Dog Club Life is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more
For most dog owners, we already have an idea just how helpful dog ramps can be. Such a product helps in assisting our pooch to access otherwise hard to access areas such as our bed, car, or even boats. To make sure our pooch gets to enjoy the open waters with us, he needs to have his own dog boat ramp.
If our pooch loves to swim in the lake or ocean with us, we need to consider his safety. With a dog ramp secured in our boat, we can have that peace of mind knowing he can get in and out of the boat with little-to-no problem at all. But then, not all dog boat ramps are created equal.
When choosing a ramp, we need to consider lots of things, including its durability, weight capacity, ease of transport and installation, etc. To help make it easier for us to choose one that will best suit our dog’s needs and our budget, we can use the following as our guide.
Best Dog Boat Ramps
Here are our top picks!
- Best Overall: Great Day LP500 Pet-Loading Platform
- Best for Medium-sized Dogs: Solvit Ultralight Bi-Fold Pet Ramp
- Best Overall: Petstep Folding Pet Ramp
- Most Portable: Pet Gear Portable Dog Ramp
- Best for Adult Dogs: Upgraded Pet Dog Car Step Stairs
- Best for Senior Dogs: PetSafe Happy Ride Telescoping Pet Ramp
- Best for Small Dogs: Paws Aboard Doggy Boat Ladder and Ramp
Best Overall: Great Day LP500 Pet-Loading Platform
- Gripping ridges
- Aircraft aluminum construction
- Off-white powder-coat enamel
- Adapter kits available
- 24.5 x 17.5 x 3 inches
- Weighs 7 lbs
- Comes with security straps
We want our pooch to have an easy and safe way to access the water and our boat. With the Great Day LP500 Pet-Loading Platform, we no longer need to worry about his comfort, safety and convenience. It works well with most boats with a boarding ladder and easy to fold and store for future use.
It is made from durable but lightweight construction, ensuring its longevity. The gripping ridges help promote safe footing, keeping our pooch stable and protecting him from injury when he tries to get in the boat after enjoying the water. The only cons we found in this product is that it is not a good choice for larger dogs and that we may need adapter kits to make it compatible with other pontoon boats.
Best for Medium-sized Dogs: Solvit Ultralight Bi-Fold Pet Ramp
- High traction surface and side rails
- With safety latch
- Can support up to 150 lbs of weight
- 62″L x 16″W x 4″H
- Weighs 10 lbs
While the Solvit Ultralight Bi-Fold Pet Ramp is not specifically made for aquatic purposes, we can still use this ramp for our pooch so he can easily get in and out of the water with ease. The ramp easily folds in half while the safety latch keeps it in place.
It has a high traction surface to keep our pooch from slipping while the side rails helps keep him from falling off the ramp. It is made from the USA using only high-quality materials. But since this is not really a ramp made for boats, we need to use a bit of creativity to safely repurpose the ram for aquatic purposes.
Best Overall: Petstep Folding Pet Ramp
- Non-slip rubberized surface
- Molded ergonomic handles
- Advanced composite plastic construction
- Can support up to 500 lbs of weight
- Weighs 22 lbs
- Available in black and khaki
If we want to boost our pooch’ confidence in going in and out of the boat, then we can consider the Petstep Folding Pet Ramp as an excellent investment. Its sturdy construction, easy to fold features and high-traction surface can help him use the ramp confidently even when in the water.
It opens and closes in seconds and can be stored easily thanks to its molded ergonomic handles. It can hold up to 500 lbs, making it a great choice for larger breeds. It offers a gentle slope, perfect for senior dogs with arthritis or joint pain.
The ramp is also rust and corrosion-free. But since this ramp was initially made for cars, we need to think of other ways to anchor and attach the ramp to the boat.
Most Portable: Pet Gear Portable Dog Ramp
- High-visibility reflective material
- Slip-resistant surface
- Removable mat
- Rubber grippers on the bottom
- Can support up to 200 lbs of weight
- 71″L x 19.5″W x 4″H
- Available in 2 variants
The Pet Gear Portable Dog Ramp is a trifold ramp that can help our pooch easily get in and out of the both. This may not be a ramp specifically designed for boats, but it serves its purpose. It has a slip-resistant surface and has side safety reflectors, along our pooch an easy climb even when it gets dark.
We like how the ramp helps keep our pooch stable whether we use it for car or boat applications. This is an inexpensive option that can serve two purposes. One con pet owners found is that the sandpaper surface wears off pretty fast, which means we may need to replace it soon enough.
