So, it’s time to hit the open road. You wouldn’t leave without your best furry friend though, would you? Increasingly, people are taking their animals with them more and more. The influx of pet-friendly stores, restaurants, and doggy daycares means that more dogs and hopping in the car for a ride. You obviously want what is best for your pet, which is why you want them around you as much as possible, but you may be putting them at risk every time they jump into your car. A dog ramp provides a solid path from the ground to the vehicle and can help eliminate that threat by giving your pet safer access.
Why You Need a Dog Ramp?
There are two main reasons for getting a dog ramp. The first is your dog’s safety. Jumping in and out of a car, especially one high off the ground has the potential to injure them. Older dogs especially are frailer and may struggle to hop into a vehicle. The second reason is your safety. If you pick up your dog to put it in the car every time, you are putting your health at risk. Not only can this strain your back or your muscles, but if your dog starts flailing, you can seriously injure yourself and your dog.
A dog ramp eliminates this danger by providing a slight incline walk into the vehicle. You are risking throwing out your back or cracking a rib and your dog isn’t risking a muscle strain or tear. Simply put, dog ramps are the safest, most effective way to board an animal in a car.
What to Look for in a Dog Ramp?
Now that you know why you might need to purchase a dog ramp for your car, truck or SUV, you might be wondering what makes for a good dog ramp. The truth is every dog and every vehicle are different and as such, there are different factors to take into consideration. When you are buying a dog ramp, here are the top things to consider:
- Safety: The safety of your dog is paramount. Be sure to select a dog ramp that is constructed with quality materials and is not going to buckle under your dog’s weight. It should also be devoid of sharp edges or other dangers.
- Portability: Ease of portability is also one of the things to consider when buying a dog ramp. If you are loading and unloading it from your vehicle, garage, etc., you want to be sure that it’s easy to lift and maneuver. There are two main types of pet ramps, folding and telescopic. A folding ramp typically folds in half and makes it easy to store in smaller spaces. A telescopic pet ramp, on the other hand, slides into itself and is much for versatile in terms of length and incline.
- Ramp Weight: The weight of the ramp is also something to keep in mind when buying a dog ramp. While the ramp is meant to keep your dog safe, you also need to keep yourself safe and shouldn’t purchase a hefty ramp that you cannot lift on your own.
- Weight Capacity: Also something to consider, is a ramp’s weight capacity. If you have a Great Dane and the ramp has a weight capacity of 50 pounds, it probably isn’t the right potion for you. If you have a puppy, do some research to determine what their full grown weight will be before purchasing so you won’t have to buy another one when they mature.
- Surface Style: Surface style is something else that is important for a dog ramp. There are grit, rubber, and carpet surfaces. A grit surface will provide the most traction for your dog and requires little cleaning. Carpet is the least effective surface style and it typically requires more maintenance.
- Price:Your budget is obviously something to consider when buying a dog ramp for your vehicle. Ramps can vary significantly in price and you’ll want to make sure that you don’t overextend yourself by purchasing one that you cannot afford. However, the safety of your animal is paramount, so don’t cheap out and buy an unsafe dog ramp.
- Measurements: The length and width of a dog ramp are important to consider when purchasing a dog ramp. Longer ramps will have a shallower incline, which makes it easier for pets to climb. However, you shouldn’t purchase a ramp that is so large that it doesn’t fit in your vehicle. Also, be sure to choose a ramp that is wide enough for your dog. A wider ramp is safer than a narrow one, especially if your dog is easily distracted.
- Additional Features: If you want the cream of the crop when it comes to dog ramps, there are some additional features to look for. Some ramps offer side rails for more stability and security, handles to help you transport it easier, and even safety straps to keep the ramp securely closed while it is not in operation. While none of these features are essential in a dog ramp, they are a nice added touch.
The Top 6 Dog Ramps on the Market in 2019
So, you know what to look for in a dog ramp, but there are still hundreds on the market. That would take hours, if not days, to sort through to find the one that meets your specifications. Thankfully, we’ve done the legwork for you are scoured through lists of dog ramps to find the best dog ramps for 2018. Whether you have a small car or massive SUV, a Yorkie or a German Shepherd, the following dog ramps are bound to offer you the right solution.
1. Heininger 3052 PortablePET Twistep Dog Hitch Step
The first one up on our list is not actually a pet ramp, it’s a pet step. The Heininger 3052 PortablePET Twistep Dog Hitch Step is an instant step that allows your dog to get in and out of your pickup or SUV easily. This dog hitch step attaches directly to the hitch received or your car and can easily be spun and stored away under the bumper when it is not in use.
The Heininger 3052 PortablePET Twistep Dog Hitch Step is great for helping dogs of all ages into the car. The best past—besides the added safety for your pet, of course—is that it features single hand use. There’s no folding or hefty telescoping ramp to fumble with, you can simply swivel it out whenever needed.
With a 400 pound capacity, this pet step is great for any size dog. It also has all-weather durability and an anti-slip grip surface to keep your pet safe as it hops in and out of the car. Overall, for those with a trailer hitch, the Heininger 3052 PortablePET Twistep Dog Hitch Step is a great option.
2. Gen7Pets Natural Step Ramp for Pets
Now for the first ramp on our list, the Gen7Pets Natural Step Ramp for Pets is a great dog ramp that makes getting in and out of a vehicle easier for your pet. The ramp features Poly-Grass that feels like real grass for your pets and allows them to feel safe and secure while climbing up. It’s a non-slip surface that will hold up in any weather conditions.
This 16” wide ramp is over 72 inches long, which means it can provide a very small incline and make it easy for even older dogs to get into a car, truck or SUV. With 1.5” of thickness, the Gen7Pets Natural Step Ramp for Pets can handle pets up to 250 pounds. That makes it a great option for almost any dog.
