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, these repetitive actions take a toll on the muscles, joints, and bones as they age.

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 walk.

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

Types of dog ramps and steps

Generally, dog car ramps come in one of three designs;

  • Fixed​ dog ramp
  • Folding dog ramp
  • ​Telescopic dog ramp

Depending on your dog’s mobility, it’s also possible to get dog stairs that are fixed or telescopic. Although there are many options on the market, choosing the right dog ramp or stairs for you and your dog need not be difficult.

How to choose the best dog ramps for cars

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

The first is the height of your car. Dog 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 dog 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 dog ramp that supports more weight; this will help minimize the movement because many dogs dislike it. Although not essential, considering both you and your dog’s mobility issues 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.

Best Dog ramps for cars

If you want a quick pick, our top choice is the Downtown dog ramp but for more detailed information, read on.

Pet Gear Trifold ramp
  • Slip-resistant surface provides sure footing
  • Easy fold for compact storage
  • Built in molded handle for portability

This is a great folding dog ramp for larger dogs. It’s extra wide and can handle dogs up to 200 pounds. As it’s tri-fold, it’s compact. It features an anti-slip surface, carry handle, which makes it portable, and extends to 180cm. The rubber feet offer a level of safety as they help keep it in position as your dog gets in and out of the vehicle.


  • A dog ramp that’s ideal for larger dogs
  • Skid-resistant surface
  • Foldable, which is perfect for storage.
  • Durable


  • Bulky
  • Heavy at twenty-seven pounds
  • An anti-slip surface is like sandpaper and rips easily
  • Tricky to unfold

  • Dog Car Ramp: Made with premium reinforced plastic material, our car and trailer ramp will support over 150 lbs of weight, fiting almost any dog: small, medium and large
  • Easy To Store: Folds to 31.5in x 7.5in x 16in with ergonomic carrying handles and a lock mechanism to keep it safely folded - just store it in your car's trunk or under the car seat until you need it
  • Outdoor Dog Ramp: Our pet ramp for car is covered with the beautiful, thick artificial grass turf to which claws, paws and shoes will grip tightly

This bi-fold dog ramp from Downtown has a rubberized coating that provides a high-traction surface that offers superior grip in both wet and dry conditions.

This folding pet ramp is light at only 15 pounds but durable and is perfect for large dogs as it’s sturdy enough to support up to 150 pounds. It features rubber grips for safety and is made of easy-to-clean plastic. Side rails offer additional safety ad your pet walks in and out.


  • This dog ramp features a rubberized surface that is gentle on paws.
  • Fits all vehicles
  • It folds in half for easy storage.
  • Molded handles make it easy to carry


  • Short, which makes the incline quite steep
  • Easy to trap fingers when folding
  • Bulky and takes up a lot of space in the car when folded

Heeyoo Nonslip Dog ramp
  • Support 150Lbs Large Dogs: The 5 steps dog ramp is made of high-quality metal, plastic board added inside of the steps to prevent steps sagged when climbing, can withstand the weight of small, medium...
  • Non-slip surface: The pet ladder is upgraded to a rubber coating surface to prevent pets from slipping during climbing. a quick-connect carabiner for securing the stairs to the back of your vehicle,...
  • Anti-skid rubber feet:Rubber pads on the bottom for added traction and improved contact with surfaces, no easier come off like similar models. Note: For back seat side entry, please ensure that the...

These steps are a great alternative to a dog ramp. The ascent/descent angle is low, so it takes the pressure off your dog’s joints, and the high traction surface is rubber which is easy to clean and durable.

Perfect for all cars including, SUVs, vans, trucks, trailers, or campers, these folding stairs are lightweight and space-saving, making them easily portable. Capable of supporting medium-sized and large dogs up to 150 pounds, these stairs provide dog owners an alternative to the standard dog ramp.


  • Shallow ascent and descent
  • Easy to fold
  • Sturdy and stable
  • The rubberized material is comfortable for dogs to walk on


  • Somewhat narrow, larger dogs need more width to feel safe
  • Steps are still harder on joints than a dog ramp

PetMaker dog ramp
  • SAFE NONSLIP SURFACE – The foam padded surface of the dog ramp provides your furry pal with optimal traction and secure footing when walking up or down the ramp to prevent slipping or falling
  • PORTABLE AND LIGHTWEIGHT – The pet ramp can conveniently fold up between uses, making it perfect for travel and easy to store in a trunk, closet, or under furniture. It is also light enough to...
  • MULTIUSE – The ramp can be used to assist pets up onto high beds, couches, or other furniture and can also be used to help them into or out of vehicles. It is ideal for puppies, small dogs, senior...

If you’re looking for the best dog ramp for a smaller car, then this option could be perfect for you. Sturdy, versatile, and with a foam padded surface, this small pet ramp folds flat for easy storage and is much lighter than full-sized pet ramps.

Perfect for elevations up to sixteen inches, it’s robust enough to support pets up to 80 pounds and can be used inside and outside.


