The Ultimate Dog Ramp Review
Every day I get asked ‘Which is the best dog ramp for me?’, in truth this is such a difficult question to answer as everyone has a unique set of requirements. However I will try to guide you through the maze of dog ramps to help you to choose the right ramp for you.
To help you to decide you need to take into consideration two important factors, the weight of your dog and the height of the vehicle that you are putting the ramp on. The weight of your dog is important as each dog ramp has a load capacity and the last thing you need is the dog ramp collapsing with your dog on it.
Lots of consideration is required when choosing the length of a ramp as the incline of the ramp is vital, too steep and your dog will refuse to use it or potentially slip off and injure themselves. Therefore you need to choose a ramp that is appropriate in length to suit the height of your vehicle from the floor. Right now you know the key two important factors lets review the dog ramps that are currently available to customers within the UK.
The first ramp to review is a range of wooden dog ramps that are made within the UK by a company called PremiumDogRamps, these are solid wood ramps with a rubber mat stapled on the surface. In all honesty we were surprised by the weight of these ramps, certainly most people would struggle with these as they are just too heavy. These ramps have a rubbery surface, which when wet would cause problems with grip and we felt a dog could easily slip off. Our overall opinion would be to give these ramps a wide berth.
There is a lighter wooden dog ramp available that is made from slatted wood and it has a sponge carpet type of surface. This ramp sold by a company called BargainBrands is quite a narrow ramp and the ramp isn’t particularly long but it is a good short term option if you have a low car and a dog that isn’t too heavy. The image of this dog ramp shows a german shepherd on the ramp but our experience is that you wouldn’t want to use this ramp with a dog of that size, so unless your dog is small to medium in size you might want to look for an alternative. One possibility for this ramp is for getting dogs into rear doors as they don’t tend to open fully and therefore a narrow ramp might just be suitable.
The next group of dog ramps to review are the folding dog ramps. These generally consist of ramps that are either manufactured by ‘Saunders’ or the American brand ‘Pet Gear’, all these ramps fold and unfold for easy set up. Saunders dog ramps are made in the UK and are very basic in style and yet built to carry any breed, they really are a very strong dog ramp and can easily carry a Newfoundland or other large breed. They do have an ant-slip surface which consists of a patterned surface for grip which is not abrasive, but seems to work well. Saunders manufacture two models the DR1 and the DR2 these two ramps are basically the same ramp but the DR2 dog ramp has a set of legs that flip out from beneath which makes the incline less so is ideal for 4 x 4 vehicles and higher backed vehicles, in fact these extra legs make the incline the same as if the ramp was 84″ long. If there is one disappointing aspect of the Saunders dog ramps it is their width, they are a little on the narrow side, but the huge plus point is the fact they fold up so neatly and take up less space then any other dog ramp on the market.
The Pet Gear folding dog ramps have been produced now for a few years and the range is extensive with ramps varying in length from 42″ – 71″. As a general rule all the bi fold ramps of 42″ length are only suitable for estate cars and really low backed vehicles. One general assumption is that a ramp of 42″ long will be suitable for a hatchback car but this is not the case as these will be too short. This is a common mistake by customers who don’t take into consideration the higher lip on most hatchbacks, so really the only type of folding dog ramps are the longer ones like the Ultra Travel Lite dog ramp at 66″ long.
Most 4 x 4 vehicles are quite high from the floor and for this reason you will need a ramp of at least 71″ long otherwise the incline will be too steep. Most dogs will refuse to use a ramp that is too steep and the general rule is that a ramp must not be steeper than 30 degrees from the floor. Pet Gear have produced a Tri Fold dog ramp for a number of years but if there was an issue with this ramp it was the weight as at 11.5kg it was too heavy even though it was a good strong dog ramp. The good news is that Pet Gear have recently brought out the new lighter version Tri Fold travel lite dog ramp which is much lighter and yet the same length of 71″ so its ideal for most 4 x 4’s and hatchbacks. This Tri Fold travel lite is a very flexible ramp but its best selling point is that it folds into a very compact and portable dog ramp which fits in even the smallest of boots.
All Pet Gear dog ramps are coated in an abrasive anti –slip surface which has proven to be the best overall surface to ensure that dogs don’t slip off, the surface is extremely grippy and works well in all weather conditions even in wet. One point to bear in mind is that as these ramps are abrasive it is not advisable to put them onto leather car seats!
The final group of dog ramps to review are the telescopic dog ramps manufactured by Solvit dog ramps of America. These are available in two sizes the standard deluxe telescopic dog ramp and the XL extra long version. One significant benefit of these ramps over the folding dog ramps is that they are adjustable in length, so this is ideal if you have a couple of different vehicles to put the dog ramp onto, its also ideal if someone parks close behind your car and you need to get the dog into the car. The deluxe telescopic ramp is 71″ long whilst the XL ramp is 84″ long which is the largest dog ramp on the market and is ideal for very large breeds or for customers with very high vehicles. These Solvit ramps have aluminium extendable side rails which have the benefit of making sure the ramp does not flex, if you are looking for a very stable dog ramp then this is the ramp for you. Certainly if you have a nervous dog they will feel very confident on these ranps as the ramp will not shake or bounce and the high edge rails will give the most nervous dog some confidence.
Solvit ramps are very light for their size and the ramps are easy to extend and manoeuvre, however you do need to check the folded dimensions of this ramp prior to purchasing to ensure they will fit in your vehicle. These ramps have an identical anti-slip abrasive surface to the Pet Gear ones so the grip is excellent in all weather conditions. Overall the Solvit dog ramps are perhaps the best offering and certainly we rate these as an excellent product , strong , light and suitable for all breeds.
If you are interested in viewing the majority of the dog ramps we have reviewed then please see these dog ramps at http://www.easyanimal.co.uk/dogs/dog-ramps.html . If you would like to get free advice on choosing the right dog ramp for you then you can contact the author of this article on 0800 849 8844.