The added benefit of the Gen7Pets Natural Step Ramp for Pets is that it only weighs 17 pounds so it should be easy for you to tote around. Plus, it’s foldable so it should fit in most cars and vehicles. If you need a dog ramp, the Gen7Pets Natural Step Ramp for Pets is certainly one to consider.
3. PetSTEP Original Folding Pet Ramp
The PetSTEP Original Folding Pet Ramp is another great option for someone looking for a pet ramp. This pet ramp can reach up to 70” in length, meaning it provides a nice shallow incline, but can be folded to 36” so it will fit in most vehicle trunks. At 17” wide, this sturdy pet ramp provides a nice space for your pet and will keep them safe and secure.
As far as safety goes, the PetSTEP Original Folding Pet Ramp comes with a soft non-slip ridged rubber surface. While it is soft on paws, this non-slip surface also provides the necessary traction. Plus, the top surface is easy to clean and can just be hosed off if it gets too muddy.
The plastic and fiberglass ramp is sturdy and at 18 pounds, it can handle pets up to 500 pounds. IT also comes with cut-out handles on both sides to make portability a breeze. A 5 year warranty backs up the quality of the PetSTEP Original Folding Pet Ramp, making it one of the best options on the market.
- Has a weight capacity of up to 500 pounds
- The bi-fold design makes it easy to store and tote around
- Manufactured in the USA
- Very easy to clean
- Comes with a 5 year manufacturer’s warranty
- Slightly heavier than other models
4. Solvit PetSafe UltraLite Bi-Fold Pet Ramp
PetSafe is a brand that focuses on bringing innovative behavioral, containment, and lifestyle solutions that give you more great moments with your pert to market. The Solvit PetSafe UltraLite Bi-Fold Pet Ramp is no exception to their core mission.
This ramp weighs only 10 pounds, making it the lightest full-size pet ramp on the market. This makes it a great option for older people with pets who don’t want to or can’t struggle with a heftier ramp to help their pets out. Plus, it features a safety release latch to keep the ramp securely closed when not in use.
The Solvit PetSafe UltraLite Bi-Fold Pet Ramp supports pets up to 150 pounds and has a secure non-slip surface that affords your pet traction and sure footing while scaling the ramp. Plus, the surface is easy to clean off. It can be cleaned by using mild detergent and a hose. If you are looking for a lightweight pet ramp for a dog under 150 pounds, the Solvit PetSafe UltraLite Bi-Fold Pet Ramp might be your best bet.
- Weighs only 10 pounds
- Can handle pets up to 150 pounds
- High-traction top surface to provide sure footing
- Rubber feet keep the ramp securely in place while in use
- Features a safety release latch to keep the ramp closed
- Very easy to clean
- Cannot handle some larger dogs over 150 pounds
5. Pet Gear Tri-Fold Ramp 71 Inch Long Extra Wide
The Pet Gear Tri-Fold Ramp 71 Inch Long Extra Wide is another great option if you are looking for a pet ramp. This ramp is tri-folding, which means it is very compact and can actually fit in any car so it’s easy to travel with. Users might be scared off by the fact that it is tri-folding, but this ramp can open and close in seconds.
The Pet Gear Tri-Fold Ramp 71 Inch Long Extra Wide can support up to 200 pounds, but it is over 25 pounds itself so if you aren’t able to lift heavy objects this ramp is not a good fit for you. At 19.5 inches wide, this ramp will give your pet plenty of space to wander up, which keeps them safe.
In terms of safety, the Pet Gear Tri-Fold Ramp 71 Inch Long Extra Wide comes with a slip-resistant textured surface that will give your pets sure footing when using. It’s also very easy to clean, and a simple hose off will do the trick. For a great pet ramp, the Pet Gear Tri-Fold Ramp 71 Inch Long Extra Wide is definitely one to consider.
- Tri-folding pet ramp can fit in any car
- Slip-resistant surface for sure footing
- 19.5” wide makes it one of the widest available
- Has a weight capacity of 200 pounds
- Opens and closes in seconds
- The ramp is 25.9 pounds
6. Pet Loader Light
Another option for loading pets into your vehicle is the Pet Loader Light. One distinction to keep in mind is that this is a set of 4 collapsible steps and not a ramp. If you have a small dog or an older dog that is not capable of climbing stairs, this will not be a good fit for you. However, if you want an extremely compact and stable option for loading your dog into the car, the Pet Loader Light is a good option.
This set of 4 stairs is meant for loading animals in the back of an SUV or truck. It is easy to extend and retract and because of its compact size you can store and carry it almost anywhere. It is very wide and has a low angle to eliminate your pet’s fear of using it. Plus, it has a slip-resistant surface to provide sure footing.
The Pet Loader Light weighs just over 24 pounds, but the carrying handle makes it easy to lift and store. While it’s not a good option for pets that cannot handle stairs on their own, the Pet Loader Light is a great option for back loading vehicles and dogs that prefer something more familiar like stairs over a ramp.
- The wide base makes it easy to ascend
- Stairs are more familiar to dogs than a ramp is
- Easily folded, stored, and carried
- Great for back loading vehicles
- It is expensive
- Not a good option for pets that cannot ascend stairs
- Heavier than other models, but compact
Now that you’ve looked over the best pet ramps, are you wondering what the best one for you is? If you’re still struggling to make a final decision, the main things to consider are your vehicle type, your pet’s mobility, and your pet’s weight. Automatically eliminate any pet ramps, stairs or steps that do not meet the weight requirements of your pet and those that would not be compatible with your pet. Then eliminate any of the models that are not a good fit for your vehicle. After that, whatever is left from this list of top pet ramps for 2018 will be a great option for you!