There’s nothing nicer than spending a day out boating with your dog. Water sports and outdoor fun have always been excellent ways to bond. If you’re looking for the best dog ramp for a pontoon boat, we’re here to help you and have reviewed six of the most popular choices.
But before taking your dog out on a boat ride, one of the most important things to consider is how to get your dog in and out of the water. If you don’t use a ladder or pontoon boat ramp, getting your dog back on board may be difficult, especially if he’s a larger breed.
Before you get your puppy onboard, take a look at our best pontoon dog boat ramp picks for safe and easy boarding. With our guide, you can learn everything you need to know about boat ramps for dogs.
In a rush? Here are the top picks!
PetStep features a unique non-slip rubberized walking surface that can be used for pontoon boats or even cars. This pet ramp is crafted with superior traction in wet or dry conditions. There’s no sandpaper or carpet on the steps, making it soft on your dog’s paws.
We like the folding pet ramp because it has a universal non-slip grip that fits all vehicles and edges, including pontoon boats. It also folds in half for fast and easy storage and portability.
The PetStep Dog Boat Ramp features molded ergonomic handles on both sides of the ramp and can open and close within seconds, making this one of those “must-have” dog boating items. Before using this dog boat ramp offshore, consider adding flotation foam cushions underneath the ramp to support your dog’s weight.
- Priced well
- Available in 2 colorways graphite: gray and khaki beige
- Plastic construction holds up to 500 lbs.
- Over 1,300 positive reviews from satisfied customers
- It does not rust or erode.
- Rubberized walking surface
The Load-A-Pup pontoon boat dog steps are made by Great Day. The dog boat ramp allows your dog to leave and re-enter your boat without any help. It also adjusts to the perfect level enabling your dog to do so with plenty of ease, making your boat trip an easy experience.
We like Great Day Load-A-Pup because it’s designed with gripping ridges to ensure solid footing and protection from injury to the dog’s feet as he climbs back into the boat after a swim. It also features super-strong aircraft suspension cables that will handle any dog breed weight.
- Lightweight aircraft aluminum and finished in a super-tough earth-tone gray powder-coating
- Priced well
- Fits any hunting boat and suitable for freshwater outings
- Crafted with a 14″ x 20″ platform
- Capacity: 200 lbs.
- Good for large breeds
The Beavertail aluminum folding dog ladder is available in olive drab green. It features a solid two-way adjustable ladder that gives your four-legged hunting dog an easy way to enter and exit your duck boat.
Beavertail is made from aluminum and stainless steel construction. We like this product for working dogs because it features rubber arms that fit easily onto your boat without scratching it. It’s a great dog ladder for a pontoon boat that is approximately 24 x 13 x 8 inches and weighs 9.9 pounds.
- Two-way adjustable pontoon dog ladder
- Rubber arms
- It folds easily for fast storage and convenience
- It can be used in boats and cars.
- Holds 120 lbs. of weight
- Reliable on pontoon boats
The Drifter Marine Dog Boat ladder measures in at 39 inches by 16 inches pad and works for dogs up to 125 lbs. The take with this dog boat ramp is that it’s crafted with anodized aluminum construction.
It’s highly durable and features mesh netting for a slip-proof surface and optimized traction. We like this dog boat boarding ladder because not only is this priced well, but it’s corrosion-resistant. The only downside is some dogs may not like to walk on the mesh.
- Folding and adjustable dog boat ladder
- Additional mesh netting
- Adjustable leg standoffs
- Priced well
The Avery Dog Ramp allows for dogs to get back into your boat quickly. This dog boat ramp features a 24-inch L ramp and has grip steps for positive traction to help dogs out. It also folds to a convenient 14 inches for compact storage.
We like these dog stairs for a pontoon boat because it’s priced well and only weighs 2 pounds. There are also stability bars that attach beneath your boat and prevent the ladder from moving. This dog boat ramp is perfect for duck hunting.
- 24 inches in length
- Fully adjustable to fit most boats
- Foldable design
- Grip fabric steps for added safety
The Harbor Mate Aluminum dog boat ramp is one of the best around but comes at a high price point. The 6-foot long pontoon boat ramp works for easy loading and unloading on docks or shores. It’s also perfect for coolers, equipment, pets, children, and adults that enjoy spending time on the water with their furry best friends.
