Top 5 Best Dog Ramps for Water
We, as dog owners, are not strangers to the concept of dog ramps. They help our 4-legged friends reach different places a lot easier, overcome distances and level differences, as well as have an easier and more comfortable time navigating a world which was clearly designed for humans.
Make no mistake about it, while dogs are perfectly capable of overcoming these obstacles on their own, without any actual help from us, they do so while sacrificing a lot of comforts and, in some cases, their physical health.
Jumping around from ledge to ledge, having to constantly look for places that provide easier access, trying to balance their bodies so that they don’t fall while trying to go downstairs or jump out of trucks, these are just a few of the problems that dogs have to face, more or less, on a regular basis.
So why not try and make their lives a little bit more bearable?
The whole point of dog ramps is to make it easier for your dog to reach different places, without having to jump or exert himself. Getting in and out of the back of your truck, going up and down stairs, going over high ledges, all these become infinitely easier when walking up a ramp rather than jumping and balancing yourself out.
Another, more annoying problem, that dogs sometimes need to face is getting in or out of a pool. While dogs will often times want to spend time in the water with their masters, especially on warm summer days, it is very difficult for him to go in and out of the water. So difficult, in fact, that often times your dog will simply give up and end up standing on the ledge, or close by in the shade, looking at you and sighing.
The good news is that there are dog ramps that are designed to deal with this issue and help your pet get in and out of the water, without having to deal with jumping into the water or the struggle of grabbing a ledge and getting out.
Here are 5 of the most popular, and in demand dog ramps for water.
5 Top Dog Ramps for Water
1. Paws Aboard 5300 PoolPup Steps
This one is more popular among small and medium-sized dog owners, and it is literally a set of stairs that is designed to be set up at the edge of the pool, or boat, in order to allow the dog easy access in and out of the water.
The steps are made out of strong chlorine-resistant ABS plastic, with grit strips and textured surfaces which ensure that your dog will have a solid and stable footing on them, without slipping around.
It has no holes, dents or bevels that would cause their paws to get stuck or cause the dogs to lose their balance, and it even sports a small metal structure underneath the stairs which give it a lot more stability. This makes it a lot safer and a lot more appealing for dogs when getting in and out of the water.
Something worth noting here is the fact that the PoolPup Steps is designed to be easily mounted and taken off. All you need to do is take out the 2 pins that hold it together and simply lift it out of the pool. This makes it easier to clean and store away for the winter.
Another thing worth mentioning about this ramp is the fact that the plastic structure itself, while it is strong and resilient, does not allow for big or heavy dogs. It’s called the “Pool Pup” for a reason, and it is generally designed to work mostly with puppies. Which is also why it is shaped like a set of stairs as well because it makes it a lot easier to train the pup to use them and get comfortable with them as well as making the transition from dry air to water.
One last thing to mention here is the fact that it is, by far, one of the more versatile ramps because it is not limited to just pool use. It can easily work well with boats, yachts, etc., as long as you take the time to properly install and fasten it.
That being said, this is the best option for you if you have a small dog or a young pup that also needs training and comfort in order to get used to water, swimming, getting in and out of the water, and so on.
2. Great Day LP500 Pet-Loading Platform
This is more of a platform than an actual ramp, however, it comes with a bit of a twist, because rather than being designed for a pool, or a pier, it is designed specifically for boats.
It is literally a platform, shaped more or less like a shelf, made out of light-weight aircraft aluminum, with a hooking system at the top designed to fit onto the boarding latter of a boat.
The good news here is that you will not have to deal with any actual screws, pins, and bolts, when installing it, only when assembling it. This means that you will not end up potentially compromising the structural integrity, or the water tightness, of the ladder or hull. On the flip side, you will need to find a way to fasten it properly to the boarding ladder, however, a couple of zip ties work wonders in that regard.
Something very important to mention about this platform is the fact that it also includes gripping ridges, which help the dog get a tighter and more stable grip on it when coming out of the water.
This is done so mainly by using the spacing between the metal bars that run across the platform bed. And while there is space between them, it is too small for the dogâ��s paws to get stuck between them, but large enough for the dogâ��s paw tips and claws to get a good, stable, and comfortable grip.
One last thing to mention about the LP500 Pet-Loading Platform is the fact that it is rather severely limited when it comes down to usability.
This is because of the fact that it was designed and manufactured to be mounted on boat boarding ladders. There are no actual adapters and no other mounting systems, so it will not work with swimming pools or small piers. It is also worth mentioning here that the platform itself will not work well with stock pool ladders.
3. PetSTEP Original Folding Pet Ramp
This is the answer for dog owners that have medium and large dogs, as well as dogs that are a bit on the heavier side.
The ramp itself is wide enough to accommodate a large dog comfortably and strong enough to sustain its weight with a maximum load of 500 lbs. A huge plus is the fact that it is also foldable which means it is easy to transport and store when it is not in use.
Its made out of advanced composite plastic, making it both lightweight and flexible enough to handle the tension and pressure exerted upon it by large heavy dogs. It also sports a soft non-slip rubberized walking surface which gives the dog a lot of traction both dry and wet.
Not to mention the fact that it is very easy to clean and maintain because it has no grooves, no tight corners and no other ways for dirt and grime to build up in over time.
Something very important to mention about this ramp is the fact that it is, by far, one of the most versatile ramps on the market because it works just as well in the water as it does on dry land. So much so that, while it is mostly used and marketed as a general use dog ramp, it still has slots, hooks, and holes made to help attach it to pool sides, piers, and boats.
