the money!
PetSTEP Original Folding Pet Ramp Key Features:
- Non-slip rubberized walking surface
- 2 color options
- Made with composite plastic construction
Our Runner Up Pick: Prairie View Industries SFW330 Portable Singlefold Ramp
The Prairie View Industries SFW330 Portable Singlefold Ramp may not be specifically designed with your dog in mind, but if you struggle getting your dog to be comfortable walking up a skinnier ramp (and that’s not uncommon), then a wide ramp like this one may just be the solution to your dog’s traveling problems. He won’t be scared of slipping due to the anti-slip surface and the width is such that even your most timid dogs will feel safer make the ascent.
The weight capacity is 800 pounds, so you won’t need to worry about your chubby puppies running up this ramp and it folds up easily and carries with a handle just like a suitcase.
There are a good amount of reviews on this ramp; roughly 800. And they’ve given it a more than satisfactory overall rating of 4.7 stars. That’s plenty enough to convince us you’ll be well pleased with this purchase.
Prairie View Industries SFW330 Portable Singlefold Ramp Key Features:
- 30″W x 36″ L
- Lined with skid resistant tape
- 800 lb max weight capacity
Best Budget Pick: Paws & Pals Dog Ramps for Large Dogs
The Trixie Foldable Dog Ramp is a 9.5 pound ramp that is perfect for both indoor and outdoor use. Its high-quality TPR surface helps to prevent slips, while its foldable properties make it super convenient to transport and store. We also love how easy it is to clean, as well as its attractive light gray color.
With all of these features, it would be reasonable to think that this option is on the pricier end of dog ramp options. So you’ll no doubt be surprised to learn that it can be purchased for just under $40. Considering that most dog ramps are at least $50-100, this one is an absolute steal.
The ramp has an overall customer rating of 4.0 stars on Amazon and no shortage of fans. Given its low price but high quality, we’re expecting that stock levels will quickly decline once the secret is out!
Paws & Pals Dog Ramps for Large Dogs Key Features:
- Easy to clean
Best Dog Ramp for Beds: Pet Gear Stramp Stair and Ramp Combination
The Pet Gear Stramp Stair and Ramp Combination has a gradual incline for your dog who has anxiety about ramps; and if you’re going to use this as his daily ramp into your bed, then you will want to soothe that anxiety in any way you can. With this listing, you could also choose from 2 colors or this more gentle sloped ramp. It will let your dog make a natural step up to the ramp and the incline is so gentle, he won’t even notice he’s traveling up.
The nonslip carpet is removable and you can place it right in the washing machine so you won’t need to stress how you’ll get it clean should your dog make a mess. And, added bonus, the carpet will help your dog wipe his feet a bit before he gets into bed with you.
With more than 650 customer reviews on Amazon and an overall rating of 4.3 stars, it’s reasonable to expect you’ll be pleased with this purchase. In fact, with a price tag of just $60, there’s plenty going in this ramp’s favor.
Pet Gear Stramp Stair and Ramp Combination Key Features:
- Removable nonslip carpet
- 22″L x 20″W x 10″H
- 175 lb weight capacity
Best Dog Ramp for Cars: Gen7Pets Natural Step Ramp for Pets
The Gen7Pets Natural Step Ramp for Pets will fold flat so you can slide it in and out of the back of your car with ease and once folded, it locks into place so you won’t struggle to move it around your car with it falling open. Along with securely closing, it will also secure to your car while open. There is a strap along the top of the ramp that will clip into your vehicle. (It fits perfectly on the door latch but anywhere will do, as long as you tighten it properly.)
The faux grass is both aesthetically pleasing to you but also soft on your dog’s paws and you won’t have to worry about any slipping. It’s 72 inches long while extended, so you’ll be able to use it on nearly all types of vehicles. It also has a max weight capacity of an astounding 250 pounds, so your dog will very likely be able to walk without any wobbling.
This ramp has right around 350 customer reviews on Amazon which is plenty enough to make its overall rating of 4.3 stars a solid endorsement.
Gen7Pets Natural Step Ramp for Pets Key Features:
- Lightweight; only 17 lbs
- Unfolded: 72″ long x 16″ wide x 1.5″ thick, Folded:
36″ long x 16″ wide x 3″ thick
- 250 max weight capacity
Who Should Buy a Dog Ramp
Most dog owners can find a use for a dog ramp and some may come to find there is actually more of a need. For older dogs, or those with injury, a dog ramp is the best way for them to get into a car or onto the bed and couch. It’s hard to see your puppy age into a mature dog and all the health concerns that come with it. One of the easiest ways to notice your dog slowing down with age is when he can’t jump up into bed with you anymore or when you need to help him get into the car. This seems to hit bigger dogs especially hard because picking up a dog that weighs as much as you do is no easy task. A ramp to avoid that and to prevent your dog from falling or injury when trying to jump when he’s unable can give your dog the opportunity to age a bit more gracefully.
For small dogs, even when they’re puppies, getting into a car or bed is a hard ask. Not only do they have further to jump, they usually can’t even see where they’re supposed to be jumping to and asking them to jump up can be a literal leap of faith for little dogs. We may never know what goes on inside our dogs’ mind as the anxiety hits, but for most dogs owners, we can tell it’s unpleasant for them. Plopping a dog ramp down before your dog has the opportunity to worry about whether or not they can make the jump can save him a lot of stress.
