Dog ramps for cars, Protecting your dog’s mobility

Dog ramps for cars

Many dogs love a car ride. Windows open, nose to the wind, the pleasure of a road trip is second to none for some of our canine companions.

But every time our dogs jump in and out of a car, especially SUV types, they put an enormous amount of pressure on their joints.

No matter how strong our dogs are, as they age these repetitive actions take a toll on the muscles, joints and bones.

In fact, as dogs get older many of them suffer joint problems. And they are often so severe that it restricts their ability to get in and out of a vehicle or even to walk.

But there’s no reason to stop enjoying time out on the road with your dog, even if they do have physical limitations. Ramps or steps designed to help our dogs get in and out of a car comfortably make it easy to continue to share life’s adventures.

Types of dog ramps and steps

Generally, dog ramps come in one of three designs;

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    ​Fixed
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    ​Fold up
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    ​Telescopic

Also, depending on your dog’s mobility it’s also possible to get steps that are fixed or telescopic.

Although there are many options on the market, choosing the right ramp or set of steps for you and your dog need not be difficult.

Things to consider when selecting dog ramps for cars

There are two essential pieces of information that you need before you begin your search to ensure that you get a suitable ramp.

The first is the height of your car. Ramps and steps extend to different lengths, and this affects the resulting slope of the ramp. If you have a high car and short ramp the slope will be steep and may affect your dog’s ability to climb it.

The second piece of information you need to know is the weight of your dog. If you have a small dog, you can get away without knowing it, but it’s essential if you have a large dog.

Ramps and steps are designed to support different weights. If you overload the ramp, it may collapse and cause your dog an injury.

Also, dog ramps do have some ‘bounce’ as dogs walk on them. So if you have a large dog look for a ramp that supports more weight. This will help minimise the movement because many dogs dislike it.

Although not essential, considering both your and your dog’s mobility is also a good thing to think about. Ramps can be bulky and heavy so if your mobility or strength isn’t the best look for a lightweight option.

We’ve picked out some of the best dog ramps for cars and thrown in a couple of steps too.

However, whatever size dog you’ve got and no matter what car you drive we’ve got you covered.

Dog ramps for cars Summary

That’s a short summary of our choices but for more detailed information, read on.

Pet Gear Tri-Fold Ramp 

This is a great ramp for larger dogs. It’s extra wide and can handle dogs up to two hundred pounds. As it’s tri-fold it’s compact and comes with an anti-slip surface, carry handle and extends to seventy-one inches

Pros

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    Ideal for larger dogs
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    ​Skid-resistant surface
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    Compact when folded
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    ​Sturdy

Cons

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    Bulky
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    Heavy at 27 pounds
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    ​Anti-slip surface is like sandpaper and rips easily
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    ​Tricky to unfold

Petstep 

This fold-up ramp from Petstep has a rubberised coating that provides superior traction in both wet and dry conditions.

It’s light but sturdy and is perfect for bigger dogs as it’s sturdy enough to support up to five hundred pounds.

Pros

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    The non-slip surface is gentle on paws
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    Fits all vehicles
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    Folds in half for easy storage
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    Easy to clean
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    Light, only 18 pounds
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    ​Side support strap available for side doors

Cons

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    Reasonably short so makes the incline quite steep
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    Easy to trap fingers when folding
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    Bulky and takes up a lot of room in the car when folded

Pet loader Light

These steps are a great alternative to a ramp. The ascent/descent angle is low so takes pressure off your dog’s joints.

Although Pet loader light is designed for cars, SUVs, vans, trucks, trailers or campers, they do provide alternative models, for side entry vehicles – Pet Loader mini and Pet Loader Ultralight.

Pros

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    Shallow ascent and descent
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    ​Available in 4 step and 5 step versions
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    ​Easily folded
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    Sturdy and stable
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    ​Non-slip carpet surface

Cons

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    Somewhat narrow, some dogs may find it difficult to navigate
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    Heavy when folded, around 30 pounds
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    Steps are still harder on joints than ramps

Solvit Half Ramp II 

This is our first choice of Solvit products. Ideal for minivans the Solvit half ramp is lighter and less expensive than a full ramp.

