10 Best Pet Ramps | March 2017
- covered by a lifetime warranty
- folds flat for storage
- shallow steps not ideal for all dogs
- only 3 inches thick when folded
- firm artificial turf surface
- works well in wet weather
- safe polyurethane materials
- perfect for indoor furniture access
- doesn't slide around on carpet
- works well with raised vehicles
- strong telescoping aluminum frame
- lightweight to carry
- cleans easily with soap and water
- massive 500-pound capacity
- ergonomic handles for portability
- no assembly required
- folds for under-the-bed storage
- handle and steps lock into place
- locks firmly into position
- soft rubber grip for comfort
- can be permanently mounted
Up Goes The Animal
I was desperate to get a dog by the time I entered high school. Mine had always been a cat family, and I was a moderately lonely kid who thought the companionship a dog could offer would fill a bit of the void I felt those days. After plenty of convincing and saving, I finally got my way, and a little beagle made his way into our home.
In many ways, the dog was incredibly smart. In other ways, he could mystify you with his stupidity. During one tantrum, he fell off the back of the couch and hurt one of his knees. Unfortunately, he needed surgery. In many such cases, dogs rely so heavily on the healthy leg, that it eventually succumbs to some similar injury. In two years' time, my little guy underwent two surgeries, one on each ACL.
After that, his mobility was stunted at best. He'd run around if his adrenaline got the better of him, but he'd regret it later, limping around the house like an invalid. In very short order, we found ourselves the proud owners of a handful of ramps and stairs for him to get in and out of cars, or up onto his chair.
Whether you have a pet with an injury or the lingering after-effects of one, or your animal companion is simply getting a little too old or arthritic to climb and jump the way he or she used to, these ramps provide a safe means of transportation from one level to the next. If it's simply a matter of a height too high to jump for even the healthiest of creatures, the fact still holds that these ramps will get your furry friend into a car or onto a couch without worry.
Ramp Up The Decision
Pets are pretty diverse creatures. I always found it strange when friends of mine would have a lot of different animals of different sizes living with them. One couple I've known for years has a chihuahua, a great Dane, a pair of turtles, some cats, and a chinchilla. At least, I think it's a chinchilla. Whatever it is, it bathes in a cloud of dust that they drop into his cage like a dirty bomb.
Whatever the size or style of your pets, keeping them safe is your number one priority, and choosing the right ramp for them can help you out tremendously to that end. Of course, the size of your pet will have a little bearing on the size of the ramp you need.
Given the different kinds of ramps on our list, it's also important to consider where and how you want to use the ramp in question. There are ramps on our list that are clearly intended for use in you car. They're the sturdiest ramps on our list, and they often provide a long gradual slope from the ground into your trunk area or back seat.
Other of the ramps on our list are actually stairs more than they're ramps. While one or two of these might serve for getting a small dog into a small car, the bulk of them are designed for use in the home, to allow your pets easy access onto a couch or into the bed with you.
For the cleanliness of your car and your house, I would actually recommend considering one of each type. You can keep the longer, sturdier ramp in the car for Fido, and he'll be free to get as much mud or debris on it as he wishes without you tracking it into the house for use there. In your living room, you can have a dedicated set of stairs that dogs and cats–and chinchillas–can all use for their convenience.
Climbing Toward The Commode
When I was a cub scout, we learned about simple machines. By definition, a simple machine is any basic mechanical device for the application of force, and there are six of them. You've got the screw, the wheel and axle, the wedge, the pulley, the lever, and the inclined plane. We're most concerned with that last one, as it's the fancy technical term for a ramp.
If you believe that the pyramids were build by aliens, you're welcome to skip to the next paragraph. For the rest of us, the magnificent achievement of the pyramids could not have been realized without the use of certain simple machines, most notably the pulley and the inclined plane. Also, slave labor. We don't want to discount that.
Interestingly, it wasn't until the Renaissance that the inclined plane earned its classification among the other five simple machines. It's understandable in the sense that it doesn't seem very much like a machine, but its effectiveness in reducing a workload is undeniable.
The first legally recognized inclined plane for the transportation of an animal wasn't so much aimed at pets as it was at livestock. For ages, simple planks of wood served this purpose, but E. Burkart filed for a patent in 1972 that describes a collapsible livestock chute, which was essentially a wooden ramp with frets along its surface for the animals to grip as they ascended and descended into and out of trucks.
When the device was aimed at pets, its original intent was to position a dog at the lip of a human toilet in an attempt to train him towards its use. The toilet part didn't stick, but the pet ramp as we know it was born.