One last thing to mention is the fact that the ramp itself is designed with both the comfort of the dog and the comfort of the owner in mind. The handles and the grips are molded in an ergonomic shape, making them all that more comfortable to handle and transport. The support feet are made out of dense rubber which actually gives it a lot of grips and a lot of stability, so there are no actual worries of instability or the ramp slipping around.
4. Paws Aboard Doggy Boat Ladder and Ramp
One of the biggest concerns of a dog owner is the state of health of the dog. As time passes, and the dog gets older, there are health concerns, particularly in regards to the joints, bones, and muscles of the dog.
This ramp was designed specifically for older dogs to use, regardless of the state of their muscular or bone health.
One of the first things that you will see in the design of this ramp is the fact that it has very deep washboard style grooves which act more or less as a ladder for the dog, regardless of the position of the ramp. It provides the dog with a lot of foot room, a lot of grips and a lot of surfaces to help gain balance when going into or coming out of the water.
Something that will undoubtedly catch your eye from the very beginning is the fact that this ramp was designed to work specifically with boats and in some cases piers. It is not equipped or well suited for use in a swimming pool, nor does it present the owner with any ways of attaching and safely anchoring it to a swimming pool.
Another interesting aspect is the fact that the ramp is foldable, however, the fact that it is foldable does not interfere with the groove pattern that it sports. The grooves are properly aligned even at the actual folding seam which gives the dog comfortable passage over it without sticking out and causing discomfort or presenting the risk of injury.
To top it all off, the actual grooves themselves have a grip pattern made out of small and evenly spaced bumps in the actual plastic. This makes it a lot easier for the dog to get and maintain a solid grip regardless of how wet it is.
Overall, this ramp is the best choice for older and frailer dogs because of its safe design and the grip that it is able to provide the dog with.
5. Super Skamper Ramp
This is one of the ramps that are among the safest and most reliable on the market, however, it is also one of the more controversial ones out there
The very first thing you will notice is that, while other ramps are relying on gripping surfaces, textures, and patterns, the Super Skamper Ramp relies on its ribbed plastic and specially drilled holes in it. This provides the equivalent of a ladder for dogs and gives them actual footing and actual support when climbing it.
Another interesting thing that you will notice is the fact that the ramp itself is completely white with no markings or any kind of color other than white. This is because of safety reasons, and white can easily stand out, making it easy for the dog to see it and swim to it. If a dog falls into a pool, he will panic, he wonâ��t know where to go or how to get out. Because the ramp is white, in contrast to everything else, the dog can almost instantaneously see it and identify it as a way to get out of the pool.
It is because of this increased level of safety provided by the Skamper Ramp that its designed to be mounted and placed literally anywhere. Pools, boats, ponds, piers, water tanks, anywhere and everywhere that a dog can get into the water, this ramp can be installed and used without a problem.
Something else worth noting here is the fact that this ramp does not rely on a fixed system, a frame or a rigid position in order to function properly. In fact, it is able to move up and down, angling itself in order to allow the dog to literally slide onto it and grip it. This makes it a lot easier to use, a lot more intuitive for the dog and a lot safer in case of an accident.
This is also why it is one of the very few ramps that does not require a lot of training for the dog to get used to it. In fact, besides helping the dog get comfortable with the ramp, there is no other effort that you have to make on your part.
How to select the best ramp for water and pools
Truth be told, this is not an easy process, and you have to take into account a lot of variables and a lot of things in order to make sure that you get the right ramp for your dog.
There is no perfect ramp for all dogs, and it can be very easy to get carried away and buy the wrong ramp.
So the first thing you want to do is take a good hard look at your dog. What size is your dog? Is it a large breed? Is it a small breed? Is it a medium breed? Once you have a clear answer for that, you can start narrowing down your choices.
As a general rule of thumb, the ramp itself should be slightly wider than the dog itself, and it should be able to fully support the weight of your dog plus a bit extra. This is to make sure that there will not be any structural problems or concerns with the support that the ramp will be able to provide your dog with.
The second thing you will want to decide on is where the ramp will be used. There are a whole plethora of different things that a ramp will have to deal with in each situation. For use in a pool, you’re going to want something that does not take much space and something that can mount on the pool edge and take off. What you need to steer clear of are ramps that are designed to bolt or latch onto ladders because pool ladders are usually too robust to allow for ramps to be properly mounted on them.
The situation drastically changes when dealing with boats. In this case, you will want something that stands out as much as possible and something that is easy to spot. This is to help the dog find it regardless of how restless the water is.
The second thing to note here is that the ramp itself needs to be able to mount on ladders. Boat ladders are a lot smaller than pool ladders and are generally easier to mount ramps on.
Third and final thing to take into account is how the dog itself handles the water and how comfortable the dog is in the water. This is because a dog that is not too comfortable with being in the water will generally be frightened by it and as such he or she will need a strong, stiff and sturdy ramp for support. A dog that is comfortable being in the water will benefit more from a ramp that is a bit more flexible and loose.
No matter what kind of dog you have, no matter what kind of settings you will find yourselves in, no matter what the concerns are, you will be able to find the right ramp for your dog.
Make sure you pay attention to all your choices, take into account every single aspect regarding your dog, the environment that he or she will be in, and what you need to do in order to meet your dogs needs.