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Best Dog Ramps For Older Dogs

Best Dog Ramps For Older Dogs

There are certain things that us pet owners should consider as our dogs get older.  Having a great veterinarian, a good joint supplement, lower impact exercise, and getting a dog ramp are a few of these considerations.

Dog ramps are useful for reducing the stress on your dog’s joints when getting into or out of higher places such as the car, the bed, or even upstairs. 

This article will discuss the best dog ramps for older dogs as well as the things you should consider before purchasing a dog ramp.

*This article may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of the links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you 🙂 .

Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Dog Ramp

It is important to consider certain factors before purchasing a dog ramp so you can make the best selection for your pup.  Here are the things that should be considered:

Older GSD laying on the bed

Why your dog needs a ramp?

The reason why your dog needs a ramp is incredibly important.  Some older dogs never need to use a dog ramp, while others may have joint issues and start having problems getting around.

In other situations, you may just want to preserve your dog’s joints even if there are no issues now, which is also a good reason to consider getting a dog ramp. 

The location the ramp will be used

The location where you plan to use the ramp is another significant factor to consider.  You may need a longer ramp or certain style of ramp depending on the location where you primarily plan to use it. 

Does your dog need a ramp to get in and out of a truck bed, back seat of a car, onto the sofa or bed?

Length/size of the ramp needed

After the main location for ramp use has been determined you will be able to measure the distance between the ground and wherever you dog needs the ramp to access.  Then you can make sure to purchase a ramp that will be long enough and wide enough to access that point.

The weight of your dog

The weight of your dog is key because different types of ramps are made with different maximum weight limits.  Accordingly, a larger dog like a Rottweiler will need a ramp capable of handling a larger weight limit than a Yorkshire terrier.

An important note:  Never try and get close to the maximum weight capacity of any ramp.  For example, let’s say your dog weighs 100 pounds.  I don’t recommend you purchase a ramp ONLY capable of holding 100 pounds.  I would purchase a ramp capable of hold at least 150lbs but  200lbs is even better!

Ramps also have different widths.  Obviously, the larger breed dogs will need wider ramps for safety purposes.

The sturdiness/safety of the ramp

Obviously, we all want our dogs to be safe.  Accordingly, the overall sturdiness of the ramp is going to be key for your dog to feel confident going up and down as well as for you to be sure it won’t all of sudden collapse.

In addition, safety is also important!  Certain safety features you should look for in a dog ramp are: is there is traction on the ramp, the stability of the ramp, and does it stay in place when your dog walks on the ramp.

Types of Dog Ramps

Folding Ramps

A folding ramp is a ramp that folds in the center and it’s adjustable in length.  Folding ramps can be good if you know you will only be using the ramp in one or two locations and the ramp is of appropriate length and height to reach those locations.  The downside of this type of ramp is that it may not work for other locations that are not of a similar height.

Fixed Ramps

Fixed ramps are ramps that stay in their natural form.  They don’t fold or collapse for easier storage.  Fixed ramps can be good for smaller dogs or inside spaces like for reaching the couch or the bed.  The main downside is that they can be harder to store.

Telescopic Ramps

Telescopic ramps are ramps that slide out in length one panel over another.  The benefit to this type of ramp is that the length can be adjusted to fit the need of the current place you want your dog to have access to. 

Because it can adjust to multiple lengths this is the most versatile ramp type.  The downside is, they can be heavier in weight and slightly more expensive than the other two options.

5 Best Dog Ramps For Older Dogs

PetSafe Dog Ramp

My top pick for large older dogs is the PetSafe Dog Ramp.   Your dog will feel secure as It is made of super-strong aluminum that supports dog weight of up to 300 pounds. 

PetSae dog ramp for large dogs

It is also portable. It only weighs 18 pounds so it is easy to transport or pull out when needed. 

When it is time to put it away it is compact and stores easily by just sliding it together and locking it tightly for safety. 

This ramp is great for our larger pups because it has an extra-wide ramp so your dog will have enough room to safely walk up and down the ramp.

In addition, it can be adjusted to an extra-long length to those higher vehicles or other locations.  It measures 87 L x 20 W x 4 H when pulled out fully.

As a bonus, this ramp also has an adapter that allows for its use on car or truck side doors.

What I Love:

  • PetSafe brand is known for their quality and have been around for 30 years
  • Strong very sturdy ramp
  • Supports up to 300 pounds
  • Portable – easy to transport
  • Lightweight at 18 pounds
  • Great for cars, trucks & SUVs
  • Extra-long and extra wide

Possible downsides

  • If you only have a smaller dog, you may not need a ramp that is this heavy duty.
  • The coating on the ramp gets easily scratched by dog nails.

And the verdict is…

  • I love this dog ramp for large older dogs or if you need the extra long ramp length, it’s secure, easy to use and portable for on the road.

PetSTEP Original Folding Dog Ramp

The PetSTEP Dog Ramp is great for older dogs that have some trouble keeping their grip on some surfaces.  This ramp has a non-slip rubberized walking surface that has multiple rubber ridges for added grip.   

PetSTEP dog ramp for older dogs

The ramp is 70 L x 17 W x 2.5 H inches long when open and is made of an advanced composite plastic that can hold up to 500 pounds, so it is great for larger dogs or multi dog households that have dogs of different sizes. 

The PetSTEP opens and closes super quickly within seconds and folds in half for quick storage and portability.  Additionally, this ramp can be easily cleaned with soap and water.

