As pet parents, we want to include our dogs in as many of our day to day activities as possible — from camping to exploring new lands to simply running to the grocery store and back.
Regardless of what your day entails, in order to get from one place to another, a car ride is almost certainly involved.
Now, it’s no secret that most dogs love riding in the car, window cracked and ears flapping happily in the breeze. But as much as we want to bring them along for the ride, it’s important that we keep their comfort in mind.
If you have a dog that loves to travel in the SUV with you, looking into purchasing a quality pet ramp may be necessary.
Not only does it help to prevent future bone and joint problems, but it also eases any existing health issues your dog may currently have.
Getting him into the routine of using a ramp as early as possible in life is a good idea for maintaining optimal health.
How Can a Ramp Help You and Your Dog?
When we prepare to take a journey with our dog, most of us don’t put a lot of thought into the process of getting him in and out of the car safely.
In fact, many dogs are so excited to be going for a ride that they’ll happily leap up into the backseat without hesitation, or jump down to exit the vehicle.
While they may not show any signs of discomfort while doing so, even dogs in the prime of their life can suffer damage from repeated leaping.
This is because the motion of jumping can be very rough on their joints, and it can also result in injuries to the paw pads, broken nails, or even trauma to the spine.
However, there are plenty of other reasons why you might want to consider getting a pet ramp.
For example, if you have a dog that’s from a smaller sized breed or a puppy, they simply may not be able to make the jump into the car.
A dog ramp saves you and your back the trouble of bending over to pick them up, or set them down each time you want to go somewhere.
If you have an elderly dog or one who’s recovering from surgery or trauma, having a ramp is absolutely necessary.
The reason being is that you want them to be as comfortable as possible, and simply walking up a ramp is far easier on their bodies than trying to scramble up on their own.
Below are the best dog ramps for SUV’s.
What Are the Best Dog Ramps for SUV’s?
1. Gen7Pets Natural Step Ramp for Pets
This mini ramp has an innovative surface that maximizes grip and minimizes scratches to your pet’s paws.
It’s made of synthetic grass, which provides a soft yet stable surface to minimize injuries to the paw pads or broken nails.
Since animals’ natural instinct when going up or downhill is to dig their nails in for added traction, this is a great solution.
With dimensions of 42″ long and 16″ wide and a max weight of 200 pounds, your dog has enough room to maneuver as he makes his way to the back of the SUV.
Additionally, the easy to fold and unfold design coupled with a weight of only 10 pounds makes it perfect to stash in the car while on the go, or under the bed when not in use.
This product is manufactured by Gen7Pets, a company based in Elverson, Pennsylvania that specializes in creating products that allow your pet to be as mobile, safe, and comfortable as possible.
Each ramp includes a soft carrying handle, as well as a safety latch to avoid accidental opening.
- Grass-like material
- Easy to fold
- Very lightweight
- Stores easily
- Incline can be a little steep for some dogs
Bottom Line: If your dog has trouble walking on typical pet ramps, the natural yield and stability provided by the synthetic grass material provide safe and comfortable traction for most breeds.
2. Pet Gear Free Standing Ramp for Dogs
This free-standing, carpeted ramp is extremely easy to transport and designed with your dog’s comfort and safety in mind.
It doesn’t need to be attached to a vehicle or furniture, and has a removable mat for easy cleaning.
Measuring 56″ length x 16″ width, the ramp can safely accommodate pets up to 200 pounds.
On top of that, it weighs only 17 pounds, meaning you can easily fold it in half, and take it along wherever you want to go (or store it).
The addition of rubber safety grips on the ramp’s feet provides additional stability, while the raised edges help to prevent accidental slipping.
This product is manufactured by Pet Gear Inc, which is a division of Vermont Juvenile Furniture. While the company started with baby products, they’ve since expanded to include an impressive selection of products for the family pet.
Each ramp includes a built-in handle for easy carrying, as well as the removable carpet for maximum traction.
- Removable carpet
- Folds easily
- Can become unsteady or shaky in wet conditions, or on uneven ground
Bottom Line: This ramp is a wonderful pick for medium to large-sized dogs. It’s simple to take up and down, and will put no limits on the places you and your canine companion can visit.
