How to Build a Dog Ramp

As dogs age, their bodies become more susceptible to injury, and high impact activity like jumping could cause severe damage that may even require surgery. Ramps are useful tools for dogs to get up and down high points like beds, couches, stairs, and cars, but ramps are often expensive, too narrow, too short, or too flimsy. Learn how you can build your own dog ramp for under $30.

Materials you will need:

  • Tape measurer
  • Wood
  • Nails or Screws
  • Hammer or Drill/Driver
  • Floor mats or carpet scraps/tiles
  • Jig Saw
  • Adhesive
  • Paint (optional)

Take measurements. Determine the steepness of your incline from the high point to the low point of your ramp and how wide you would like it to be. Take and record your measurements.

Gather your materials. Check to see what you already have and pick up anything you’re missing. Your local home improvement store will have everything you need. You will have many options for wood, but make sure whatever you get will be sturdy enough to support your dog’s weight and wide enough for them to walk on.

Plywood for the top of the ramp should be enough or you can lay a couple of pieces of thicker wood side-by-side and connect them with wood underneath. If the surface sides are thick enough, you can get some wood for the sides of the ramp as well, so that your dog doesn’t fall or try to jump off. Depending on how high the ramp is, you can get additional pieces of wood to make the ramp freestanding. Pick up some carpet scraps, carpet tiles, or floor mats for the top of the ramp for traction. If this is an outdoor ramp, consider something with a low-pile.

Cut the wood. If you don’t have a saw at home, ask the store where you are buying your wood if they could cut it for you. Otherwise invest in a saw and cut the wood at your desired length. For wood with a thicker surface, cut the ends at an angle so that they can lay flush against the high point and low point of the ramp. For a freestanding ramp, cut the wood at your desired length so that you can form two L shapes with it under the surface of the ramp, that you can then connect across.

Build the ramp. Use nails or screws to attach all of your pieces of wood as necessary including the ramp sides, the base, and the surface. Make sure to use short enough nails or screws so that they don’t stick out. Form right-triangles at the base of the ramp and connect them across the bottom. Glue the carpet or floor mats to the top of the ramp; you may want to use nails or screws as well for outdoor ramps.

Feel free to paint the sides of your ramp a color of your choice before attaching them. Have fun with it! Add patterns for a personal touch.

Your ramp is complete! Guide your dog up and down the ramp and reward them with kibble. Keep practicing and be proud of yourself for helping your dog out.

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4 thoughts on “How to Build a Dog Ramp

  1. I think it is awesome that you know how to make this on your own. Your directions were very detailed which is great. I liked the parts where you said “Your local home improvement store will have everything you need.” and “If you don’t have a saw at home, ask the store where you are buying your wood if they could cut it for you.”. These tips are more helpful than you can imagine for someone like myself who has never done something like this. Nice job!

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  2. I like that you rationalized the need for a dog ramp first, then give us the materials list and explained the process after. This breaks the instructions down into larger chunks that are logical and easier to understand.

    I loved this:

    “If you don’t have a saw at home, ask the store where you are buying your wood if they could cut it for you. Otherwise invest in a saw and cut the wood at your desired length. For wood with a thicker surface, cut the ends at an angle so that they can lay flush against the high point and low point of the ramp.”

    It anticipated problems the reader might actually encounter. It comforts them by letting them know that you are with them through the whole process.

    Some critiques:

    “If the surface sides are thick enough, you can get some wood for the sides of the ramp as well, so that your dog doesn’t fall or try to jump off. Depending on how high the ramp is, you can get additional pieces of wood to make the ramp freestanding.”

    How do additional pieces of wood make the ramp freestanding? Spend a little more time explain that, because I don’t know what the author is thinking. Also, how does covering the sides prevent the dog from falling off. I imagine a flat piece of wood covering the opening between the ground and the ramp. If you could make this part clearer it would be helpful.

    “If this is an outdoor ramp, consider something with a low-pile.”

    Not everybody knows was low-pile is. I know that it is a carpeting term, but try to appeal to the non-savvy.

    “Form right-triangles at the base of the ramp and connect them across the bottom.”

    Spend a little more time walking me through this process. Do I attach one vertical piece of wood to one horizontal piece of wood, then place the opening against the bottom underside of the ramp? That is what I thought. Hopefully I’m right. The more you explain, the less frustrations the reader will have.

    Finally:

    “For a freestanding ramp, cut the wood at your desired length so that you can form two L shapes with it under the surface of the ramp, that you can then connect across.

    Also, spend some more time walking us through that.

    Nice work!

    Ivan

    Like

  3. This is great! Having had small dogs in the past, not having a dog ramp became annoying when they wanted to get down in the middle of the night, or come up right before bed-time. Giving the instructions on how to build one allows for people be a DIY person, and become creative as they please.

    Like

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