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Does your dog need help to climb steps or get up and down from high places? A DIY dog ramp might be the best solution. Keep reading to learn how to build a dog ramp that can aid your dog in a variety of situations.
Why Build a Dog Ramp?
A sturdy do-it-yourself dog ramp can prove useful in a number of scenarios. Small dogs, as well as older dogs with joint health problems, injuries or other mobility issues, can all benefit from having a ramp to assist them getting up and down from human beds and furniture, climbing steps and getting in and out of vehicles. Although steps are a popular choice for helping small dog breeds gauge the distance from the floor to any furniture, the gentle incline provided by a ramp is easier on dogs with joint problems or who may otherwise have difficulty climbing stairs. And while commercial options are available, a DIY dog ramp can be assembled quickly and cheaply. They don't need to be elaborate — in some cases, something as simple as a sheet of plywood supported by cement blocks might do — just make sure to secure them so the ramp doesn't shift when your dog is on it.
How to Build a DIY Dog Ramp
When it comes to building your own dog ramp, your dog's safety is the top priority. Choose a design that meets both you and your dog's needs, and is large enough and sturdy enough to support your dog's weight. A nonskid surface, such as carpeting, is also important to ensure that your dog doesn't slip and fall. The option below is easy to adapt to your own dog's size and weight, and it keeps their safety in mind. The following DIY dog ramp design from Instructables is inexpensive, lightweight and portable. It can serve a number of indoor and outdoor uses.
What You'll Need
Two 6-foot-long wire closet shelves with hanger rails.
Rubber end covers for the exposed wire ends.
A 2-by-6-foot length of outdoor carpet.
An awl, or something capable of poking holes in carpet.
Scissors or a box knife.
Assembling the Ramp
Lay the two shelves side by side on the floor. The back edges of each shelf should be touching each other, and the part of the shelf designed for clothes hangers should be on the outside, sticking up. These will serve as small safety rails to keep your pup's paws from slipping sideways off of the ramp.
Place rubber covers on the exposed ends of the shelves, and use zip ties to secure the shelves together in the middle.
Center the carpet face up on top of the shelves. Use an awl or another sharp tool to poke holes large enough to fit the zip ties at various intervals along the major support rods. Use zip ties to fasten the carpet in place.
Fold the outer flaps of the carpet over the outer rails and continue step three until the carpet is completely tied down.
Use scissors or a box knife to cut off the ends of the zip ties, and position any sharp edges away from where doggie paw pads will be stepping or human fingers will be holding.
This ramp design will accommodate a small to medium-large dog up to about 60 pounds (27.22 kg). You can adapt it for a larger dog by simply placing the shelves a few inches apart and using a wider width of carpet. You can also attach a third shelf — one without a hanger rail — underneath the first two, centered and overlapping both, to provide additional support for heavier breeds.
Building a ramp for your dog doesn't have to be difficult or expensive, and your pup will be sure to appreciate the ease of mobility that even a simple ramp can provide.
Jean Marie Bauhaus
Jean Marie Bauhaus is a pet lover, freelance writer and novelist. She currently lives in the Ozarks with her husband and their gaggle of four-footed dependents, where she enjoys watching a wide array of wild animals in her back yard while drinking her morning coffee.