Dog ramps are an essential tool if your canine is aged, has an injury, using a canine wheelchair, or finds it hard to navigate the steps for any reason. Some of these may be that your dog is a shorter breed or has a height phobia. Whatever your reason, a pet ramp can be a vital tool for your lovely pet to help them move around and enjoy the luxury of their best dog crate or your bed.
The best part is that you can decide to personally build a dog ramp from home or get a ready-made dog ramp from your nearest pet store or home depot. The standard ramps can be a quick fix but may not fit your needs ideally than custom-made ramps. Similarly, most elegant ready-made ramps may be costlier, while the simple pieces may not have the aesthetic features you desire. As a result, a DIY dog ramp could be the ultimate solution for your dog’s mobility challenges. These pieces are always elegant and functional if you get them right. Here are some actions to get you started on your DIY ramp project.
General Instructions to Build a Dog Ramp
Dog ramps are excellent mobility aids for disabled, arthritic, old, or any other pets that need help climbing up raised beds, cars, couches, or even into their heavy dog duty crate to catch some sleep. They come in varying styles, designs, and colors and may sometimes from various materials.
A Pet ramp is a better choice where comfort is a concern since the inclined surface doesn’t strain your dog’s joints compared to stairs. Similarly, most of them are foldable, making them easy to store. Moreover, the adjustable dog ramps are efficient for use by different dogs and pets of varying heights. As such, even your cats can access the elevated walkways, high vehicles, and other raised structures.
A DIY dog ramp doesn’t have to be complex, as long as it meets your needs. Here are some simple actions to make the tool. You can also adjust the measurements to fit your pet’s needs and get a ramp that serves your intended purposes.
Materials You’ll Need
You’ll need some basic materials to build a dog ramp. These include:
- Oak strips
- Brass screws
- Corkboard or carpets for a cushioned surface (consider rigged carpets)
Apart from the materials, you’ll also need tools such as:
- Tape measure
- Table saw, or you can use a skill saw
- Chop saw
- Sheet metal snips
It’s essential to consider your pet’s needs when you decide to do a DIY dog ramp. Consider how you’ll use the equipment and your home’s architecture. You don’t need paint, material, or design that will look awkward in your bedroom or one that doesn’t fit your compound’s palate. After checking all the boxes, here are the steps to follow:
- Measure and cut your plywood. It acts as the base of your ramp. A standard ramp often measures 11-12 inches wide for small dogs and 22-24 inches for medium-sized breeds, but you can use your carpet size or preference to come up with the width.
- Measure and cut the brass threshold. It acts as the lip that holds the ramp to the staircase, base, or dog bed and keeps it in place. You may consider sanding the aluminum edges to avoid snags and injuries.
- Add equidistant steps using wood casing on the ramp and paint it to protect the ramp from moisture
- Measure and shape the side trim pieces, then nail them in place
- Glue the carpet and allow it to dry.
- Attach the metal verge, add rubber feet, and voila! Your pet ramp is as good as complete.
A unilateral safety rail can also be a great add-on if you prefer.
Types of Dog Ramps
1. A Super DIY Dog Ramp
Do you feel your bed is higher than the standard types? This is a special ramp to fit your needs since you can play with the measurement and adjust them as you desire. Similarly, you can adjust your sizes to fit your pet’s height, whether a big, medium, or small dog breed or cat.
The materials you’ll require include plywood, scrap studs, and a carpet. Similarly, you’ll need a drill and a circular saw.
2. A Patio or Outdoor Ramp
Most people only remember to build pet ramps for use in the house, especially to access the bed. However, your old dog may also find it hard to climb the patio staircase or access your vehicle. If that’s the case, a patio or outdoor ramp will get you sorted.
It’s relatively easy to build if you have basic knowledge of the standard dog ramp. Simply include a hinge on the top of the ramp, and nail a piece of wood plank to the stair or where you want to place the ramp. You’ll need to measure the width of your ramp to come up with the right length of the plank.
After that, hinge the ramp to the wood plank if you need it to be permanent. You may also attach it to the plank without a hinge if you want to keep it movable. The piece of wood plunk will help keep your ramp in place and stable for your dog.
3. An Easy Ikea Dog Ramp
Small, hyper dogs are a great recipe for an adrenaline rush every time you watch them leap to the bed, couch, or other raised surfaces. Similarly, their ability to jump from the bed doesn’t mean they won’t suffer a broken leg. Don’t let it get to the point. The earlier you sort that, the better, and a dog ramp is an excellent way to ease their movement and avoid accidents.
An Ikea dog ramp is small enough and approved for your dachshund or cat and easy to assemble. Also, veterinarians approve it for use on small breeds.
4. The Old House Dog Ramp
This is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a straightforward DIY dog ramp. The ramp lies on a wood structure with a carpeted top. Similarly, it’s collapsible and allows movement from one room to the next.
