Taking your dog with you makes just about anything more fun, whether it’s an exciting adventure or just running a few errands. Unfortunately, it’s difficult for some dogs, or even painful or dangerous to hop up and down from the car. If that’s your dog, then you need the best dog ramp for the car.
What Dogs Might Benefit from Dog Ramps for Cars?
Dog ramps help reduce stress on dogs’ joints from jumping and landing as they enter and exit a car. They also help avoid injuries from jumping or landing improperly. Because of this, dogs in a few different categories might benefit from dog ramps.
If you own a small breed dog, you know just how spunky they can be. Dogs frequently jump in and out of cars or on and off furniture as if they don’t have a care in the world.
Unfortunately, this “can-do” attitude stops many small dog owners from realizing the stress on their dog’s little joints. After all, how would your joints feel if you had to jump up and down all the time just to navigate your usual environment?
Puppies will get a lot of the same benefits from car ramps that small dogs do because, well, they’re still small. But there’s an additional advantage as well.
You see, puppies’ bones and joints are still developing, putting them especially at risk for joint problems. At the same time, puppies aren’t fully coordinated yet either (This sentence appears to be written in the passive voice. Consider writing in the active voice.).
Even once they’re big enough to jump in and out of the car on their own, jumping and landing can lead to injury of developing joints and bones. Doing those things sloppily makes the risk even higher.
And it’s not just the immediate injury that can be a concern. Even if your dog seems to take hopping in and out of the car like a champ, the slight stress from each of those jumps and landings adds up over time.
Senior Dogs and Dogs with Arthritis or Other Joint Problems
As we age, the collective stress that our joints have experienced begins to catch up to them. The same goes for dogs. However, dogs can experience joint problems at any age. Even dogs that don’t have joint issues currently but have risk factors for them can benefit from a ramp.
Dogs in Recovery
Finally, dogs that have recently experienced an injury or undergone surgery are generally not supposed to be jumping around. A ramp allows them to get in and out of your car without you having to pick them up, which can cause them pain and comes with a risk of pain and injury for you as well, especially for larger dogs.
How to Choose the Best Dog Ramp for Cars
There are a few things to consider when choosing the perfect dog ramp for your car and pet:
First things first: a ramp needs to be able to support your dog’s weight. Otherwise, it only makes your dog more likely to get injured when the ramp collapses rather than saving them from pain and injury as intended.
Fortunately, all of the ramps we’ve listed below have a weight limit of at least 200 pounds, so few dogs will be too large for them. And for the few that are, there are a couple of ramps with even higher weight limits that they can use.
Ramp Size and Design
The ramp needs to be wide enough for your dog to feel comfortable walking on it. It also needs to be the right length to create a comfortable angle for your dog, around 18 to 20 degrees.
Telescoping ramps are convenient since they let you customize the length of the ramp for the height of your car so you can nail the perfect angle for your pup.
Since they collapse down, they’re also easier to store and carry. Folding ramps allow for similarly compact storage without the customizable length. And speaking of carrying, you also want your ramp to be lightweight enough for you to move it when you need to.
Finally, a car dog ramp should have a grippy surface to prevent your dog from sliding. This will make it easier and more comfortable for them to use the ramp and help avoid injury.
First up is the WeatherTech PetRamp Folding Dog Ramp.
WeatherTech is known for its high-quality car accessories and this ramp is no exception,
With a 300 pounds weight capacity, the WeatherTech PetRamp Folding Dog Ramp is suitable for dogs of all sizes.
It weighs 16 pounds, which is more than a lot of competitors, but that’s because of the proprietary resin that WeatherTech uses for this ramp, which makes it durable and strong. In fact, for its size and strength, this WeatherTech ramp is actually quite lightweight.
The dog ramp folds in half for easy, compact storage. It also has a built-in carry handle for convenient movement.
Unfolded, the ramp measures 67 inches long and it’s 33.5 inches long when folded. The ramp is 15 inches wide, which should be wide enough for most dogs to feel comfortable.
And speaking of comfort, rubber grips on each end prevent the ramp from sliding on either the ground or your vehicle. Coupled with the high traction walking surface and side rails, that allows your dog to feel comfortable and confident as they use the ramp to enter and exit your car.
The WeatherTech PetRamp Folding Dog Ramp is manufactured in the United States and comes with WeatherTech’s limited lifetime warranty.
- The 300-pound maximum weight capacity means that this dog ramp works for any dog, regardless of size.
- The 16-pound weight, folding design, and convenient carry handle make the dog ramp easy to move around and store.
