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Dogs will often get injured when they topple during an unsuccessful jump into the car or onto furniture in the house. To prevent this, you might have considered trying an apparatus that will ease their movements.
Dog ramps are accessories that will help your dog get in and out of the car without jumping or straining too much. But, are dog ramps worth it? Is the investment good enough to make your dog’s life easier?
We are going to take a closer look at the use of vehicle dog ramps and see whether they are worth every penny. Watch out for some of the things you need to consider when buying a ramp for your furry friend.
What Are Vehicle Dog Ramps Used For?
Vehicle dog ramps are used to help dogs get into or out of the cars. They are commonly used by owners of pickup trucks and SUVs, but they are also applicable for vans and small cars.
A dog ramp can be mounted at the back of the vehicle to give your dog a clear walkway into the trunk. Compared to stairs that require more effort, ramps offer hands-free movement, making it easier for the dog to get to the car without climbing stairs, jumping, or being lifted.
Heavy-duty dog ramps are mostly made with wooden and metallic materials. You can also get the lightweight version made with durable plastic for your smaller dogs.
5 Benefits Of Dog Ramps
1. Reduces stress on the joints
When your furry friend uses a ramp to get into the car, they reduce stress on their joints which is good for elderly dogs and those suffering from orthopedic conditions.
2. Prevents injuries
Dogs, especially short-legged like Dachshunds, are likely to get injured when they make that unsafe jump into a car and end up falling with their back.
Conditions such as Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) are common in such breeds and it can come about when they stumble during an unsuccessful jump.
Using a dog ramp can help your dog get some exercise while you spend time outdoors with your canine companion.
This is especially applicable when you are in an isolated area with no running tracks. You can modify your dog’s ramp and allow them to hop in and out of the vehicle in continual sessions.
4. Convenient for you
You can now guide your sick dog into the car without necessarily lifting them. Carrying a dog (especially a larger one) might be risky for both of you and it is even worse when Fido is not feeling well.
A dog ramp can be used in many ways, not just guiding your furry friend into the car. We have indoor dog ramps that can help your furry friend while indoors.
You can use them inside your house to help your small dogs get onto the sofa, bed, grooming table, and other elevated positions without jumping.
Disadvantages Of Dog Ramps
Despite being very useful, dog ramps have some drawbacks that you need to be aware of. Most of these cons are avoidable with proper care and caution. Your dog will shortly have a nice experience using this walkway up and down your car:
1. Your dog might not like them
Some dogs may not want to go up or down the ramp, which can be frustrating especially when they avoid it totally.
You need to train your dog on how to walk on a ramp safely with positive reinforcement. This will make them happy and will help to associate the new accessory with good things.
Some might require much more time to learn than others but you should be patient and consistent when training your canine friend.
Some dog ramps are made with smooth materials that may easily get slippery especially when they are wet. This means that there is a chance that your furry friend might stumble and get injured while using the ramp.
If you get a very long ramp, then it will be bulky and might take up a sizeable space in your vehicle. It is always good to consider the available space in your car, and go for the ramp that can be folded up and stored easily during the journey.
You can also consider getting one that can be fixed at the back of the car and will not require disassembling after your dog uses it. Just folding it up.
Are Dog Ramps Worth It?
Yes, dog ramps are totally worth it. They make it easier for your dog to walk without putting strain on their joints.
If your dog needs regular assistance because of an illness or old age, then it’s worth considering a ramp for them.
Unlike pet steps, ramps are clear and easier for them to climb with minimum physical exertion provided it is not very steep. They should not be inclined at more than 26 degrees angle from the ground.
Aside from providing a safer walking platform for your dog, they also protect them from possible injuries.
Failed jumps from high levels might cause your pup to suffer serious conditions including acute spinal cord injury, sprains, patella dislocation, and elbow trauma among others.
Veterinary neurologist Dr. Jay McDonnell, DACVIM, says that dogs with neurological disorders can also benefit from ramps.
He makes a case that such pups do not have the required strength in their hind limbs to help them make a safe jump into the trunk of a truck.
Vehicle ramps are also a good option for large-breed dogs who are prone to get joint problems and decreased mobility.
Breeds such as the Great Danes, German Shepherds, Newfoundlands, and other large dogs have massive weights which exert too much stress on their joints and tendons when they jump.
Some dog ramps are fitted with side rails to prevent your canine friend from missing their steps while walking. They can also be folded up and carried easily with the handle into a compact storage place.
When To Use a Dog Ramp
We recommend using the vehicle dog ramp regularly. This will enable your doggo to familiarize themselves with the apparatus and they will continually require little assistance from you.
Do not encourage your dog to hop into and out of the vehicle because it is risky for them even if they are capable of doing so.
If your adult dog seems to struggle when they walk then a ramp will be a good accessory to prevent them from making that chancy jump into the car.
Choosing The Best Dog Ramp for Your Dog
Getting the wrong ramp for your dog might be a risky affair that could leave them injured in the unfortunate event of having an accident.
Keep the following in mind when looking for the best ramp for your dog:
1. Make sure to consider the maximum loading capacity of your desired item. It should be able to support your dog or multiple dogs without strain.
2. Your desired ramp should be long enough to give your dog the correct inclination when in use. A very short ramp will give your dog a very steep surface to walk on and this is not only tedious to walk on but also dangerous.
3. If you are short on space, you can opt for lightweight foldable ramps that occupy minimal space in your car’s trunk.
The one with a handle makes it easier for you to carry it around and put it away after use. This helps save space in your trunk and also makes it easier to carry it around during outdoor adventures.
4. Always choose a ramp that is coated with an anti-skid surface for proper traction and added friction. The dog’s paws will grip firmly onto the surface and this will prevent them from sliding over when walking.
5. If you are intending to go camping with your pup, you can choose a heavy-duty ramp with added features to light up your dog’s open-air vacation. Such features include storage compartments that can be used to store your dog’s toys and treats.
6. Ramps should be adjustable in height and length (telescoping), making it easy for you to set them for different vehicles and locations.
Are dog ramps worth it? Yes, they are worth every penny. These accessories make it very easy for your dog to get into the vehicle without making that risky jump.
Senior dogs or those with arthritis, hip dysplasia, or other mobility concerns will appreciate the extra help provided by a ramp. Just be careful to get the best ramp for your dog with the right features.
Laura is the founder of Furs'n'Paws. She is a also a pet writer and expert with more than 20 years of experience of working with dogs and cats. She developed a very strong love for animals at a young age. Her passion led her to establish a thriving pet sitting and dog walking business in Dubai. As an expert in pet training, behavior, and nutrition, Laura is committed to helping pet owners and pet lovers by offering high-quality information on a wide range of topics.