The Many Benefits of A Dog Ramp and The Best Ones for Your Car
Similar to human beings, older dogs don’t seem to realize that they have limitations. Many dogs will opt to jump into the car or truck as opposed to refusing to try because they have joint pain. However, jumping into the vehicle often ends up doing them more harm than good. A dog ramp helps make it easy for mans’ best friend to get into a car, truck, or bus for that matter.
A dog car ramp can also protect dogs from potential future issues. Unlike when dogs are puppies, jumping tends to take its toll on their joints. Later on, all that jumping can end up with pain and injury, which could have been prevented. Whether your dog is old with no history of joint pain but likes to jump into the car, or already has joint pain, you will want to invest in a quality pet loader.
When is it Imperative to Invest in Doggie Ramps or Pet Stairs?
You will want to buy a ramp for a dog if it has a problem jumping like the way he or she used to. Also, if it appears as though they are uncomfortable, i.e. you see them yelping, panting, or unusually restless after they have jumped, you might want to consider getting a doggy ramp. Another sign that you need a doggie ramp is if your pet hesitates or tries to line themselves up perfectly or excessively before a jump, it is a sign that they are injured. You will also want a top quality ramp if your pet has a disability or a condition where jumping will put them at danger of an injury or re-injury if they are recovering.
We’d also recommend that owners of large breed dogs, like Bernese Mountain Dogs, and Great Danes etc., invest in a dog ramp for car or truck. The thing to keep in mind when buying a ramp for large breed dogs is that it should hold up to their weight. Furthermore, breeds that are at an inherent risk of joint problems like Goldens and Labs will also benefit from a ramp.
The Many Benefits of Dog Ramps
Now, in addition to a dog ramp making it easier for your dog to get into a vehicle, there are other benefits of using it that shouldn’t be overlooked. In fact, we argue that even if your pet does not have joint issues, you’ll still want to use high-quality steps or a ramp. Below are a couple of benefits worth noting:
Prevents Injuries: Ramps should be used for dogs of all sizes because it ensures that they can safely enter and exit the vehicle. Dogs are not as good at jumping into and onto vehicles as some other pets like cats. However, when a dog misses a jump, it many times results in an injury. It also makes it easier for dogs to get into the car when it has recently rained or snowed, which makes jumping in tricky.
No Need to Lift the Dog Into Your Car:
Now, if you have a poodle, lifting him or her and taking them long in any vehicle isn’t going to strain your back. However, if you have a larger dog, like let’s say something that weighs upwards of a hundred pounds, do you want to be carrying them into the car? There is just so much your body can take, and if you already suffer from back, shoulder or arm issues, lifting your pet isn’t a wise decision. Instead, you’ll want to invest in quality pet steps or a ramp.
Diverse Use Cases: A dog ramp can make it very easy for them to get up a flight of stairs, get up on the bed, for bathtubs, grooming tables, and just about anywhere, which requires jumping skills. Furthermore, the time it takes to get a dog up a ramp is shorter as compared to waiting for them to jump, especially if they are in pain. However, when buying ramps for dogs with multiple uses in mind, always make sure to buy a quality product that fits all your use cases (we’ll cover this in the next section).
Important Considerations When Buying a Dog Ramp
When in the market for a dog ramp, like with any other product, there are a couple of things you’ll want to consider. In addition to making it easy for your dog to use, you’ll also want to make sure that the ramp you choose offers you the best value for money. Below are a few things you’ll want to consider.
The Size and Shape of the Pet Ramp
When choosing a ramp for dogs, you’ll want to pick one up that’s compatible with the model of your vehicle. In other words, it should be wide and high enough so that your pet can step onto it and into the vehicle. An excellent way to make sure that you are buying the right one is to measure the height of your vehicle from the driveway, then buy a ramp of the same size. Make sure that you buy a slightly longer ramp to avoid the angle being too steep. In terms of width, the larger your dog is, the wider the ramp should be.
Weight Limit of The Product
The best pet ramp should be able to sustain the weight of your pet, especially if you have a large breed. While you don’t have to buy a product with the max weight rating, but don’t overlook it if you have one of the largest dog breeds. Generally speaking, heavier ramps are durable, last longer and more stable. Though factor in portability if you intend on carrying it with you in the car.
