From schnauzers to St. Bernards, there are few things in this world your dog enjoys more than going for a ride. Maybe not so much if the end destination is the vet’s or groomer’s, but eight times out of ten, that pooch is going to be itching to go on an adventure with you. But if your faithful companion is a little too short in the leg to make the big leap into the back of your vehicle, or just a little long in the tooth, you might want to invest in a pet ramp or step pad to help him up and in.
In this article, we’ll outline the benefits offered by each of these back-end add-ons. Hopefully, your buying decision will be as easy as getting in and out for your dog.
The Advantages of Dog Ramps
First, let’s delve into dog ramps. They’re meant to save your older pet’s sore joints, providing a sturdy, level surface every step of the way, or a gangway for younger animals to get a running start into the back of your vehicle. On our site you’ll find a larger variety of these products than pet steps, made by reputable companies like PetSTEP (1-year warranty), Kurgo (Lifetime Warranty) and WeatherTech (limited lifetime warranty). Relatively speaking, ramps are pretty easy to move around, and boast strong, rigid construction of varying materials. In order, the above-named ramps are made from polypropylene/fiberglass, plastic, and polypropylene/glass-fiber, respectively. Treaded surfaces across the board ensure reliable paw traction.
Once you’ve onboarded the animal (or animals), the ramps fold up and away for convenient, compact storage. The average ramp boasts a 500-lb load-bearing capacity. The PetSTEP and WeatherTech ramps do, but Kurgo’s model is meant for smaller pets, with a maximum capacity of “only” 200 lbs.
While these products were made with canines in mind, they’re perfectly suitable for onboarding other critters. With such high weight capacities, they’re great for owners of pot-bellied pigs (100-250 lbs), goats, sheep, lambs, mini-horses (max of 350 lbs), mini-donkeys (200-450 lbs), calves and more. More reserved breeds of cats will also appreciate the royal treatment.
The Pros of Pet Steps
Their leading asset is that they’re a cinch to install. We carry two different styles on our site, and the choice will come down to preference. The PortablePET Twistep Dog Hitch Step, for example, is compatible with 1.25” and 2” receiver hitches, and proffers a single, anti-slip stepping surface for your animal, and can even rotate 360° under the vehicle when it’s no longer needed — all you need do is push in, push down and twist it out of sight, out of danger. Depending on the hitch, it can support up to 300 lbs (Class-II hitches) and 400 lbs (Class-III). Adjust its height at will to fit your truck or van, and its durable, glass-filled nylon construction and corrosion-resistant coating make it an admirable long-term investment.
The Great Day Hitch-Up Pet Step, on the other hand, is a 16”L x 13.5”W chair-like apparatus — just without the legs. As you can see in the image above, it folds down when needed and flips up flush against your bumper when it’s time to go, changing its dimensions to 17”L x 16”W x 3”H. It’s manufactured from aircraft-grade aluminum, weighs only 7 lbs and supports up to 300 lbs. It goes great with a hitch stabilizer, also from Great Day, to eliminate “hitch wobble.” Your pet will thank you for the extra stability.
Both these products, coincidentally, are backed by a 1-year warranty.
Now, you know pretty much all there is about pet ramps and pet steps. Whichever solution you think is best for you, your vehicle and your four-legged friends, we’re sure you’ll find what you’re looking for on our site. Or, if you know of a friend, family member or 4H parent who could benefit from an addition like this, be sure to share this article on social media by clicking on the buttons above. If you’re ready to shop, follow the link below.