Important Features to Consider
A ramp for your dog should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a ramp for your dog:
- Compact folding and telescoping. The fact that a ramp is going to be at least a few feet long means that you’re not going to be able able to keep it just anywhere – unless it gets smaller. If you’re planning on using this ramp for your car, making it more compact is an absolute must. You can possibly just slide a flat ramp under the car seat, but that requires a lot of “if” statements to be true. You can do that if you have nothing else under the seat; if the seats are a bench rather than bucket seats; if the vehicle is wide enough, etc. You can fold it up or telescoping slide it to minimize the size of several types of ramps to make this easier. You will want to make sure it will lock in place, when extended, though, for your dog’s safety. Of course this doesn’t apply if you plan to use your new ramp indoors for a more permanent basis, but even just folding legs down to slide under the bed or couch will help for the occasional need.
- Weight limit. It goes without saying that you’ll need a ramp that will hold your dog’s weight. You’ll want to keep a few more things in mind, too, though. For example, you’re going to need a pretty big buffer if you have an anxious or enthusiastic dog. Not only will the stability keep your dog at ease (after all, how safe will he feel if the ramp wobbles as he walks on it?), but even if he doesn’t stress the wobble, it may need to hold your dog’s weight while he bounces on it. For that reason, best to go big on weight limits. However, with larger weight capacity comes a heavier ramp so we recommend you use a bit of discretion. You won’t need a ramp reinforced with steel for your toy breed dog.
- Non-slip. Your dog is very likely to go up any ramp you get him quickly. For that reason, he won’t be taking the time to see where he’s placing each paw and waiting to make sure he has a good grip before he continues on. The risk of him slipping is dramatically increased by the ramp being at an incline. So a texture of some kind directly on the ramp is crucial to your pup’s safety. There are non-slip stickers you can purchase if your ramp doesn’t come with any but it will most likely come with some kind of slipping deterrent. You will just want to make sure to find one that matches your dog’s needs. Strip stickers are an easy upgrade to any ramp, and you won’t need to search for anything terribly rare, but they don’t offer full coverage and are therefore less effective on smaller paws.
- Easy on paws. Of course a rough surface will be safer for a non-slip surface. Easy, in this case, means a texture unlike the sandpaper that your pup will find unpleasant on his paws. (They do have tough paws, but why push the tolerance if you can find a more comfortable option?) For the heavy duty or vehicle dog ramps, you can use bathtub non-slip stickers and they tend to be a bit less rough. But for the interior use, there are carpeted options or, if you have a smaller dog and want to purchase upgrade options yourself, you can add on velvet stickers to minimize slipping and keep your fur baby comfortable.
- Lightweight. We touched on this a bit with the weight capacity, but it bears repeating and emphasis. There is a good chance you’re going to have to move these ramps, so you’ll need to make sure you’re physically capable of doing so. You may need a heavier ramp to support your big dog, but you can look at the weight and find one that you will be more likely to move around frequently. This is most important for the vehicle ramps, but if you plan on using the same ramp for your couch as you do for your bed, then you’ll need to make sure the interior ramp is portable, too; because a solid wood ramp can be nearly as heavy as solid steel.
- Temporary or permanent. If you plan on using the ramp only rarely – for your dog’s annual vet check ups, for example, then you probably can get by with expense being your priority. But if you take your dog on walks at the park across town or with you for errands, then you’ll want to make sure that ramp is a more durable make. Likewise, if you are going to use your interior ramp for just occasional use versus creating a permanent fixture to your home. The ramp need not fold up if you keep it at the foot of your bed as his permanent path to nightly snuggles. In that case, you’ll want to try to match it to your decor and add real comfort to your dog. It should be placed in a way to prevent you tripping over it and your dog has easy access.
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 will go from a lower surface to a higher surface and is intended to help your dog reach higher ground without climbing, jumping or you lifting him. They’re often used for transporting your dog in your vehicle, as that is often awkward and dangerous for him to do on his own. The other most common use is for interior furniture, like a couch or bed. Anything your dog gets up on (or you want him up on) that he can’t do without a struggle can use the addition of a ramp. You will need to make sure the ramp will hold your dog’s weight and that you’ll be able to transport it if you need.
Your dog will greatly benefit from the ramp if he has any injury or sore joints, so they are particularly helpful to older dogs or breeds susceptible to hip or joint problems. They’re also nice for your little dog who just can’t jump up as high as he’d need to in order to join you in bed. If your dog is typically permitted on your furniture but has trouble accessing it, you might consider getting your pup his own dog sofa or chair.
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. The trick for most dogs picking up on something is giving an abundance of praise and more than his fair share of treats. First, though, start with getting him used tot he 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. 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 would depend entirely on for what your dog needs them. 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 torque on the joints, so you’ll need to keep that in mind as your dog ages. – Even if stairs work fine for your puppy who just can’t manage to get up on the couch by himself, a ramp will be more likely to help him as he ages. And a walking ramp will be most likely to prevent injury if he’s struggling with his joints.
How steep can a dog ramp be?
There is no height in inches that we can suggest for you how steep to have your 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 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 approximation math to find the length of ramp you’ll need. For example, if you’re using the ramp for a couch, then the cushion will be approximately 16″ 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.
We can definitively say that the ramp should be at least twelve inches wide for small dogs and twenty four inches for medium to large dogs. No matter how high the incline or the height traveling, your dog will need space to avoid falling off while rushing to the top of the ramp.