3. PetSafe Solvit Deluxe Telescoping Pet Ramp
This sturdy ramp is extremely convenient, and it even comes with raised railings for maximum safety.
If you have a large dog that loves to accompany you in the car, it should definitely make your list.
The adjustable design ranges from 39 to 72 inches, meaning you can quickly and easily alter the length and slope to accommodate your pet’s needs.
Plus, it’s incredibly rugged, built from a combination of aluminum and plastic.
With a maximum weight capacity of up to 400 pounds, even larger breeds are able to confidently get in or out of the car without becoming frightening by a shaking or swaying ramp.
Despite that, it still weighs just 13 pounds, which allows for easy transportation, and it has a specialized non-skid surface similar to what you would find on a skateboard.
This minimizes any chance of your pup slipping or losing their footing while entering or exiting the car.
This product is manufactured by PetSafe, which is well-known for its products related to electronic dog training. Established in 1991, PetSafe is dedicated to producing merchandise that works to enhance the quality of pets all over the world.
Each ramp comes with a carry handle for easy lugging, as well as a safety latch that prevents sudden opening.
- Sturdy and stable
- Ideal for larger breeds
- Adjustable length
- Non-skid surface
- The surface can be a little rough on the dog’s paw pads
Bottom Line: This is an good choice for taking your larger breed dog on the road. Sturdy, durable, and fully adjustable, you’ll find this ramp a valuable addition to your family’s travels.
4. PetSTEP Original Folding Pet Ramp
This ramp is another great option for larger dog breeds. Not only is it designed for maximum safety and comfort, but you can also take it just about anywhere with you.
As a safety measure, some pet ramps use rough material to prevent your pet from slipping, yet this same material is also very rough on the bottom of their paws.
This one has a rubber-like surface that’s at once soft and comfortable, while still providing superior traction, even in wet conditions.
At 70″ long and 17″ wide, and with a weight capacity of up to 500 pounds, even the largest breed dogs can hit the road in comfort and safety.
Plus, the combinations of fiberglass and plastic makes it extremely durable, and can be easily cleaned without worrying about rust.
This product is manufactured by PetStep International Inc. An Illinois based company that specializes in providing owners with quality pet ramps for companion animals.
Each ramp comes with a 5-year warranty in case of malfunction.
- Perfect for large dog breeds
- Unique rubber surface
- Suitable for wet conditions
- 5-year warranty
- Rubber material can become scratched or wear out
Bottom Line: This is an excellent ramp for owners with large breeds. With ample width and a gradual incline, it’s also highly beneficial for elderly dogs, or those with mobility issues.
What to Look for in Dog Ramps for SUV’s?
Selecting a ramp for your dog generally comes down to two major components — compatibility and safety.
It goes without saying that the ramp needs to be the right height to allow your dog to easily get on and off of the vehicle. Likewise, you need to be aware of the weight limit of the ramp.
This is particularly important if you own a large dog, as you must be sure that the ramp can safely support his full weight.
As a general rule, the longer the ramp, the more gradual the slope. While puppies or otherwise very healthy dogs may be fine with a short, steeper slope, if your dog has mobility problems, you need a gentle, gradual slope to ensure maximum comfort.
Anytime you’re hitting the road, odds are you want to travel as lightly as you can. Particularly on longer road trips where space is limited, having a dog ramp that’s both lightweight and foldable is key.
If your dog is traveling with you during rain, snow, or other less than desirable weather conditions, the ramp can become slick and cause him to fall. Therefore, it’s highly recommended that you look for a ramp that has some sort of anti-skid surface in place to prevent accidents.
How to Get Your Dog to Use the Ramp?
If your dog doesn’t like the ramp or is otherwise afraid of it, try laying it on the floor first as flat as possible. Then, lure him with a treat in your hand while he walks across it. Gradually raise the ramp and continue to repeat this process.
As the ramp gets higher, your dog may refuse to go up. In this case, you can give him a treat each time he puts his paw on the ramp, and every time he starts to move forward, even if it’s just a few steps.
Once your dog starts to feel comfortable using the ramp, you can reduce the number of treats by rewarding him only halfway up the ramp, or at the far end of it.
Of course, when he finally makes it all the way up, be sure to celebrate his success, and shower him with praise for a job well done.