- The ramp and rubber feet on both the car and ground ends to prevent it from slipping, preventing injury and allowing your dog to use the ramp comfortably.
- A high traction molded surface ensures that your pup’s paws won’t slip.
- The ramp is made from strong, durable resin to ensure that it lasts for your dog’s lifetime.
- There’s no locking mechanism to keep the ramp in the folded position while being carried or stored.
- The ramp’s length is not adjustable, so the ramp’s angle may be a bit extreme for taller cars.
- At the same time, the ramp will require a lot of space for use with cars that are lower to the ground.
PetSafe is another company known for their high-quality products, but they focus on pet products. The PetSafe Happy Ride Deluxe Telescoping Pet Ramp shows that level of quality.
This ramp’s primary useful feature is the telescoping design, which allows you to achieve the perfect angle for your dog, no matter how tall your vehicle is. You can adjust the length of this ramp from just 39 inches all the way to 72 inches. A safety latch holds the ramp at the correct length while it’s in use or being stored.
The 17 inch width is comfortable for virtually all dogs. The short rails on each side and the high traction walking surface will help them feel more secure.
And it’s strong too. The aluminum and plastic design allows for a 400 pound weight capacity, so the ramp can support any size of dog. That weight limit is also independently tested, so you can rest assured that you can trust it.
Despite its strength, the PetSafe Happy Ride Deluxe Telescoping Pet Ramp is lightweight, weighing just 13 pounds.
Between the low weight, compact size when collapsed, and the telescoping design, this ramp is straightforward to move around and store. Since it’s telescoping, rather than folding, it’s a mere 4 inches tall, even when collapsed.
- The PetSafe Happy Ride Deluxe Telescoping Pet Ramp has an incredibly high weight capacity, 400 pounds, thanks to its plastic and aluminum frame.
- The telescoping design allows you to adjust the length of the ramp to perfectly suit your dog, your car, and the amount of space you have available.
- The telescoping design also allows the ramp to collapse into a small size for convenient storage and carrying without just relocating bulk to the thickness of the ramp.
- It weighs just 13 pounds for easy movement.
- The PetSafe Happy Ride Deluxe has feet at the bottom and a textured surface at the top to keep the ramp from sleeping, but they don’t seem as effective as the WeatherTech equivalents.
- There are no built in handles for carrying the ramp, though PetSafe does sell a carrying case separately.
- The surface provides traction but may not provide enough for all dogs to feel comfortable. It can also be scratched by dogs’ nails.
Kurgo is one of my personal favorite companies for pet travel and safety gear. I use their Tru-Fit Enhanced Harness to keep my own dog, Ginger, safe in the car. I’d actually been thinking about getting the Kurgo Wander Collapsible Dog Ramp as well, since my sweet girl loves car rides but hates climbing into the car on her own, so I was very excited to get the chance to review it here.
Kurgo specifically recommends this dog ramp for older dogs and dogs with joint problems like arthritis and dysplasia, but it can be used for any dog up to 200 pounds.
Sure, the weight capacity is lower than the other ramps we’ve discussed so far, but it’s still high enough to cover almost all dogs. It also allowed Kurgo to construct this ramp with even more lightweight materials, so the Wander Collapsible Dog Ramp weighs a mere 10 pounds.
This is another dog ramp with a folding design for more convenient storage. Like other folding ramps, it’s a bit thick when folded (8 inches), but I think that’s a fair trade for the low weight. The ramp is 15.5 inches wide. It’s 62 inches long unfolded and 32 inches long folded.
- Kurgo has an excellent reputation for safety that, in my opinion, makes this ramp all the more trustworthy.
- The 200-pound weight capacity is enough for all but the largest dogs.
- The ramp folds in half and weighs just 10 pounds, making it easy to move around for even the most petite dog owners.
- It’s incredibly fast and easy to put up and take down, so getting your dog in and out of the car doesn’t have to be a big production.
- This dog ramp comes with a lifetime warranty from Kurgo.
- There are no grips on the bottom of either end of the ramp, so slipping may occur, especially on smooth floors like those found in some garages.
- The ramp’s surface is textured to provide traction, but it may not be enough to keep larger dogs from slipping, especially at steeper angles. It can also be rough on paws with frequent use.
- 8 inches thick when folded, which may present a problem for storage in smaller spaces.
The Pet Gear Travel Lite Ramp is our most budget-friendly ramp, but don’t think that means it’s anything but a high-quality dog ramp.