  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Foldable for easy storage


  • Relatively steep incline
  • Does not sit flush – there’s a small gap that could cause issues, especially for small pets.
  • The material surface doesn’t provide much grip.

PetSafe telescopic dog ramp
  • CONTINUE ADVENTURES TOGETHER: Use this telescoping ramp to help your best friend get in and out of your car, minivan or SUV all by themselves
  • ADJUSTABLE SIZING: The adjustable telescoping ramp allows you to help your pet get in and out of different size vehicles; ramp measures 39-72 in L X 17 in W X 4 in H
  • LIGHTWEIGHT: Weighing only 13 pounds, this ramp is easy to carry and lift in and out of the car between stops

This is a great ramp option and our first choice from PetSafe. This telescopic pet ramp is versatile and convenient, and one of the best dog car ramps for large dogs as the sturdy aluminum frame holds up to 400 pounds. The ramp is wide at twenty inches with a high traction walking surface and has guard rails to prevent your dog from accidentally stepping off the sides.

This Telescopic ramp is ideal for high elevations as it extends to 72 inches but only weighs 13 pounds. It folds down small, so it doesn’t take much room in a vehicle, and the plastic material is easy to clean.


  • Sturdy
  • A wide walking surface that provides good grip.
  • Folds to a small size


  • Bulky
  • Not as durable as simple fold-out designs

PetSafe Happy Ride Dog Hitch Step
  • JOINT PROTECTION: Help your dog get in and out of the car while protecting his joints, hips and legs
  • EASY TO SETUP: Installs in any 2 inch vehicle hitch receiver and can be easily adjusted depending on the height of your vehicle
  • HIGH-TRACTION STEPS: The steps have lots of traction to keep your dog from slipping, giving him confidence and keeping him safe

If your dog is mobile but needs a hand to make it into the back of your vehicle, then this Hitch Step is a great option. Stored neatly against 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 two hundred pounds, it’s a good choice for large more mobile dogs.


  • Easy to use, no folding or lifting
  • Durable
  • Easy to install
  • Tucks away when not in use
  • Ideal for SUVs


  • Not suitable for all vehicles
  • The locking pin is a weak point in the design
  • Not as gentle on a dog’s joints as a ramp
  • Unsuitable for small dogs ad the jump needed to use it would still be large

Pet Gear freestanding pet ramp
  • Easy fold for compact storage
  • Rubberized bottom grippers for secure placement
  • Raised edges help prevent slipping off the side

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 your vehicle’s height carefully.


  • Sturdy and stable
  • Slip-resistant surface. A carpeted version is also available
  • Best dog ramp for large dogs
  • Extra-wide allowing dogs to feel safe on the ramp


  • Bulky
  • Steep
  • The non-slip surface rips easily

All for Paws dog ramp
  • Safety tested & durable: This strong ramp is independently tested and rated to support pets up to 200 pounds;
  • Continue adventures together: Use the folding ramp to help your best friend get in and out of your car, minivan or SUV all by themselves to improve road trips together;
  • Non-slip Surface: The nonslip surface, paired with raised side rails, provides your furry pal with optimal traction and secure footing when walking up or down;

This dog ramp from All For Paws is easy to open and close, portable and robust. It has raised side rails, and a grippy surface material that ensures your dog safely gets in and out of the vehicle.

Suitable for most vehicles, including SUVs and minivans, it’s lightweight enough at 12 pounds to use with one hand and carry but sturdy enough to support dogs up to 200 pounds.


  • Lightweight at only 12 pounds
  • Sturdy
  • Easy to use and maneuver


  • Narrow and steep
  • It doesn’t fold completely flat – so awkward to store
  • The surface material rips easily

Gen7Pets natural step ramp
  • Natural Step Ramp For Vehicles: Designed for safety and great for trucks, SUVs, and Jeeps, this Natural-Step Ramp has durable rubber grippers on both ends of the ramp and a safety tether latch. Folded...
  • Easy On The Go: Your dog will feel safe to walk up and down its 16" wide walking path covered in poly-grass for a better grip; The ramp's lightweight design and soft rubber grip handle makes it easy...
  • Approved By Best Friends: Gen7Pets full line of products includes pet strollers, carriers, ramps, and steps with smart-features components, stylish-fashion, and simple-functionality for you and your...

This foldable 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 dog 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 used. This ramp is an excellent choice for dogs up to two hundred and fifty pounds.


  • Sturdy
  • Folds flat for easy storage
  • Best dog ramp for dogs with sensitive feet.


  • Too narrow a ramp for larger dogs
  • Only good for dogs up to two hundred and fifty pounds

Dog ramps for cars conclusion

Dog car ramps are an essential item of pet gear, especially if you drive an SUV. The earlier in your dog’s life you invest in a dog ramp or set of steps, the more you protect their joints from unnecessary strain.

As our dogs age and develop life-altering conditions, like arthritis, their ability to enjoy the great outdoors becomes limited. But with easy access via a ramp, there’s absolutely no reason you can’t still enjoy a road trip together and get out and explore.

Last update on 2023-06-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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