Lastly, this ramp universally fits all vehicles.  If you have a dog with arthritis or hip dysplasia this is the ramp for you!

What I Love:

  • Up to 500lb weight limit
  • Sturdy advanced composite plastic and fiberglass material
  • Easily cleanable
  • Won’t rust
  • Rubberized walking surface
  • Lightweight and portable at 18.5 pounds

Possible downsides

  • Some people say it was a little heavier than what they expected.

And the verdict is…

  • If you have an extra-large dog or a dog with hip dysplasia or arthritis that needs the more secure rubberized surface this is the ramp to get!

PetSafe Lightweight Dog Ramp

PetSafe Lightweight dog ramp for older dogs

If you have smaller dogs or need a lighter weight option than the two above, the PetSafe Lightweight Dog Ramp is a great option. 

Measuring at 62 L x 16 W x 4 H inches long and weighting in at only 10 pounds it is very easy to fold and transport. 

This PetSafe ramp supports dog weights of up to 150lbs.  Additionally, this ramp includes a safety release latch that keeps it closed and secure when not in use. 

It’s high traction surface allows for great grip for those dogs who tend to slide around.  Also, it is easy to clean with some soap and water or simply by hosing it down. 

If you are looking for the lightest full-size ramp on the market, consider trying this ramp!

What I Love:

  • Ulta lightweight at only 10 pounds
  • Supports dogs up to 150 pounds
  • High traction surface
  • Easy to clean
  • Safety latch
  • Priced more reasonably than some of the other options

Possible downsides:

  • Not as durable first two options listed
  • Even though it advertises a 150-pound weight limit it is better suited for small to medium-sized dogs not larger dogs (especially those over 100-pounds).

And the verdict is…

  • If you have a small or medium-sized dog and are looking for a lightweight portable dog ramp option this is a great buy.

PetSafe CozyUp Bed Ramp

Ok so let’s face it, sometimes we let our dogs sleep with us.  When your dog gets older and can’t jump on and off the bed but are used to sleeping with you nightly, it can be hard for them (and for us) to make that adjustment. 

PetSafe Dog Ramps for access to the bed

The PetSafe CozyUp Bed Ramp is a great option to have if you plan to use a ramp indoors. 

This ramp is great to allow your dog to reach the couch or the bed.  The ramp is durable and sturdy and supports up to 120 pounds. 

It comes in a cherry and white wood color and has heavy duty carpet to provide traction for your dog while walking up and down. 

This ramp measures 70 L x 16 W x 25 H in length which should be capable of reaching even taller beds.  This dog ramp is also quick and easy to assemble.

What I Love:

  • Indoor Ramp
  • Supports Dogs up to 120 pounds
  • Cherry or White wood finish
  • Allows for access to your couch or bed
  • Quick Assemble
  • Carpeted

Possible downsides:

  • Although it supports up to 120 pounds, I wouldn’t recommend this for a dog that is more than 80 pounds. 

And the verdict is…

  • If you have a dog less than 80 lbs that you still want to be able to lounge with you on the bed or couch during their golden years, this is a wonderful indoor ramp option!

PetGear Free Standing Dog Ramp

Indoor and outdoor dog ramp

The PetGear Free Standing Dog Ramp is good for both outdoor and indoor use.   It can be used for access to a vehicle as well as the couch or bed. 

It measures at 56 L x 16 W x 23 H in length and is capable of holding up to 200 pounds.

The SupertraX surface provides for a soft surface with great traction that is also easily washable. 

This ramp is portable and folds for easy storage and also has raised edges to help your dog feel more secure walking up and down.

What I Love:

  • Free standing dog ramp
  • Good for both indoor & outdoor use
  • Portable & compact
  • Great SupertraX traction
  • Easily cleanable
  • Raised edges

Possible Downsides:

  • Length can’t be extended because it is a fixed dog ramp
  • I wouldn’t recommend this ramp for larger dogs closer to the weight limit.

And the verdict is…

  • If you have a dog under 140 pounds and you want a versatile ramp that could be used both outside and inside, this is the option to consider.

Teaching Your Dog To Use A Dog Ramp

After receiving your new dog ramp, you dog may not automatically know what to do with it.  Like with many new things, its best to properly train and expose your dog to their new ramp.

1) Make sure the ramp is on a flat stable surface

As mentioned above, the stability of the ramp is super important both for safety purposes and for giving your dog comfort with the ramp.

2) Don’t force your dog onto the ramp

Don’t immediately force your dog to get on the ramp.  Let them sniff and explore it.  If your dog doesn’t naturally take to the ramp the first time don’t panic.

3) Guide your dog up and down the ramp on leash

Dog laying on sofa

With a leash, and using whatever motivates your dog (treats, toys, etc.) guide them slowly up and down the ramp. 

This is important because you want your dog to learn to use the ramp properly as opposed to jumping on and off the ramp which can cause injuries.

4) Unleashed guiding and supervision

If the leashed exposure to the ramp goes well, let them walk up and down the ramp unleashed. 

If you want, you can teach your dog a command for when you want them to go up or down the ramp.  Remember to always supervise your dog’s ramp use to make sure they are using it safely.

Final Thoughts

A dog ramp is a great purchase for an older dog to keep the pressure of jumping or climbing off their joints.  The sturdiness and safety of the ramp is key to ensure your dog can use their ramp well into their golden years. 

Where do you use a dog ramp?  Let me know in the comments!

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