It’s available in three different lengths: 42 inches, 66 inches, and 71 inches. That way you can choose the right length for your car and dog. Each is 16 inches wide and has a 200 pound weight capacity.
The two shorter are bi-fold dog ramps, meaning they fold in half, while the longest length is tri-folding, meaning that it folds into thirds. This allows the ramp to fold down to a compact size, despite its longer length, perfect for small cars.
The 71 inch version is also available in an extra wide version, which is 19.5 inches wide. This extra wide version is great for larger or less confident dogs.
The bottom of the ramp has rubber grips to prevent it from sliding and the top has supertraX tread. SupertraX tread is a soft, textured material that gives your dog plenty of traction but is still comfortable for their feet. It’s also removable to make cleaning a breeze.
The weight of these ramps obviously varies by length, but for the most part they’re light enough to be portable. Even the 71 inch version weighs just 16 pounds. The built-in carry handle helps with portability and a locking latch ensures that the ramp stays folded while you carry it.
- The affordable price makes the Pet Gear Travel Lite Ramp a great option for those looking for a more budget-friendly option.
- It’s available in three length options, allowing you to choose the perfect length for your needs, unlike other folding dog ramps for cars.
- The supertraX treading provides enough traction for large dogs and steep angles, but it’s very comfortable for dogs’ paws.
- The lightweight materials, built-in carry handle, and latch closure make it easy to carry the ramp.
- This ramp doesn’t have side rails to help keep your dog’s paws from slipping off the side or help them feel more comfortable on the ramp.
- The ramp may be too wide to sit flat in the door opening and it needs to be able to sit flat to be safe and secure. This is especially true for the wider width, so be sure to measure your car first.
- The ramp may bend slightly under larger dogs’ weight. Though it’s strong enough to support dogs up to 200 pounds, this can make dogs — and their owners — nervous.
Last up is another dog ramp from Pet Gear, but this ramp’s free-standing design sets it apart from all four of the other ramps we’ve talked about.
The Pet Gear supertax Free Standing Ramp is entirely self-supporting thanks to a built-in stand for the ramp. This means that there’s no need to rest the top of the ramp on your vehicle, so the top can’t slip off. It also makes it safer and easier to use the ramp to let the dog climb up onto seats since there’s no need to make sure the top of the ramp sits on a flat surface.
The stand folds underneath the ramp and the ramp itself folds in two for portability and storage. It doesn’t have a built-in carry handle, but it does have a latch to keep the ramp folded while you’re moving it.
The ramp is 56 inches long and 16 inches wide. The stand positions the top of the ramp 23 inches off the ground. The stand adds extra weight to the ramp, so it weighs 18 pounds, more than other ramps of a similar length.
It has the same supertraX treading as the other Pet Gear ramp for a soft but slip-free walking surface. Like the other Pet Gear ramp, the tread is removable to make cleaning as easy as possible.
The Pet Gear supertraX Free Standing Ramp is available in two colors, Chocolate and Essential Grey, so you can choose the one that most matches your preferences and your car’s interior.
- The Pet Gear supertraX Free Standing Ramp’s free standing design means the top can’t slip and doesn’t have to be set on a flat surface, so it’s safer and can be used with uneven surfaces like the seat of a car.
- The supertraX surface is secure and comfortable for dogs to walk on and is easy to clean.
- The ramp folds into a compact size for convenient storage and portability. A locking latch secures the ramp closed while folded for additional convenience.
- Like the other Pet Gear ramp, this one doesn’t have side rails, which may prevent your dog from feeling confident using the ramp and increases the risk of a paw slipping off the side.
- The fixed height of the ramp limits the use of the ramp with multiple vehicles since the top of the ramp may not line up well with the floor or seats of all cars.
- There’s no carry handle for portability and the stand adds extra weight.
I mentioned before that I’d been thinking about getting the Kurgo Wander Collapsible Dog Ramp for my own dog. However, after working on this review, I have a new favorite for my pooch, the PetSafe Happy Ride Deluxe Telescoping Pet Ramp.
The telescoping design allows me to adjust the length of the ramp to give Ginger a comfortable angle in any car we might want to put her in and makes the ramp a dream to store compared to the other ramps on this list. The 400 weight capacity is more than enough for any dog and certainly for Ginger’s 50-pound frame. The surface is grippy enough to make her feel secure, though I would prefer the supertraX surface that the Pet Gear products use.
All in all, I think the PetSafe Happy Ride Deluxe Telescoping Pet Ramp is a clear winner.