Perfect for elevations up to eighteen inches it only weighs seven pounds but is robust enough to support dogs up to one hundred and fifty pounds.

Pros

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    Lightweight
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    Non-slip
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    Perfect for short climbs
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    ​Ideal for minivans
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    Rubber feet keep it stable when in use

Cons

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    Very steep incline
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    Wobbly
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    Limited use. Ideal for minivans but not other side opening doors

Solvit 62320 Deluxe XL Telescoping Pet Ramp

Our second choice of a Solvit product is this telescopic pet ramp. Wide at twenty inches with a high traction walking surface.

This Telescopic ramp is ideal for high elevations as it extends to eighty-seven inches. Weighing only eighteen pounds its’ never the less capable of supporting up to three hundred pounds in weight.

Pros

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    Sturdy
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    ​Highly adjustable to provide a shallow incline
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    Side door adapter available
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    Wide non-slip walking surface

Cons

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    Bulky
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    Difficult to store in a smaller car
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    Non-slip surface tears easily

Heininger 3052 PortablePET Twistep Dog Hitch Step 

If your dog is mobile but just needs a hand to make it into the back of your vehicle, then the Twistep is a great option.

Stored under the bumper when not in use it’s perfect for less able-bodied owners as there’s no lifting a ramp in and out of the car.

Holding up to four hundred pounds it’s a good choice for large more mobile dogs.

Pros

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    Easy to use. No folding or lifting
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    ​Non- slip surface
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    ​Sturdy
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    Easy to install
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    Tucks away when not in use

Cons

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    Not suitable for all vehicles
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    Locking pin is a weak point in the design
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    Not as gentle on joints as a ramp

Pet Gear Free Standing Pet Ramp 

Our second choice from Pet Gear is a free-standing ramp. Freestanding ramps are a perfect option for larger dogs as they offer more stability than other options.

This ramp is wide with a non-slip surface that provides traction for paws as your dog walks up and down. As it’s free-standing, the height is fixed at twenty-three inches so measure the height of your vehicle carefully.

Pros

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    ​Sturdy and stable
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    ​Slip-resistant surface- carpeted surface also available
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    ​Folds easily and compact
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    ​Extra wide allowing dogs to feel safe as they walk up and down

Cons

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    ​Bulky
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    ​Steep
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    ​The non-slip surface is poor quality. It rips easily and dogs still find it slippery

Kurgo Wander Dog Car Ramp 

With a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects and a weight capacity of two hundred pounds, this is a good compact dog ramp from Kurgo,

Easy to open and close with a non-slip surface, it’s lightweight enough to use with one hand but sturdy enough to support dogs up to two hundred pounds.

Pros

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    Lightweight at only 10 pounds
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    ​Sturdy
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    ​Easy to use and manoeuvre

Cons

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    ​Narrow
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    ​Steep
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    ​Sandpaper non-slip surface is gritty and some dogs dislike it
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    ​Doesn't fold completely flat -s0 awkward to store

Gen7Pets Natural Step Ramp for Pets 

This ramp from Gen7Pets is compact, easily portable and offers one of the widest walking paths for a ramp of its length.

The non-slip surface is soft on paws and provides excellent traction. Not only that but the artificial grass provides your car with a level of protection from scratches when it’s not in use.

Easy to open and close with an automatic locking catch to prevent the ramp from opening when not in use. This ramp is an excellent choice for dogs up to two hundred and fifty pounds.

Pros

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    Sturdy
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    Folds flat for easy storage
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    Soft on paws and provides a good non-slip surface

Cons

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    Too narrow for larger dogs
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    Only good for dogs up to 250 pounds

Conclusion

A car ramp is a wise purchase, especially if you drive an SUV. The earlier in your dog’s life you invest in a ramp or set of steps the more you are protecting their joints from unnecessary strain.

As our dog’s age and develop life-altering conditions, like arthritis their ability to enjoy the great outdoors becomes limited.

But with easy access to the back of a car, there’s absolutely no reason you can’t still enjoy a road trip together and get out and explore.