The Harbor Mate Aluminium pontoon boat ramp features heavy-duty 600 lb. weight capacity, so it’s a breeze going out with even giant-sized dog breeds. This heavy-duty dog and pet parent boat ramp make accessing docks, floats, or the beach safe and accessible for everyone, including wet extra large dog breeds. This is by far the best dog ramp for a pontoon boat but is quite expensive.
- Measures 6′ long x 24″ wide; weighs 52 lbs.
- Lightweight aluminum construction
- Traction surface to prevent slipping
- Good for up to 600 lb. weight capacity (giant-sized dog breeds and people)
How to Get Your Wet Dog Back on a Boat?
When spending the day out boating with your furry best friend, it’s essential to consider how to get your wet dog back onto your boat. Also, if you have an arthritic senior dog, it may not be able to go up and down ladder ramps.
If you have a hyperactive dog, you should consider a special dog boating ramp for added safety. Consider how heavy wet dog breeds like Retrievers become after swimming, and you’ll want to get a dog ramp for your pontoon boat.
The Advantages of a Dog Boat Ramp or Ladder
If you opt for a dog boat ramp or ladder, you’ll need to consider a few things first, like your dog’s weight, size, activity level, and so forth. Dog boat ramps are usually attached to your pontoon via a few cords. Alternatively, some dog ladders can grip onto the side of your boat.
When you use a dog boat ramp, you’re giving your dog added safety measures in and out of the water. They’ll have a stable surface to move on. You can also opt for mini docks that are easily attached to the deck’s underside.
You’ll notice that these ramps are slightly submerged beneath the water. The great advantage of using these are that you’ll be giving your puppy a space to stand on when he’s done swimming. That said, it’s essential to keep your dog safe and always use a dog life jacket when in the water.
Swimming & Boating with Dogs
Boating is a fun way to spend time in the water with your puppy. Yet before spending time onboard, be sure your pontoon boat is appropriate for your dog and that you’ve taken all the correct safety measures to protect them in and out of the water. You’ll want to have things like life jackets, sunblock, and plenty of hydration.
Your boat should be large enough for your puppy to move around in and should have sides high enough to keep him securely onboard. If you have a dog breed the size of a Labrador, appropriate boats can be anything from small center consoled outboards like the Boston Whaler to midsized boats like sailboats and cabin cruisers.
How to Go Out on a Boat with Your Dog for the First Time?
It would be best if you started with short boat trips to get your puppy used to the sounds and vibrations of the boat. Your dog also needs to get used to walking on the gangplank or jumping from the dock into the ocean. It would help if you tried rewarding your dog with a favorite treat and lots of encouragement. Never drag him into the water or force him onto the boat.
You can start canoeing, kayaking, or using a rowboat to get your dog used to being out in the water. Keep in mind that this should be done in good weather. Small sailboats should be avoided, and you should skip the Sunfish, Lasers, and Jet Skis.
Always go out with experienced dog boaters that can explain the ropes to you and help get your pup used to the water. Don’t forget to bring along the dog goggles to protect your dog’s eyes from dryness, flying debris on windy days, and to block out UV light.
Canine Personal Flotation Device (PFD)
To keep your dog safe in and out of the boat, make sure that your dog always wears a PFD. There will be a time when your dog will fall off the boat, and a doggie lifejacket will keep your dog afloat and make it easy for you to put them back on board. It would help if you always supervise your dog while onboard or when in the water swimming. Here’s what you should opt for when choosing a flotation device for your pup:
- Bright colors so it’s easy to spot out in the water
- Adjustable belly and chest straps
- Comfortable snug fit
- Reputable and durable pet brand
- Allows for unrestricted motion of front legs
- The sturdy handle on top for easy access to your dog while in the water
- High-quality stitching
Swimming & Boating
Your dog should be familiar with swimming in the pool or playing around in the waves at the beach before going out boating. You can also try out fun dog water sports like dock diving or going out on a short canoe trip to get your pup used to be out in the water with you. Before taking your dog out to the lake or ocean on a boating trip, here’s what you need to know:
- Water conditions
- Weather conditions
- Wave heights
- Don’t allow your pup to drink seawater.
How to Choose a Dog Ramp for a Pontoon Boat?
