Getting the correct height ramp is of crucial importance to your dog’s health and wellbeing, get it wrong and your pet may not feel confident to operate their ramp comfortably due to incorrect height, length or width requirements. The last thing we would want to achieve is harming our pet in any way so, since you are on this page, you deserve a ‘best owner of the year’ award for being diligent. Below we detail some of the factors to consider when choosing the perfect dog ramp for your pet.
Ensure the platform is not too steep
Dusting off the old tape measure and detailing the height from the back of your vehicle or other destination to the floor is a very good practice prior to buying a dog ramp. The higher your vehicle, the steeper the incline. Period. You wouldn’t expect your dog to climb a near vertical height, so expecting your dog to get into the back of your SUV/Truck on a 30 Inch height ramp or staircase could cause real damage to your pooch and defeat the purpose of getting a ramp in the first place.
The way to overcome this is by getting an idea of the size of ramp in which you like the look of on amazon and write down its length when unfolded, extend a tape measure from the back of your vehicle to the floor using the length written down as a reference point. For example, if we had a 70inch ramp in length, we would extend the tape measure to 70Inches (177.8cm) and touch the floor with the tape measure on the 70inches measurement point.
Then assess the gradient of the measuring tape and decide whether you need a shorter or lengthier ramp depending on what you think your dog is capable of. It is important to be prepared; however, an essence of judgement is needed from the owner to assess the likelihood of their pet being able to ascend/descend the ramp comfortably depending on the incline that the tape measure creates.
Understanding the signs of your pet struggling
Pets are unable to talk, therefore are unable to let you know easily when they are in pain or are struggling to perform a task, so keeping an eye out for these signs when your dog ascends your chosen dog ramp is key to ensuring they remain comfortable, confident and safe.
Older or unwell dogs will take longer to ascend the ramp, fact, so be incredibly patient and try not to intervene unless entirely necessary, ascending the ramp entirely unaided will boost their confidence greatly and give them more of a chance to get a grip of how the ramp feels on their paws and functions.
However, this may not always be as easy, if you see your pet’s legs begin wobbling without the ramp flexing or they become unbalanced, supporting their weight further with a dog (LINK)safety harness(LINK) or conventional leash may prove successful and give your pet the boost they need to reach their destination.
If your dog begins whimpering or is unable to ascend the ramp at any height regardless of the aid you provide, you should immediately remove them safely and slowly from the ramp and consider contacting your local veterinary service and discussing whether a dog ramp is a suitable device for your dogs to be using at all. This would be incredibly unfortunate news, however sometimes joint issues such as severe arthritis and hip dysplasia will cause your dog to be in incredible pain so may need some physiotherapy, medication or surgery prior to attempting to use a ramp.
There are many (LINK) extra’s and add-ons(LINK) that you may need to consider to ensure your dog is compatible with the functionalities of a dog ramp.
If you are ever in need of further advice about your pets specific condition, contacting your local veterinary service may answer any further questions that you have that we did not answer, please consider contacting us if you feel we missed any useful information or if you require any further information about the specifics of a ramp on our (LINK)contact page(LINK)