Best for Adult Dogs: Upgraded Pet Dog Car Step Stairs
- Metal frame construction
- Non-slip rubber coating surface
- Anti-skid rubber feet
- With safety tether clips
- Can support up to 100 lbs of weight
- Weighs 10 lbs
- 19.29 x 16.54 x 5.63 inches
This foldable and portable stairs for dogs can also be used to help our pooch safely get into the boat. The stable, non-slip surface and lightweight but drable design makes it a good alternative if we haven’t found the right boat ramp for our pooch.
This can accommodate both small and large dogs. It can safely support dogs up to 100 lbs of weight. Note that this may not be the best choice for dogs who have mobility issues.
Best for Senior Dogs: PetSafe Happy Ride Telescoping Pet Ramp
- Adjustable from 39” to 72”
- High –traction surface
- Aluminum and plastic construction
- With a convenient carry handle
- Comes with safety release latch
- Can support up to 400 lbs of weight
- Weighs 13 lbs
Compact, durable and portable – these are but some of the best ways to describe the PetSafe Happy Ride Telescoping Pet Ramp. The ramp is lightweight but incredibly strong and can support dogs up to 400 lbs in weight. The ramp’s telescoping features allow us to adjust the length of the ramp while offering easy storage.
Like the other ramps, this ramp was originally designed to help dogs get in and out of the car. But we can also use this in boats to help our big boy safely navigate his way in and out of the boat. The only cons we found in this ramp is that it is not suitable if we have a smaller car or boat and it needs our extra attention when attaching the ramp to our boat.
Best for Small Dogs: Paws Aboard Doggy Boat Ladder and Ramp
- Adjustable ladder attachment
- Durable plastic and rubber construction
- Can support up to 150 lbs
- Weighs 12 lbs
- 64 x 17 x 4 inches
For our smaller pooch, we can rely on the strikingly yellow colored Paws Aboard Doggy Boat Ladder and Ramp to help him get in the water and get into the boat without our help. This is made from high-quality rubber and plastic, making it durable, lightweight and longer lasting.
This can support dogs up to 150 lbs. But since the steps are too narrow, small and medium-sized breeds would better benefit from this product.
Reasons for Using Dog Boat Ramps
Dog boat ramps offer many benefits to our pooch and us, the pat parents as well. If we love swimming and enjoying water bodies, chances are, our pooch will also come to love playing in the open water. We can play water sports with them, have fun and build a stronger bond with them.
Dogs may be natural swimmers, but we must not forget the fact that our pooch has paws to begin with. He requires assistance to get in and out of the boat since he doesn’t have hands to pull himself up the boat. Some dogs even have anxiety when boarding a boat.
As owners, it is our duty to make our favorite dog’s life easy. We can choose to pull them out of the waters as needed. But with a dog ramp, he will have more freedom to do what he wants.
By investing in a dog boat ramp, we and our pooch can enjoy the following benefits.
Allow them easy access whenever he wants.
It can be hard to predict when our pooch wants to get back in the boat to rest. With a dog ramp secured in our boat, he can easily get in and out of the boat whenever he wants or needs. This helps anxious dogs and dogs with mobility issues learn how to enjoy the waters and still give our pooch that sense of safety knowing he can get out any time he wants.
Some dog ramps can be used in other applications. Others were designed for dry applications, like easy access to cars and other vehicles. By choosing a dog ramp that he can use in the sea, when getting into our car or ramp for our bed, we can get the most out of our investment.
Save us the backache
If we have a big buddy, we can’t always carry him at all times. Carrying a 200 lbs dog can put a strain on our back. If we are also nursing an injury, it will be wise to invest in a dog boat ramp instead of risking our injury just to help them get out of the water every single time.
Things to Consider When Buying a Dog Boat Ramps
Some of the things we should never take for granted when choosing a dog boat ramp are as follows.
Dog boat ramp must be waterproof. Since we will use it around water, it needs to be resistant to water damage. We can benefit from choosing a dog ramp made from aluminum, plastic or one coated with a waterproof paint.
Our pooch will be dripping wet after playing the water. This is why we want a dog boat ramp that has a non-slip surface. The last thing we need is a slippery ramp that will only cause harm and additional injuries to our canine buddy.
Whether we choose a ramp or stairs, we need to make sure that the edges are smooth. It must be designed and constructed with safety in mind, and ramps with rough edge will only hurt our pooch.
