The 7 Best Dog Ramps for Older Dogs

Filed in Dog Products on January 22, 2021

Best Dog Ramps for Older Dogs

Are you interested in the best dog ramps for older dogs?

As our dogs get older, it’s harder for them to jump on couches, into vehicles, and other higher areas.

With a dog ramp or stairs, you can provide your pup with a safe way to reach their destination. Technically, dog stairs are different than ramps, but I will discuss them together.

In this blog post, I review the best dog ramps for older dogs including their best features, pros, cons, and more.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, but I only recommend products I find trustworthy and you pay nothing extra.

At A Glance: Best Dog Ramps for Older Dogs

1. Best Overall Ramp for Cars or SUVs: Petsafe Happy Ride Telescoping Dog Ramp

2. Runner-up for Best Overall Ramp for Cars or SUVs: Pet Gear Travel Lite Ramp

3. Best Overall Steps for Cars or SUVs: Luffwell Portable Dog Stairs for Large Dogs

4. Best Overall Steps for Beds and Couches: PetSafe CozyUp Folding Steps

5. Softest Steps for Small Dogs: Topmart High Density Foam Steps

6. Biggest home ramp: SASRL Adjustable Ramp

7. Best for Small/Medium Dogs on Sofas: Petsafe CozyUp Sofa Ramp

My Top 7 Picks for Best Dog Ramps for Older Dogs

1. Best Overall Ramp for Cars or SUVs: Petsafe Happy Ride Telescoping Dog Ramp

$179.99
$145.95
2 new from $145.95
9 used from $109.46
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of May 17, 2021 11:47 am

The longest, strongest and toughest ramp on our list, the PetSafe Happy Ride is perfect for reaching tall truck beds or into the biggest cars.

A colossal 87 inches long, it still manages to collapse down to an easy to store 47 inches and is a solid 20 inches wide through the entire length.

Rated to hold 300lbs, no matter how large your dog is, they’re going to be safe on this. Despite the massive size, it’s a relatively maneuverable 18lbs, and the built-in carrying handles make this ramp easy to stow.

Two sets of rubber feet keep it steady on wet flooring and fasten it securely to your car. The ramp surface itself is slightly disappointing. It’s a fine grit rough covering, feeling almost like sandpaper, but doesn’t seem to offer too much grip.

This is an easy fix though. Rubber mats, carpet, even a towel slung over the ramp will offer enough secure footing for most dogs.

This ramp is also surprisingly well priced, especially for the size. As the longest ramp we’ve found, this is going to have the lowest angle when set up, making it by far the best choice on the list for older, frailer dogs who can’t handle steep angles, as well as the largest pets, because of that huge weight limit.

Pros:

  • Very long, but collapsible
  • Steady and strong
  • Holds up to 300lbs

Cons:

  • Walking surface isn’t the best

2. Runner-up for Best Overall Ramp for Cars or SUVs: Pet Gear Travel Lite Ramp

$109.05
4 new from $90.65
4 used from $89.07
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of May 17, 2021 11:47 am

By far the most variable option on the list, the Pet Gear Travel Lite Ramp is designed for vehicles, with size options that are suited for any situation.

To start with, let’s address the fact that there isn’t just one ramp to choose. There’s multiple options, from 42-inch single-fold ramps to 71-inch double fold ramps. Even the largest ramp is relatively light, weighing only 15lbs, but carries up to 150lbs.

The design seems basic at first glance, but has everything you need, with a built-in carry handle, slightly raised edges that help to guide your dog and help with bad eyesight, and a soft and comfortable supertrax surface that’s gentle on old paws, and removable for easy cleaning so you don’t have to worry about muddy feet.

The list is finished with a reflective ramp for night use, that aids visibility with your pet and other road users, rubberized bottom grippers that stick to the floor, and a safety tether to fix it to your vehicle.

Literally, the sole downside with these ramps are how large they are when folded, so they might not fit into smaller trunks.

Pros:

  • Lots of options, for every situation
  • High weight limits
  • Very safe and easy to use

Cons:

  • Might not fit into smaller cars like hatchbacks

3. Best Overall Steps for Cars or SUVs: Luffwell Portable Dog Stairs for Large Dogs

$204.90
Amazon.com
as of May 17, 2021 11:47 am

Light and portable, and perfect for cars and trucks, these steps by Luffwell are a great option if you regularly travel and need something that’s going to fit into a corner of your trunk. They also can be used for high beds and couches.

In my opinion, this is the best overall choice since step ramps are easy for most dogs to use and can be used inside and outside the house.

The frame is made from solid aluminum, letting it safely support up to 200lbs but keeping the weight down to a mere 8lbs.

Designed as a set of steps, with a four or five-step option available, it collapses like a ladder, folding down to a 15 x 13 inch package when it’s not in use, but snapping open in seconds using the foam handles.

Wide and stable, it fits cars and trucks between 22 and 28 inches in height, and the low angle of ascent, non-slip paw coating and rubber frame supports are great for old, tired joints.

