When your dog was a puppy, it likely jumped up and down off of furniture with very little effort. If your dog is now older, or even a senior dog, this is not likely the case anymore. You may be right in wondering, does my dog need a ramp?
When Is a Dog Ramp Needed?
Observe your dog when he or she tries to jump up onto things, such as the couch or bed. Does your dog appear uncomfortable? Perhaps your dog hesitates beforehand as if he needs to work himself up in order to do it.
Many breeds of dogs develop arthritis and experience pain in their joints. Giving them a ramp to assist them in getting where they would like to go would definitely be helpful in these types of situations.
Logically, if your dog has a disability or has become injured in any way, a dog ramp would certainly be of help.
Should I Choose a Dog Ramp or Pet Stairs?
With so many options out there, it may be difficult to decide whether to go with a ramp or doggie stairs. Personal preference plays a big part in which one you should decide upon. In most household situations, both stairs or a ramp can work equally well. In general, stairs are smaller than ramps. This makes placing a foldable set of stairs next to a bed or couch very convenient.
Though dog ramps do take up more space, they are ideal for larger dogs. Getting your big dog in and out of the car is much easier with the help of one. With that being said, just keep in mind that as a pet parent, you need to be able to lift the ramp in and out of the car. Also, make sure the length and width of the ramp are appropriate for the size of your canine, or they won’t likely use it.
Choosing the Right Dog Ramp
When you shop around for a dog ramp, you are likely to notice how many different styles, thicknesses, and materials are available to choose from. If you will be using the ramp both indoors and outdoors, select a durable material that will hold up against the weather.
Be certain that the ramp is strong enough to support the weight of your dog. At the same time, be sure that you are able to lift it and transport it with ease. An adjustable ramp will allow you to use it with several different vehicles. Choosing a folding or collapsible ramp will make it easy to transport.
Selecting a ramp that has a non-skid surface and non-skid feet is highly recommended. The ramp should also lock securely into place before you allow your dog to use it. Otherwise, the ramp could move or collapse while your dog steps upon it.
Make sure the ramp is comfortable for your dog, in that it is designed to accommodate your dog’s weight. The slope of the ramp should be gentle enough so that your dog isn’t intimidated by it.
Speaking of comfort, make sure that you are able to lift and extend the ramp easily, with no issue. You wouldn’t want to get hurt trying to help out your dog!
Lastly, the ramp should be easy to clean, just like everything else you have for your pet. No one wants to tote around something dirty or unsightly looking.
Keep in mind that it may take a little work to get your dog to use the ramp or pet stairs since they are unfamiliar to most dogs. Introduce your dog to the ramp in a stress-free environment and reward them with lots of praise (and a few yummy treats!)