Easy to Install
Some dog ramps are easier to install than the other since these are intended to be portable. But for some ramps, we need to put in more effort as these are meant to be permanent fixtures in our boat.
Easy to Transport
If we are only renting a boat or do not play with our pooch in the water that much, then we need to find a portable ramp he can use. Having a ramp that can also have other applications in different locations is always a good investment.
Your Dog’s Built
We should never forget to consider the size of our pooch and his weight. We need to make sure the dog boat ramp we will invest in can support his size and weight. Failure to do this can cause injuries and a waste of investment.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I train my dog to walk up a ramp?
Our pooch requires our patient no matter what we try to teach them. When it comes to teaching them how to use the ramp, we need to consider which type of ramp we bought in the first place. Some dogs are comfortable going up and down a stairs-type ramp, while others are more confident using a ramp.
Before we install the ramp in place, we need to let them get used to the ramp on a flat surface. We can entice him to walk and cross the ramp using simple commands and his favorite treats. Place his treats on the floor leading to the ramp and encourage him to cross.
Once he is comfortable crossing the ramp in a flat surface, we can try gradually increasing the angle until he can effortlessly climb the ramp up and down. If we bought a car ramp we can attach in our boat, the better. This way, he can experience going up the ramp as he would in water.
After installing the ramp in the boat, we can start showing our pooch how to get in the water and climb up the ramp. With a bit of practice, he will eventually get the hang of it. He will no longer need us to pick him up every time he needs to rest by getting out of the water and into the boat.
How do I install a dog boat ramp?
Some dog boat ramps can be attached to the boat using ropes and latches. Others require permanent fixing. There are also some ramps that have a sticky surface which sticks to the boat with ease.
Dog boat ramps can vary in installation. We need to check the user’s manual provided by the manufacturer to make sure we get to secure it in place. We can also watch tutorials and reviews online showing how other pet parents managed to install their ramp in their boat.
How do I maintain a dog boat ramp?
Not all dog boat ramps are the same. Since these can vary in installation, it only means these can also vary in maintenance. But there are a few things we can keep in mind to maintain a ramp in tip-top shape. Of course, we need to consider the manufacturer’s guide and the materials used when caring for the ramp.
Here are a few useful tips in maintaining a dog boat ramp.
- Use a mild or pet-friendly detergent to clean the ramp with dirt and residue after use
- Use a clean cloth to wipe any soap or water residue
- Store the ramp in a secure place
- Keep it out of reach of dogs and kids to avoid any untoward injury or damages
- When using the dog water ramp in other applications, be creative and cautious at the same time
What dog boat ramp size do I need?
Dog boat ramps can come in a variety of sizes. The one we need will largely depend on the size and weight of our pooch. It pays to take our dog’s exact measurements to make sure he can easily climb up and down the ramp with little-to-no problem at all.
Aside from taking into consideration the size of the ramp, we also need to consider the weight of our dog. Different ramps can accommodate different weights. We don’t want to end up buying a good dog boat ramp made for smaller breeds when our pooch weighs at least 200 lbs.
Check the weight capacity of the ramp as well as the dimensions. It also pays to read the reviews and see if the listed weight capacity was able to accommodate the actual weight of dogs who already tried the ramp.
How long do boat ramps last?
How long a ramp will last will depend on the materials used, how we take care of the ramp and how our pooch will make use of the ramp. It is best to invest in a dog ramp built to last. Of course, this will still depend on the usage and how well we try to maintain the ramp.
With the right dog boat ramp, we no longer need to lift our pooch whenever we go swimming and have fun in the water. He can get into the boat and in the water as he pleases with little effort required. We can have that peace of mind knowing he can have fun and can safely go back into the boat as needed.
When choosing a dog boat ramp, we must choose one that is waterproof, has a non-slip surface, smooth edges, and can accommodate our dog’s size and weight. We also need to consider our dog’s preferences as not all dogs can easily climb a stair-type ramp. If he is now a senior dog, has mobility issues or is nursing an injury, then it pays to choose a ramp instead.
Thankfully, dog boat ramps come in different types and sizes. We can choose one depending on our dog’s needs, his preference, and our budget. If we are on a tight budget, there are ramps we can rely on that serve their purpose, can accommodate our canine buddy’s unique needs and won’t break our budget.
The good news is, there are ramps we can use not just for boats, but for our cars as well. By choosing a dog ramp we can use in multiple applications, we can save money and provide our pooch with a simple way to be with us no matter where we go. For best results, consider all variables, our budget and our pooch, and read reviews to get the most out of our investment.