If you have older dogs with arthritis or dogs with other health problems and need to build a dog ramp, don't worry. Although you may not be Bob Vila, with good measurements and a bit of help, you can put a ramp together in no time.
Dog Ramp Plans
Ramps are relatively easy to build, and blueprints are not required to build a simple ramp. If you prefer to have blueprints, there are a couple of online retailers who sell or provide dog ramps plans.
- Make and Build Dog Stuff offers ramp plans designed to help your dog walk into the car.
- Renovation Headquarters offers several different plans that will help a dog walk onto a bed, into a car or boat, and into a house.
- Tape measure
- Circular saw
- 3/4-inch plywood (4x8 feet)
- Nails or screws
- Wood posts (2x4)
- Wood posts (1x4)
- Paint or stain
- Indoor/outdoor carpet
How to Build a Dog Ramp
Determine how your ramp will be used. For transport in and out of your house, construct a ramp wide enough for you and your pet to walk on at the same time so you can lead him in and out on his leash. If the ramp is for transport in and out of the car, you can make a narrow, portable version of the house ramp.
House Ramp Instructions
Measure the width of your doorway and mark your plywood approximately one inch less to allow for the door jamb. The length of your ramp will depend on how much room you have from the doorway to the ground and also how steep the steps from your home are. To ensure your dog does not slip, make sure the ramp is built at no more than a 45 degree angle. If your steps are very steep, you may have to build a longer ramp to accommodate the slope.
Cut the plywood using your circular saw. Make your cuts on the plywood's short side so the overall length remains eight feet. Place the plywood in the doorway so you ensure a tight fit. Since the plywood is still eight feet long, measure where the board could come in contact with the ground and still be less than a 45 degree angle. This is where you need to make your second cut.
Cut your wood post 2 by 4's into two pieces one inch shorter than your door jamb. Screw or nail the plywood on top with a post in each corner. Measure the height approximately halfway down the ramp and cut two additional wood post 2 by 4's one half inch shorter than your midway point on the ramp. Wedge each post underneath the plywood and screw or hammer into place. Repeat every two feet until you reach the bottom of the ramp.
Measure the area of the plywood and cut the indoor-outdoor carpet to match. This type of carpet is similar to what you see on putting greens and looks like artificial turf. It will stand up to heavy wear and tear, has a non-slip surface, and is waterproof which makes it a good option for outdoor ramps. Nail the carpet to the plywood, making sure to hold it taut while you nail so there are no ridges to trip you or your dog.
Add ledges to your ramp to prevent your dog from falling by placing 1 by 4 wood posts along the outer edge of the plywood and screwing down. Paint or stain the posts to match your home's exterior.
Once you learn how to build a dog ramp, you may also want to tackle dog steps. The ramp can help your pet in and out of the house and car but steps may work better inside your home. Steps to reach the bed, sofa, or certain areas in your home make it easier for your dog to move around while being more compact than a ramp.