The Product’s Build Quality
The majority of times, you’ll run into ramps that are made of wood or plastic. However, heavier dogs will require a sturdy metal ramp. Wood and plastic can’t bear as much weight, and so they are best suited for medium-sized dogs. Take your time to weigh your heaviest dog, and find out the weight capacity of the ramp before buying it. You might also want to add around 20% to the weight just so that there is a margin for error and the fact that the ramp will last longer because it can more than easily handle the weight.
Factor in Portability
One of the most crucial things to consider is portability. The product should be easy to fold, and ideally, you should get a telescopic ramp, which is more convenient to move around and takes up far less space. Try to avoid buying a fixed ramp since they aren’t portable and tend to get in the way if you already have limited space in the trunk.
The Pros and Cons of a Dog Ramp
- Ramps and steps make it easier for dogs of all sizes to get into vehicles without jumping
- You will also need a ramp to train your dog to get on to the bed, or a table inside the house
- Ramps, for the most part, are durable, portable and affordable
- The ramps are available in many different sizes, so there is something for everyone
- Ramps put less stress on the joints and tendons of older dogs
- High-quality, durable and long-lasting ramps will be expensive to buy, especially by a reputed brand.
You will need to be patient with your dog when training him or her to use the ramp since it does not come naturally.
Are Stairs or a Ramp Better for Dogs?
The decision between a ramp and steps can be difficult for a dog owner. However, you need to take a couple of things into consideration when choosing between the two, i.e.:
- The size of your dog
- Age and health condition
- What will the ramp or steps be used for?
- The height of your vehicle
Generally, you’ll want to choose dog steps for larger dogs not suffering from joint or muscular pain. The steps make it easy to get on top of the vehicle or into it. It also ensures that the dog uses its muscles, which is always a good thing. However, you’ll need to take out the time to train your pet to use the steps.
However, you’ll want to choose a ramp if you don’t have the time or will to train your pet. Also, ramps are better for sick or recovering pets. Most pets over 100lbs in weight will probably benefit from using ramps as compared to steps because it puts less stress on their joints. The same goes for breed dogs.
The Best Types of Ramps for Toyota Land Cruisers and Toyota Tacoma
Land Cruisers and the Tacoma are notorious for being too high for most pooches to jump on to, and that’s why it makes sense to buy a quality ramp. However, the same goes for just about any truck. So, if you buy one for your Tacoma, for instance, it can just as easily be used with your Ram Truck or any other one for that matter.
Ideally, you’ll want to find a ramp that measures around 62-70 inches in length and be around 15-17 inches in width. Furthermore, if you’re going to carry it in your vehicle something we strongly advise you do, then it should be foldable.
Now, if you are the owner of a large dog, like a Great Dane, for instance, then make sure that the ramp can at least bear the dog’s weight. Ones like the Kurgo Wander Dog Ramp, which is built for SUVs and trucks, can easily bear up to 200lbs of weight. The ramp is also foldable, which makes it easy to store in the vehicle.
The other one you might want to consider is the slightly more expensive folding ramp by Pet Gear. While the ramp may be expensive, it is also extremely durable and can bear up to 500lbs of weight and comes with a lifetime warranty.
However, there are other dog ramps on the market, but you’ll want to make sure that they are the right length and width, along with being able to bear your pet’s weight.
The Best Types of Ramps to Use with Mid-Sized and Full-Sized Sedans, i.e. Lexus, Corollas, Mercedes, Honda Civics and Teslas
The majority of sedans midsized and large are around the same height. The effort required for your pet to jump in to or get in is around the same. While most large dogs will be able to step into a sedan if they are in good health, if not, then they will need a ramp.
At most, you’ll need the ramp to be around 5 to six feet in length and between 15-16 inches in width. However, you might want to invest in a wider ramp, maybe something around 20 inches if your dog is unusually large.
Ideally, you’ll want to buy a ramp with a telescoping design. What that means is that the length of the ramp can be adjusted. Generally speaking, you’ll be able to adjust it from between 47-87 inches.
Some ramps come with guardrails and a rubberized finish, which can make using them easier for most pets, especially during wet weather conditions.
Finding the right ramps for your pet will require some research. While there are many dozens of ramps available from numerous American and foreign manufacturers, they may all not be right for your pet. You may also want to measure your pet, speak to the vet, and measure the height of your vehicle when searching for a ramp. Always buy one that is made from metal, since it will last longer. However, it should be easy to fold and store away.
If you own multiple vehicles, then a ramp that uses telescoping adjustment will be a wise investment. While there are few of these available and can be expensive, they are worth it in the long-term since you won’t need a ramp for each vehicle.
Furthermore, they can be used indoors too.
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