Dog ramp
May 15, 2022 11:38 AM   Subscribe

Looking for personal recommendations for a dog ramp.

Senior dog can no longer get upstairs because her back legs don't work (combination neurological and arthritis issues.).
She can walk a little up an incline but not up steps.
She's pretty heavy (45 pounds) and I can't carry her up the stairs. My method has been using my own hands to be the wheelbarrow for her back paws while she uses her front paws, but that method is too is difficult to be a long term solution. We need a ramp.
I have risked buying other products from Petco and Chewy using their customer ratings, but at least 75% of the time I regret it, and that is for cheap things.

I would appreciate any tried and true recommendations for a pet ramp that would go up about 8 typically spaced steps (indoors, from the first to second story of the home.)

So I don't have to threadsit this later: I can't keep the dog on one level, she needs to be with her pack o' people and tries to do it on her own.
posted by nantucket to Pets & Animals (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I'm sorry, but I don't think you'll find a pre-made ramp that will work for you to cover 8 steps. The length needed on that will likely need to be custom built. I tried a Petco ramp to cover only about 2 vertical feet. It was too steep for my dog, and she was afraid to try it. I do hope someone has a solution for you for what you're looking for.

If that doesn't work though, have you thought about something like one of these? It helps take the weight off your dog, but you can help walk them up the steps.
posted by hydra77 at 1:11 PM on May 15, 2022

Best answer: Have you any run out space at the bottom of the stairs? Because a ramp that is a 1:1 slope match to stairs ends up pretty steep to the point even otherwise healthy elderly dogs might have trouble ascending. If you can have the ramp extend several feet further it would help alot.

You could try it out with a couple 2x6 cut to length, covered with carpet (use carpet tacks if you don't have stapler), and secured with rope to the railing
posted by Mitheral at 1:53 PM on May 15, 2022

With those kinds of household stairs, a ramp will almost certainly not work and honestly really isn't safe for human or canines. It'll be too steep.

Please talk to your vet. There's purpose-built mobility aids that you can use, but you want to get the vet's input to make sure you choose one that's not going to exacerbate an existing condition.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:42 PM on May 15, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: A human wheelchair ramp needs to have 1 foot of length for each 1 inch of rise. You can go somewhat steeper for a dog to walk up but you would definitely need more space to stick out into the room. We did have success using a dog ramp to go up two steps (about 8") in the back yard.

Another option is get a harness with handle that lets you grab the handle on top of the dog's back and lift up to help them support their weight. It would certainly be sturdier than trying to use your hand under their feet. When our dog had a rear leg amputated, this was very helpful.
posted by metahawk at 6:00 PM on May 15, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have dachshunds (1 is paralyzed in the back legs) and have ramps all over my home. Nothing I ever bought on Chewy or Petsmart or whatever was actually workable for my dogs. All of our ramps are custom builds by local woodworkers and were cheap cheap cheap and easy to install. If you have a local Facebook group you belong to, ask that group about woodworkers in your area and then contact someone local for a custom build.
posted by all about eevee at 5:43 AM on May 17, 2022

Response by poster: Follow up for anyone who comes to this question with a similar need: The 8 steps between stories inside the house were too steep for a ramp but the few steps to get into the house from outside were perfectly suited for a small dog-sized ramp. It was easy to build with regular 2 by 4s and has made the dog's life much happier.
posted by nantucket at 2:27 PM on June 10, 2022

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