There are many different types of boat ramps to choose from for pontoon boats, boats, and swimming pools. Dog ramps for SUVs are not a good option, and wood is not an option either. When choosing the best boat ramp for a pontoon boat, you have to make sure that it’s easily attachable and always offers traction when wet. Dog boat ramps have been specifically made for this purpose and are lightweight enough to bring on a pet vacay. Here’s what to look for:
- Universal grip
- Easy to attach or detach
- Ladder attachment arms can be easily adjusted
- Priced well
- Can attach to dock as well
- Durable non-slip materials that also does not rust
- Portable & lightweight
- Weight capacity
- Designed specifically for dogs
- It does not rust or corrode
How to Choose the Best Dog Boat Ramp?
All dogs benefit from dog boat ramps, but senior dogs and dogs with arthritis most especially will benefit from using a boat ramp. A boat ramp should feature a safe and stable platform for your dog to get on or off boats.
Ramps can feature numerous materials with mostly a combination of metal and plastic. Stainless steel and aluminum ramps are anti-corrosive and anti-rust and are made for water use in oceans and lakes.
The dog boat ramp that you choose should be suitable for your dog breed size and weight. Small ramps benefit small dog breeds, and larger breeds do well with ramps with a significant weight capacity. Opt for adjustable dog boat ramps for multi-pet households so that it’s easy to accommodate all dog sizes. The ramp should also be foldable and portable.
Look for a dog boat ramp that can also be used in cars, pools, and boat use. These make for a multi-purpose product that can be used in a few places. Dog boat ramps are suitable for use in and out of cars and work well in smaller dog breeds with difficulties getting in and out of vehicles.
If your dog has a ramp, it will make things much more manageable. Ramps also work well for larger breeds with mobility issues and save you from lifting your dog in and out of the car. You can use them to help dogs climb onto high beds and also into bathtubs.
How to Clean a Dog Boat Ramp?
You should use a mild detergent that’s dog-friendly to clean your dog boat ramp. Towel dry it and fold it for safe storage. Avoid placing it near small children or pets that may damage it during play.
Conclusion for Best Dog Ramp for a Pontoon Boat
If you have a pontoon boat and a large dog, chances are you’re looking for a dog ramp to load your dog in and out of your boat. We’ve evaluated the best dog ramps for a pontoon boat to help you easily pick a product and spent more time out on the water!
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Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need a dog boat ramp for a pontoon boat?
Yes, you do need a dog boat ramp to keep your dogs safe and help them exit and enter a boat quickly. Dog ramps for pontoon boats have a stable frame. They’re boxy and secure in the water but should not be installed too close to the pontoon boat motor.
Where to put a ramp or ladder on a pontoon boat?
The best place to add the ladder or dog ramp on a pontoon boat is the deck. The ramp offers a pet-friendly and easy-to-use method for getting on and off the pontoon boat. You can add the ladder or ramp to the rear Platform above the pontoon or a pontoon’s side gate.
What is a floating ramp for dogs?
A floating ramp helps dogs get out of the water back onto the boat platform. Each dog floating ramp brand will come with a specific set of installation instructions. Most ramps are crafted from plastic or aluminum with stainless steel and are waterproof.
How wide is your boat opening?
Before going out and purchasing a boat ramp for your dog, you’ll need to take a few measurements to ensure that it will work for you.
Telescoping or folding dog boat ramps
Telescoping dog boat ramps allow for more room and allows for less of a steeper surface. The folding ramp gives you more flexibility and more options. Folding ramps also can fold up and make for more accessible storage.
How much can you afford?
High-quality, sturdy ramps for dogs usually cost a little more than $100 and range up to a couple hundred.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) adds that you should do the following when starting on boating trips with your furry best friend.
“Let them visit on board while the boat is docked and make their first trips short ones.
Other safety tips for dogs on boats:
- Put lifejackets on your dogs when the boat is moving or any time you cannot watch your dog closely.
- Pack a pet first aid kit
- Have a safety plan in case a dog goes overboard
- Review local and state water regulations for any rules concerning pets on boats
When the weather’s great outdoors, there’s nothing nicer than heading out to the beach. Whether you’re out boating or swimming at the beach, you should always watch your dog closely and take plenty of breaks so that your dog doesn’t get tired when in the water.
You should also prevent your dog from drinking lake or seawater and provide him with plenty of fresh drinking water that you should keep on hand nearby you. Opt for collapsible camping bowls when out boating for easy carrying. And remember that boat ramps for dogs are an essential part of safety measures for all family members, including Fido.