As a result, it’s a great choice if you’re looking for a multi-purpose DIY dog ramp that helps your canine to access the bed, couch, staircases, plus any other raised ground around your home.
However, you’ll need a little bit of carpentry knowledge to build the structure. Materials you’ll require include wood, box hinge hardware, plywood, and a non-slip rug. The tools for making this kind of ramp at home include clamps, jigsaw, and drill.
5. Some Elegant Pet Steps
Do you need a DIY dog ramp for a pet in good health but finding it hard to access raised places due to their height? Then it’s time to build some elegant steps to help them reach the next room, access the bed, couch, or vehicle.
It’s easy to build but may require some carpentry knowledge. The requirements include clamps, a saw, and accurate measuring abilities.
6. A Dog Bed Ramp With Storage
How about taking your dog’s ramp to the next level and including the convenience of some storage space? It may sound not very easy, but this type of ramp is relatively easy to build and offers more than mobility comforts.
Assemble some premade crates to create shelves, and lean your ramp on them. Then, secure it down to be stable.
What to look out for when you want to build a Dog Ramp
You don’t want to invest your time and money on dog ramps that won’t serve you fully and conveniently. That’s why you may want to ensure that your pet ramp checks all the boxes and satisfies all your home’s needs and those of your pet. Here are some features to reflect:
You need to ensure that the dog ramps match your home’s décor and don’t clash with your house’s overall color and style.
Some ramps designs are for small, medium, large or extra large dog breeds. Similarly, others are fit for a single dog, while some may fit several dogs. Ensure that your bed ramp is suitable for its intended application
While building your ramp, you may want to consider its use and develop equipment that doesn’t hurt your dogs’ injuries or strains. The inclination helps in avoiding slipping and sliding. However, ensure it’s safe and acceptable. A standard ramp should slant at between 18 and 25 degrees. Veterinarians recommend an inclination of 19-20 degrees for small dogs and 22-25 degrees for larger breeds.
Foldable or Fixed?
That’s another feature to consider when building your dogs’ ramp. A foldable car ramp is a better option if you want to travel with your dog as it’s easy to store. Similarly, foldable ramps don’t eat up much space in the house.
Ramp or Stairs, Which one is better?
Both ramps and stairs can ease the mobility of your pets. However, it narrows down to why your dog or cat needs the assistance, alongside other factors. Ramps, for example, offer more flexibility and are a great choice if your pet is injured, aged, disabled, or suffering from arthritis.
On the other hand, Stairs are an excellent choice for pets who find it hard to access raised places due to height challenges but are physically fit and healthy. On the flip side, stairs are pretty portable, and you can quickly move them from your room to the car. Again, a stair uses less floor space compared to a ramp. Here are some situations that may fit each.
- Consider dog ramps if you have limited storage space. Most of them are foldable; hence you can easily crinkle and stash them under your bed.
- Stairs are often lightweight and better if your dog doesn’t have underlying health conditions.
- Consider a ramp if your pet suffers long-term height phobia.
- Ramps are an excellent choice for dogs that are injured, disabled, or have underlying health conditions.
A ramp is relatively adaptable and safe for all dogs, despite their unique needs. However, you may want to consider your needs, vehicle type, or why you need the equipment before investing your time and resources.
Also, building a ramp doesn’t guarantee that your dog will use it. As a result, like with crate training a dog, spend some time teaching your pup how to use the ramp to avoid injuries and possible risks of accidents when accessing elevated spaces.
Are Ramps or Stairs better for Dogs?
Ramps and stairs are both great options for aiding your pet’s mobility across elevated stairs, couch, bed, or walkways. What works ideally will depend on why you need the equipment and your pet’s health. A ramp is more convenient and safe for use in all situations. However, you may want to consider stairs only if your dog has agility and balance but find it hard to access raised structures due to its height.
How Do You Make an Outdoor Dog Ramp?
An outdoor ramp is more or less like your indoor bed ramp or the one your dog uses on the staircase. Cut out a 4*4 piece of plywood (standard, but you can adjust to meet your needs). Attach equidistant wood-casing steps to the plywood, and paint to control moisture. Then stick carpet pieces using glue on every side of the wood casing. You can then use a brass threshold to attach it to the stairs or create a base to support it at a recommendable inclination.
How Steep Should a Dog Ramp Be?
The proper inclination of your ramp depends on the size of your pet. According to veterinarians, a standard ramp should incline at between 18 and 25 degrees. For a small dog, consider 19-20 degrees, or go for 22 to 25 degrees for a medium-sized dog.
How Do You Make a Simple Ramp?
Cut out a 3-5 feet long plywood, with a length of 11-12 inches for a small dog or 22-24 inches for medium-sized breeds. Attach equidistant steps using wood casing and paint to control moisture. After that, glue some carpet pieces on every end of the wood casings to provide comfort for your dog. You can adjust the size of plywood to match your needs or use your carpet pieces to come up with width.