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What is the Best Width for a Dog Ramp?

Best width for dog ramp is more than 15 inches

When your dog is part of the family, you want to take them anywhere you go. This includes trips in the car, whether it be across town to the dog park or across the country on a road trip vacation. In order to fully enjoy all that life has to offer, your pup needs a safe and reliable way to get in and out of your car, truck, van, or SUV. A dog ramp is the perfect solution for your pup to safely and easily access

But how do you know which dog ramp is right for your pup? As a member of the family, you want to ensure that your pup has nothing but positive experiences while traveling with you. That’s why details like width should be taken into consideration when purchasing your dog a ramp. In this blog, we’ll explore why the width of a dog ramp matters, as well as how to select the best ramp for your pup and adventures! 


PetStep Side Entry Support Strap

Why the Width of Your Dog Ramp Matters

Selecting a dog ramp appears to be a straightforward process, and for the most part, it is. But since your dog’s happiness is paramount, it’s always a good idea to delve into the details. In general, many dogs may not feel secure on more narrow ramps. Because the ramp reaches a higher elevation, a narrower ramp may feel more like a balancing beam than an accessibility solution for your pup. Especially for larger dogs or dogs that struggle with mobility, a narrower ramp may not feel as stable when in use. If the ramp appears too narrow to your dog, they won’t feel comfortable using it, at least at first, and will require more intensive training. (If your dog is hesitant to use the ramp, due to the width or not, we have a detailed guide on how to train your dog to use a ramp.)

The width of your dog ramp also matters when determining where the ramp will be used. While the rear door of your vehicle will be able to accommodate the ramp, if you’re planning to use the ramp through the side door, the door opening may not be wide enough. For example, the side doors of some cars and SUVs do not open wide enough to fit a dog ramp through to the backseat. Measuring the door opening as well as the width of the side of your backseat will help you determine if a dog ramp is compatible for side entry. 

How Do You Know if Your Dog Ramp is Wide Enough?

The truth is, the majority of dog ramps on the market are safe for your dog to use. This is because dogs generally do not have a very wide stride, and walk with one paw after the other. Think of seeing your dog’s paw prints in the snow. The paw prints are in more of a line rather than a wide box. When it comes to using a ramp for the first time, most dogs will be more comfortable with ramps that appear wider, as they appear more stable. There is truth in that observation, as wider dog ramps have more material to make contact with and grip your vehicle. 

Many dog ramps on the market hover around 15 inches, which can be suitable for a lot of dogs. However, if the ramp is lightweight and not very durable, it can be very unstable for your pup, and they will be resistant to using it. Dog ramps that both exceed 15 inches in width and are exceptionally durable are likely the ideal ramps for your dog. 

The Ideal Dog Ramp for Your Pup 

The ideal dog ramp is robust and has a substantial width to create a stable base on your vehicle. This will allow your pup to not only safely access your vehicle, but confidently too.

The PetStep ramp, for example, is among the widest walking surfaces of all portable, folding dog ramps at 17 inches wide. This allows your pup to securely walk up and down the ramp without wobbling. The PetStep ramp is also constructed of hard-wearing composite plastic, so it can take a hit while still being able to support your precious furry cargo. Beyond durability and proper width, the ideal dog ramp should also possess a few other must-haves.

A dog ramp with the ideal width is rendered useless if there isn’t a non-slip surface to boot. Many dog ramps feature a grit, sandpaper-like surface that may be great for creating traction under shoes but isn’t effective or comfortable for paws. The PetStep ramp, on the other hand, employs an exclusive ridged rubberized surface that allows dogs to naturally dig into the material when walking. Plus, the surface still creates traction even in rain, snow, and debris, so no adventure is too wild! 

While we previously mentioned the importance of durability, a contributing factor to that is the overall weight capacity of your ramp. Most dog ramps available have around a 150lb capacity which may be ideal for small to medium-sized dogs. But what about large breed dogs like Mastiffs and Saint Bernards that can easily exceed 150 lbs? Or what about the super active dogs that like to bound up and down the ramp, adding additional stress? The ideal dog ramp should have a high weight capacity, like the PetStep ramp at 500 lbs, which usually corresponds with the width of the ramp. The wider the ramp, the more surface area for the weight to be distributed, giving it a higher weight capacity if built from durable materials. 

In summary, the ideal dog ramp should…

  • Exceed 15 inches in width
  • Be durable 
  • Have a non-slip walking surface 
  • Have a significant weight capacity 

Ramp Up the Confidence 

In conclusion, there are multiple dog ramp widths that may be ideal for your dog and vehicle, but wider is generally better when it comes to stability and your pup’s comfort. With the ideal width and the other ramp must-haves addressed, you and your dog will be ready to tackle all the adventures life and your vehicle have to offer!

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