It’s also relatively inexpensive, matching up in price with most of the other choices on this list, as well as coming with a one year guarantee that you’re almost certainly not going to need. All in all, this is a comprehensive and impressive set of steps that offers everything you might want.

Pros:

  • 200lb weight limit
  • Step design is easy for older dogs to use
  • Fits a wide variety of vehicles and beds
  • Very durable

Cons:

  • Steps slightly cover each other when descending

4. Best Overall Steps for Beds and Couches: PetSafe CozyUp Folding Steps

$59.95
5 used from $47.17
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of May 17, 2021 11:47 am

Possibly the safest option on our list, these steps are large and solid enough that you could probably use them, let alone your pet. If you have a larger breed, or you want the security of a heavy-duty set of steps for a budget price, then the PetSafe CozyUp are a fantastic choice.

Made from durable plastic, these steps are hard wearing and almost invincible, with the 20-inch steps supporting up to 150lbs, and the 25-inch steps supporting up to a massive 200lbs.

The steps themselves are light enough at 9lbs to be easy to carry and collapse down in seconds so they can be moved around or safely stored. The non-skid feet hold everything securely on the floor, and the fabric tread cover adds a little bit of support against the hard plastic.

It’s also worth pointing out that these steps are around half the cost of some of our other choices, and by far the best budget option we could find.

Pros:

  • Durable and strong plastic design
  • Very inexpensive
  • Simple to use

Cons:

  • Not the most attractive design

5. Softest Steps for Small Dogs: Topmart High Density Foam Steps

$106.99
Amazon.com
as of May 17, 2021 11:47 am

The softest and most comfortable set of steps on the list, if you want a cozy ramp for your home, then Topmart’s options are generally a great choice.

Made from 30D high-density foam, each one of these steps comes packed like a memory foam mattress.

That does mean that it can take a day or two after unpacking for the steps to be ready, but it also means that these are super soft and incredibly comfortable, so most dogs are going to be able to easily adjust to using it.

There are three variants, ranging from 11.8 inch two step height up to a 20.5 inch high, 28 inch long four step ramp. Every step is almost a square foot in size, and the corduroy cover gives solid grip, and can be removed for cleaning.

There are two minor downsides. One, the maximum weight is recommended to be 60lbs, meaning that this is not suitable for larger breeds.

Two, there’s only one color option, brown, which might not go with everyone’s décor. But apart from that, this is a solid and easy to use set of steps that’s perfect for most homes, and incredibly easy for you and your dog. You even get a free dog toy!

Pros:

  • Very soft and comfortable
  • Light and easy to move
  • A lot of surface area to walk on

Cons:

  • Low maximum weight
  • Easier to stain or damage than wood or metal

6. Biggest home ramp: SASRL Adjustable Ramp

Amazon.com
as of May 17, 2021 11:47 am

If you need the biggest home use ramp for the biggest breeds, then this adjustable choice by SASRL might just be perfect.

Huge and adjustable, it’s made from solid wood that’s completely self-supporting. At 40 inches long, and with 4 adjustable heights, from 9.3 to 24 inches, it’s suitable to get your pet almost anywhere they want to be.

That length is a boon, especially when you consider that 24 inches is a decent height, and some shorter ramps end up far too steep for most dogs to climb.

Movement is aided by the high traction fabric carpet surface, which is ridged for an easy grip but still comfortable on old paws, and won’t freak out nervous pets as it’s similar to standard flooring.

Despite the size, this ramp is simple to store as you can fold it down flat or put it up in literal seconds. Realistically, this is too big for a car, but it’s near-perfect for most homes, which is why it’s one of our top choices.

Pros:

  • Wide variety of heights
  • Simple to adjust
  • Great grip

Cons:

  • Takes up a lot of room

7. Best for Small/Medium Dogs on Sofas: Petsafe CozyUp Sofa Ramp

Amazon.com
as of May 17, 2021 11:47 am

Probably the most attractive ramp on our list, the decorative wood finish of the PetSafe Sofa Ramp will slip seamlessly into almost any home and look great, without breaking the bank.

At 45 x 14 x 14 inches, it’s small and light, and just under the seat height of most couches. The cherry wood finish is attractive, folding down for easy storage that will fit under most furniture, and popping up into a ramp that can comfortably hold up to 100lbs, so it’s perfect for most small and medium-sized breeds.

The top-mounted carpet cover is non-slip and soft, but heavy-duty enough to last. It’s also easy to assemble, but we recommend testing it once built, to make sure that it’s stable.

