About Outdoor Dog Ramps
DISCLAIMER: This manual, including graphics and charts, is Copyrighted and exclusive property of Pet Classics LLC. Under no circumstances is this document, or its contents, to be distributed or reproduced, in any manner, without explicit written consent from Pet Classics. -- Pet Classics™ LLC ©2005
We have temporarily discontinued sales of all OUTDOOR aluminum and telescoping dog ramps. Our primary suppliers recently changed their product mixes and/or distribution methods and we'll be unable to adequately examine & review replacement product until after our new website is launched later this year. We do, however, want to leave this resource page up in the meantime to assist people trying to size outdoor ramps; and, we encourage you to check our Facebook photos for other outdoor ramp ideas. We'd also be happy to answer any questions even though we'd have to temporarily refer you elsewhere for product.
We do still make custom cedar wedge ramps and steps for doggy door and other applications they may be appropriate for. See our Custom Ramps / Steps page for examples.
- General Background
- Choosing Your Outdoor Ramp
- Selecting The Correct Dog Ramp
- Outdoor Dog Ramp Models
- Training Tips
Simple, lightweight outdoor dog ramps have turned out to be a major convenience, not only for our beloved pets, but also for us. They can be used for many applications, such as:
- Pickup Trucks
- Station Wagons and Hatchbacks
- Outdoor Stairs and Stoops
- Some Cars and Sedans*
*For use with automobiles, doors must open wide enough to accommodate the width of a ramp.
Initially, there were very few dog ramps suitable for the rigor of outdoor use and inclement weather and they only came in one length. In recent years, however, the number of styles and, more importantly, the number of length options have increased considerably.
Pet Classics™ carefully tests, evaluates and selects only the models we feel confidant will meet the requirements of your pet, and which hold to the high quality standards we expect for all of our products.
To help you sort through the available lengths and options, we will outline below some of the steps necessary to purchase the correct ramp for your pet.
To begin the selection process, you will need two key pieces of information.
- The exact height of auto, truck, or deck you need the ramp to reach.
- An understanding of your dog's current and near-term physical ability.
With your desired height and dog's ability, you will be able to determine the proper Slope (incline). You can then use your Slope and Desired Height to find your ramp length.
To determine the length of dog ramp you need, measure the height or rise you are going up to. (Measure from the ground straight up to the door, top step or SUV, van, truck tailgate.)
An elderly dog, or dog with leg or hip impairment will have problems climbing a ramp that is too steep. To begin the selection process, take a moment to assess the physical condition of your pet and check the guidelines below:
Climber Slope (26 degrees)
For young to middle age dogs that need a ramp but do not have significant mobility, physical or strength impairments.
Normal Slope (22 Degrees)
A moderate incline for dogs which may have minor health or mobility issues.
Easy Slope (18 Degrees)
Very gentle incline, and much easier for achy muscles and bones. Highly recommended for senior or disabled dogs with mobility problems and/or increasing muscle or limb weakness.
1. Using guidelines above, identify the slope / incline that matches your dog's age and ability level. (Easy, Normal or Climber slope)
2. On the chart below, the first (left hand) column shows available ramp lengths. Determine which slope your pet requires and then look in that color-coded column for the height you need the ramp to reach. On the right side of the chart you will find recommended ramp(s) for the slope and rise you selected.
|Ramp Length||Max Height
Easy Slope 18°
Normal Slope 22°
Climber Slope 26°
|36" (3 Feet)||12"||14"||16"|
|72" (6 Feet)||22"||27"||31"|
|84" (7 Feet)||26"||32"||36"|
|96" (8 Feet)||29"||36"||42"|
Charts are exclusive property of Pet Classics LLC ©2005
1. Determine proper Slope for your dog.
2. Find the height you need the ramp to reach.
3. Select the best Ramp for your dog.
Many dogs take to their new ramps right away, but in the event that you need a few "tricks":
Place the dog ramp flat on the ground and allow your dog to play on and around it. Use treats or toys and make it a game for your pet to walk or run up and down the flat surface.
If your dog is nervous or hesitant about using a grit surface (particularly the heavy-duty grit on aluminum ramps), find a piece of indoor residential plush carpet (use plush - no loops, berbers, rubber backed or indoor/outdoor carpets) and cut a strip to fit the ramp. No need to glue or tape - the grit surface will hold the carpet strip like velcro. Once your dog is comfortable with the ramp you can usually take this carpet away - or continue to use as necessary.
After they've had a chance to acclimate to the ramp, raise the ramp to an intermediate height, such as a curb or a set of 2 or 3 steps. Take your dog by the collar and gently lead your pet up. Encourage them with treats to go up and down the ramp independently.
If you see any hesitation, continue to use the leash or harness to guide your dog on the ramp for the first few uses. This will help give them confidence on their new dog ramp.
DISCLAIMER: This manual, including graphics and charts, is Copyrighted and exclusive property of Pet Classics LLC. Under no circumstances is this document, or its contents, to be distributed or reproduced, in any manner, without explicit written consent from Pet Classics. -- Pet Classics ™ LLC ©2005