When taking your dog with you on your travels, it’s sometimes best to have a ramp or step system so that they can safely get into the back of your truck or SUV. If you have a big dog that you can’t lift, then you will need a dog ramp when they get older and have difficulty jumping in and out of the car.
Dog ramps particularly useful for smaller dogs or older dogs who aren’t as agile as they were in their heyday, those dogs that need some extra help when “embarking” into your vehicle.
Puns aside, we’ve done the work of compiling five great dog ramps that’ll work well with your higher-raised vehicles. Each entry has a pros and cons list so you can see their properties and measurements at a glance.
What’s more, we’ve also added a buyers’ guide detailing which features make certain ramps better than others. You’d be surprised by how different planks of wood and plastic can be when their core design elements are compared.
In a hurry? Here are the Top 3 Picks:
We’re leading with the PetSafe Happy Ride Extra Long Telescoping Dog Ramp, the number one bestseller in the category of dog safety ramps, so there’s little wonder why we chose this as our favorite dog ramp.
Being a telescopic dog ramp, it’s capable of a variety of lengths. These vary from forty-seven inches to eighty-seven inches, which should be more than enough variability to cater to trucks and SUVs of all heights. As for its width, it’s twenty inches wide and so should be wide enough to accommodate every dog breed.
The PetSafe dog ramp weighs a reasonable eighteen pounds, so portability isn’t out of the question, and for that eighteen pounds of ramp you’ll get a construct that’s rated and proven to carry pets weighing all the way up to three hundred pounds. Its weight makes it easy to keep in your car and deploy when needed.
The dog ramp surface itself is layered with a high-traction sandpaper-like surface that keeps your dog’s paws firmly on the ramp when they’re walking up it. Some have expressed concern over the use of sandpaper like grit over rubber, since this is something that the dogs can take some time to get used to. I personally like sandpaper because it gives my dog grip when they are walking up the ramp.
Nevertheless, this ramp for dogs is perfect on wet days when your pet’s paws may be slippery or muddy. It also has side rails so your dog can’t accidentally stumble off of the ramp entirely, which is handy for those whose dogs are more clumsy or have trouble walking straight.
Along with their weight, there’s also a safety latch on these ramps that make them easy to store in your vehicle without incident. They won’t accidentally unfurl when in the trunk of your SUV thanks to this latch.
The second ramp on our list is the Pet Loader Light 16-Inch Platform that’s available in three-step, four-step, and five-step variants, though we’d recommend the latter two for vehicles, especially trucks and SUVs. That’s right, this one isn’t so much of a ramp as it is a portable series of steps that fixes to the back of your SUV or truck, allowing your pooch to pounce its way up to your vehicle.
We’ll mention right here that this product is best suited to SUVs and similar vehicles and won’t reach many truck beds, especially if you have a raised truck. If you’re unsure of whether your vehicle is compatible, you can find a sizing chart on its product page.
As a step system, it’s capable of a level of compactness that most ramps can’t achieve. It’s able to reach vehicles between 20 and 30 inches high when set up, it then folds down to just 7.5 inches as it gets packed away. This makes it a great option for those who want to be as efficient with their car space as possible.
The step system is particularly designed with a low angle that makes ascending and descending these steps less intimidating to dogs, hopefully making the process of your dog learning to use this product faster. The steps on this dog ramp has a wide deck too, so your canine has ample room to walk and avoid becoming stressed at having to balance themselves. The surface is also carpeted for the maximum comfort of your dog while they are walking up the ramp.
Outside of the product itself, you should know that they’re approved by veterinarians and are even used in hospitals and rehab centers that deal a lot with aged or injured dogs. The Pet Loader ramp has been heavily tested for many vehicles. This dog ramp is a comfortable and effective way for your dog to get in and out of your SUV.
At the midpoint of our list is the PetSTEP Original Folding Pet Ramp, a universal pet ramp that works for most vehicle types covered. It’s an advanced composite plastic construction that weighs in at eighteen point five pounds but, when set up, supports as much as five hundred pounds. This is more than enough to accommodate any dog breed.
The standout selling point with the PetSTEP Original Ramp is the fact that it uses a unique, non-slip rubberized walking surface that’s super comfortable for your dog whilst providing superior traction. This keeps your dog firmly on the ramp when it’s wet out, or when the dog’s paws are slippery because of water or mud. Speaking of non-slip, it also has grips that are designed to fit the edges of many vehicles, enhancing this ramp’s compatibility potential.
Once this dog ramp has been used, it will fold in half so that it stores easily. The ramp will easily fit into your vehicle’s trunk once it has served its purpose. The PetSTEP ramp is also much easier to carry because of the ergonomic handles located at either side of the ramp. When it comes time to clean this ramp, you can rest assured that the material won’t rust if you clean it with soap and water.
For our fourth choice, we picked the Pet Gear Full Length Dog Ramp, a quintessential dog ramp design that comes in either bi-fold or tri-fold variants depending on your needs. It measures in at seventy-one inches long and sixteen inches wide, providing ample length to lift your dog onto many vehicles like trucks and SUVs while being wide enough that your animal doesn’t get anxious or scared.
The folding mechanism that these ramps have makes compact storage a viable option in all but the smallest of vehicles, and it has built-in handles molded into them that make it much easier to carry around when it’s out of the car. When the Pet Gear dog ramp is being used on the car, you’ll find that rubber grippers on the bottom of the ramp stabilizes it and ensures the ramp doesn’t slip when your dog is climbing in your vehicle.
