Apart from using ramps in dog shows and competitions, ramps are used for day-to-day activities, like making it easy for the dog to disembark a vehicle, or even mount and dismount the couch or bed. The tricky part is choosing the right dog ramp; therefore, given in this Buzzle excerpt are guidelines for buying a dog ramp.
Choosing an Outdoor Dog Ramp
Outdoor ramps are suitable for pickup trucks, SUVs, crossovers, hatchbacks, and station wagons. The main aspects that need to be considered while buying a dog ramp are the size of your dog and height and slope of the ramp.
If your dog is old, or has weight and is a large breed, you will need a ramp that is sturdy, has enough traction, and a gentle slope so that your dog does not slip. Always buy a ramp that has an easily adjustable height, is lightweight, and portable.
The height and slope of the ramp are two aspects that are of utmost importance when you are contemplating your purchase. The term 'height' is applied to the height of the car, truck, or deck you need the ramp to reach from the ground level. Based on this measurement, you should select the length of the ramp.
The longer the length of the ramp, more gradual will the slope be.
If your dog has physical disabilities, and if you own an SUV, truck, or a crossover, you need to select a ramp that is fairly long so that the slope is gradual, and not too steep.
The ideal slope for a ramp (a slope in which your dog does not have to exert himself while ascending and descending) is approximately 18°. If your dog is fit, or is a puppy, and if you are training him for shows and competitions, then selecting a shorter ramp which will be at a slope of around 26°, makes more sense.
The maximum slope for most ramps is 22°. This length is apt for dogs that have minor mobility and health problems.
Choose ramps that are wide enough and have safety grips on both ends. The stepping surface should have superior traction, and the ramp should be sturdy.
Aluminum ramps are a better option than plastic ones, especially for large, heavy breeds, as these ramps are very sturdy, have good traction, and a safe grip. Plastic-molded ramps are more suitable for small- to medium-sized breeds.
Choosing an Indoor Dog Ramp
The selection method for outdoor and indoor dog ramps is nearly the same.
The only difference is that indoor ramps are used inside the house, for dogs who have problems climbing onto surfaces which are at a height.
The rules applied are the same, but the varieties available in the market differ. Indoor ramps are stylish, robust, and have a carpet or upholstery to them.
When you buy your ramp, introduce it to your pet in the most subtle way. Place it on the ground, and wait for your dog to approach it. He will sniff around it, get familiar with it, and slowly start playing with it. Raise the ramp after he is familiar with it, and let him try to climb it. Use a leash if necessary, as a support for him, but never force him to use the ramp.