Pros:

  • Very pretty
  • Light and easy to move and store
  • Carpet top cover is excellent

Cons:

  • Only a medium weight limit

    Dog Ramp Buyer’s Guide

    There’s a surprising amount of variance in dog ramps. Here’s what you should be looking at when buying one:

    Different Types of Dog Ramps

    There are a surprising amount of different types of dog ramps, especially for something that seems so simple. Each type of ramp is suitable for certain things, so you need to make sure that you’re buying the correct product. In general, there are three types of dog ramp:

    • Extendable vehicle ramps: Designed to help your dog get into and out of your car, and generally fold or collapse down so that they can be stored in the trunk when not in use. These types of ramps are normally made from metal or heavy-duty plastic, with rubber gripping.Curious dog on a wooden steps
    • Heavy-duty home ramps: Smaller in length, ramps like these are generally made from wood or plastic, with carpeting on the top so they feel more natural and make for easier pet training. This type of ramp can normally hold over 100lbs and sometimes collapses so it can be stored.
    • Step ramps: Essentially a small, heavy-duty set of steps designed specifically for your dog, with wider and longer steps than you would see for a person. Soft and comfortable, steps like these are nice, look good, but are large and harder to store, so they’re a more permanent option.

    Size and Weight

    The ramps on our list range from small, portable models up to monsters up to 87 inches (over 7 feet) long.

    Heavier ramps tend to be sturdier and hold more weight, but are obviously harder to transport and set up. If you’re buying for portability, it’s generally better to buy a ramp that holds a little more than you need and no more.

    It’s also worth considering the overall size of your chosen ramp. Longer ramps are going to be easier for your dog to walk up, but obviously, take up a lot more space.

    Construction and Weight Limit

    Dog ramps can be made from a surprisingly wide list of materials, including wood, high-density plastic, and metal.

    In general, the material your dog ramp is made from can make a difference when it comes to the weight of the ramp, how easy it is to use, and several other factors. But the biggest difference is how much weight a ramp can hold.

    The strongest ramps generally have a weight limit upwards of 200lbs, which is going to be sufficient for every dog, and probably heavy enough for some people. Lighter, cheaper models made from plastic might only have a weight limit as low as 60lbs, making them suitable for small to medium-sized breeds.

    Safety and Traction

    Dog playing on wooden ramp

    It can be hard to move up and down ramps, especially for older dogs who might have weaker muscles or joint issues, especially if you’re using them to get down from taller vehicles or onto wet or muddy roads.

    This is why some ramps and steps have built in safety features, including side ramps or guide rails. But by far the most important thing on a ramp is traction.

    Traction is incredibly important, especially when you’re buying a ramp for an older dog, as they might struggle to keep their footing, especially if the ramp, or their paws, are wet or muddy.

    A slip could cause serious injury, so if you’re buying a ramp for outside use, make sure it has good traction.

    One last thing to consider when it comes to ramps is the angle. If you’ve ever walked up a particularly steep hill, you know how difficult it can be.

    Shorter ramps are naturally going to have a far steeper angle when they’re used, so if you have a particularly old or frail dog, a longer ramp is almost always better.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Why Do You Need a Dog Ramp for Older Dogs?

    As dogs get older, some of the most common ailments that they can suffer from are joint and muscle issues, especially around the hips and knees. By the way, I also wrote an article on the best supplements for older dogs, if you’re interested.

    Issues like these can prevent your dog from doing the things they love to do, like climbing into and out of a car when travelling and going for a walk, and lifting and carrying larger breeds generally isn’t an option.

    These same issues can cause problems around the home, preventing your dog from climbing into their bed, onto couches, or even into or out of doorways. Since dogs are living longer due to better vet care and diet, these age-related problems are more likely to occur.

    What Are The Main Uses for Dog Ramps?

    If you’re buying a dog ramp, you’re normally getting it for one of two reasons.

    The first use is for the home, to help your pet get on to beds, sofas, through doors, and on to other raised areas. Dog ramps designed for home use tend to be more heavily built, and are more likely to be a step type or a reinforced ramp rather than a collapsible design.

    The second major use is for your vehicle, to help your dog get into the car when you’re out and about. You’re far more likely to use a collapsible ramp when you’re buying a ramp for your car.

    Conclusion on Best Dog Ramps for Older Dogs

    While the features of dog ramps vary, hopefully, I have provided you some of the best options to choose. These dog ramps are some of the highest-rated with many great reviews.

    By reading my buyer’s guide, you should be able to decide which features are the most important for your dog’s situation.

    Let me know if you have any questions or comments below.

    Comments (4)

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    1. Richard a Beerman says:

      my dog is 14 and needs help going up and down outside steps. Specifically outside porch steps. are there any ramps built specifically to go over outside steps? I cannot carry her to go up and down the outside steps to go potty.

      • Todd says:

        I’m not aware of one for dogs. However, you may want to look into wheelchair ramps since those go nicely over stairs and I do not see why dogs couldn’t walk over it.

    2. My 13 yr old Australian shepherd is in very good shape because we walk 3 miles a day and I give him : Cosequin DS twice a day, 200 mg of gabapentin twice a day and 100 mg rimadyl. I also give him CBD oil for his teeth chattering which works.
      I need your advice which …stairs or ramp…would be best for my Maxi getting on and off a high bed every night. Right now he jumps. He won’t let me carry him. He is very proud and independent. He does go up and down the stairs several times daily without trouble. Please advise. Thanks!

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