Speaking of slip resistance, the surface is also coated with a slide-resistant carpet that keeps your dog’s paws in place without being too harsh on them. Between this and the rubber gripper feet, this dog ramp is the ideal choice for dogs who have had trouble with unreliable ramps in the past.
With that said, this ramp does have the lowest of all the weight capacities on this list at just two hundred pounds. If you have an extra large dog then this dog ramp wouldn’t work.
Let’s finish with a ramp that is a little different. For our final dog ramp, we have the quirky but space-efficient option for those who need a dog step for their truck or SUV and want one that’s subtle and easy to deploy.
If you have a hitch on your truck or SUV, it effectively halves the distance your dog has to travel, making it the ultimate accessibility option for dogs who aren’t in their prime. When tallied up, it allows for six inches of height adjustment. This is great for dogs who may have hip dysplasia or other issues jumping up and down large distances.
This is definitely the option if your truck has a hitch that doesn’t get much use and is usually open all the time. We’d recommend the twist and step version, which is the version we’re reviewing, since it can then fold underneath your vehicle, so you don’t have to constantly attach and detach the dog ramp. What’s more is the ramp can be used for people too!
For how compact and simple it is, it’s surprisingly durable and can handle as much as four hundred pounds of weight. The stepping surface is also ridged to provide traction when stepping on and off of the ramp.
Best Dog Ramps for SUVs and Trucks Buying Guide
Even the most athletic dogs need help sometimes especially as your dog ages. They will need assistance in jumping into your SUV or truck because the height is often too high. Whether you have a smaller dog or an older one, you should know that dog ramps aren’t all created the same.
In fact, there’s a surprising amount of construction variables that make different ramp brands and types differ, and there’s a wide variety of dog breeds that may have compatibility issues with certain ramps.
You should be aware of the factors when making your purchase, so you can grab the best dog ramp for your pet. This buyers’ guide will break down these ramps into the core components and considerations you should have in mind when ordering them.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but there are different ramps available for different purposes. Since you’re primarily concerned with high vehicle dog ramps, you should make sure the ramp you’re getting is intended for vehicular use and not a leisure model made for a couch or bed because they won’t be durable or able to compact down.
There are several dog ramps available that are made for furniture or staircases, so stay away from those and instead get a dog ramp that was designed for vehicle.
Fixed, Folding, or Telescopic Functionality
Fixed ramps aren’t common for use with vehicles. This is because they’re usually made for lower heights, which is great for furniture but isn’t so handy when dealing with SUVs and trucks. Instead, the question should be whether you go for a folding or a telescopic ramp.
The best features of a folding and telescopic dog ramp is that they pack down to a smaller size, making them more suited for portable carrying and storage inside your vehicle. Telescopic ramps are generally easier to extend since they don’t rely on hinges and latches, instead extending out from itself which minimizes the chance of accidents when unpacking them. However, folding ramps tend to be more durable and can support more weight due to the hinges.
If your ramp is folding or telescopic, it will require packing and unpacking. It’s a good idea to buy a dog ramp with built-in handles that make carrying these compacted ramps much easier. It’s usually pretty difficult to carry an object that is around 20 pounds without a hand.
Traction and Safety
You want your ramp to be secure, and one of the most effective ways to do that is to coat the surface of the ramp with a high-traction coating. There is usually one of three materials used in dog ramps for trucks and SUVs: sturdy carpeting, gritty sandpaper-like material, or heavy-duty rubber. Since your dog can get afraid when climbing on unstable objects, you want them to feel safe and sturdy without having the surface coating harm their paws.
Heavy-duty rubber is one of the best materials, but it’s also the most expensive. Carpet provides less grip for your dog’s paws, but it is soft on your dog’s paws. A gritty surfacing is better at stabilizing your dog, but has a higher chance of scratching your dog’s paws.
On the safety front, it’s a good idea to have latches that can secure your ramp to the vehicle. This stops the dog ramp from falling when your dog is on it and also provides stability. Some also have small railings on the side so more excitable dogs physically cannot fall off.
Durability is very important when getting a ramp for your dog since you want it to be able to carry the weight of your dog and not break. These ramps should be weather-resistant if they’re going to be exposed to the outside.
In the product selection above you’ll find that there’s a wide variety in how many pounds a ramp can reasonably bear. The products that we reviewed hold dog breeds that weigh from 200 to 400 pounds. This is all going by manufacturer guidelines, of course, which we’d advise you to approach these numbers with a little skepticism.
Our rule would be to subtract 50 pounds from the manufacturer’s claim, so you can rest assured an ostensibly 300-pound ramp will carry more than a 200 one. Just don’t go near the weight limit of the dog ramp, and you should be fine.
Conclusion for Best Dog Ramps for SUVs and Trucks
There are many options to choose from when selecting a ramp for your SUV or truck. First, you want to make sure that it can reach the height of your truck bed or trunk. Second, you want to choose the right kind of dog ramp whether is be a folding ramp or telescopic ramp. Lastly, you want to make sure that the ramp is safe and durable for your dog. Our list of the best dog ramps for SUVs and trucks will help you select a great ramp if you dog can’t jump into your car.
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Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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