Dog Lover’s Guide to Pet Ramps
If your dog is aging or arthritic, or if his legs are just a little too short to leap up into the SUV, a pet ramp can be a good solution to help get him where he needs to go. Lately, a bunch of emails have come through to YourPetHatesYou, asking whether it’s better to buy a ready-made pet ramp or build your own wooden pet ramp.
So, today’s post will outline the main types of pet ramp, weigh up the pros and cons of building or buying, point you in the direction of a few leading pet ramp reviews (if you decide to buy) and give you some handy diy pet ramp tips (if you decide to build).
The Three Main Types of Pet Ramp
Whether you’re looking for a pet ramp for SUV, your dog’s favorite chair or for a way for him to get up on your bed, there are three basic designs of pet ramps:
The Pet Step Ramp
Pet step ramps are popular among people who have short legged dogs because they break up the huge journey to the bed or couch. They’re also a bit more stylish than regular ramps, making them a popular choice in decor conscious homes. They are generally used in one place and are an ideal pet ramp for bed or the couch.
Best Selling Example: Pup Step Plus Pet Stairs
The Telescoping Pet Ramp
Telescoping ramps are light yet sturdy, can be adjusted to different levels and fold down for easy storage and travel, making them the ideal pet ramp for car. A folding pet ramp is most popular among active families who love to get out and about with their dogs.
Best Selling Example: Solvit Deluxe Telescoping Pet Ramp
The Fixed Pet Ramp
These simple ramps do not fold down and tend to be best for use in one part of the house. They are often suitable for outdoor as well as indoor use and frequently have added comfort features such as carpeted surface. They are ideal for elderly or arthritic dogs.
Best Selling Example: Pet Gear Step and Ramp Combination
Making a DIY Pet Ramp
A Cheat’s Way
Attach a plank of the length you need to a solid wooden crate or box using strong hinges (this will give you the 45 degree angle you need for a ramp). Cover the ramp with a length of used carpet for better grip. Voila!
You have a very basic pet ramp – the trickiest bit is finding a crate in the same height as the object you want the dog to be able to access!
An Expert’s Way
If you’ve got the tools, the time and the expertise, you might decide to make something a little more sophisticated. There are hundreds of awesome pet ramp plans on the net – search for one you like, measure up your space, buy materials and get to work! We love this how to make a pet ramp tutorial
What to Look for When Trying to Buy the Best Pet Ramp
If you don’t have the time, skill or inclination to build a homemade pet ramp, there are a number of quality pet ramps on the market. Here are a few attributes to look for if you decide to buy ready-made:
- Is it the right size and design for your purpose?
- Is it sturdy enough to hold your pet’s weight? (manufacturer specs should give advice on this).
- Are you looking for an outdoor pet ramp or an indoor pet ramp? Check that the one you choose will stand up to the environment you intend to use it in.
- Do you need your pet ramp to be portable (e.g a car pet ramp)? If so, choose something that’s light and folds down easily.
- Does the model you’re looking at have a warranty for at least a year?
- What do other customers say about the product? Does it have positive pet ramp reviews?
DIY Versus Ready-Made: Which is the Best Option for You?
If you’re a keen DIY carpenter, you’ll probably have all the tools and materials you need around home. If not, you’ll have to head to the depot. You’ll still spend just a fraction of what you would on a ready-made ramp. A quality ready-made pet ramp can cost you anywhere between $30 and $100.
The time a pet ramp takes to make depends on how ambitious the design is and on your level of skill. The project can take you anywhere between an hour and an entire weekend! The waiting is the hardest part! The only time factor here is waiting for shipment after you order your ramp.
Even if you’re a total amateur, you should be able to make a basic fixed ramp. Someone with intermediate skills (and a whole lot of patience!) should be able to make a step ramp. But, it would take some fairly advanced engineering skills to make a deluxe telescoping pet ramp! One good thing about buying is that (you hope) the manufacturers know what they’re doing and have made their products to the highest safety standards.
Summary: Will You Buy or Build a Pet Ramp?
As with any situation, there are pros and cons to either building or buying a pet ramp and we can’t see a clear winner between the two choices. It all depends on your personal budget and expertise, and the functionality you need from a pet ramp.