Dog on a boat

4 Best Dog Boat Ramps in 2021

We’ve seen pet ramps for the less mobile and physically challenged pups. Boat ramps can also be used for these pups, but technically any pup would need a dog boat ramp to board a boat. Unless they are small enough for you to carry, dog boat ramps provide a secure path onto the vessel.

Ramps, in general, are a helpful tool to help dogs navigate their way in a human-dominated world. Making their way onto boats for a day on the water could be tough, as it takes a lot of balance. A dog boat ramp will pave the way in a safe and secure way.

Whether you choose ramps, steps or platforms, getting on a boat will be much easier and safer. Dogs are quite limber and nimble creatures that could very well get on and off a vehicle on their own. However, ramps offer a little extra support. Let’s look at what a boat ramp exactly is and what it does.

How We Picked the Best Dog Boat Ramps

Not any old ramp will do for every dog. There are various types and in order for dog owners to get the perfect product with one try, we looked for the below criteria when we assessed what makes the best dog boat ramps.

Size

Dog boat ramps come in many shapes and sizes. If you have a giant dog, you wouldn’t buy a very narrow ramp would you? His paws would probably take up more than half the space necessary on a dog boat ramp made for toy dogs. This is why size was a consideration when we looked at dog boat ramps.

Type and Design

There are also many types of boat ramps for dogs such as a floating dog ramp and even a dog boat ladder. Which do you choose? It depends on your boat and your dog. Some dogs don’t understand ladders and others may be a little nervous when setting paw on a floating ramp that doesn’t feel very stable.

We also tried to look for dog boat ramps that won’t become a hazard itself due to sharp edges. Your dog may slip, and while it could be inevitable, we want to make sure our fur babies won’t get a few scrapes and bruises on the way down so rounded edges or padding were crucial features.

Installation and Portability

A dog boat ramp isn’t generally meant to be a permanent fixture, it’s just a helpful took to get your beloved furry friend onto the vessel. For this reason, you have to make sure the dog boat ramp is easily portable and simple to install. We also took a look at the setup to make sure only the most hassle-free designs are included.

View The Best Dog Boat Ramps Below

1. Great Day LP500 Pet Platform

Great Day LP500 Pet Platform (Load – a – Pup for Boats)

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Product Specifications

  • Brand: Great Day
  • Item Dimensions: 14″ X 20″ platform
  • Recommended Pet Weight: 7 lbs
  • Features: Steady footing, Robust Housing

Our Review

If you are a child of the sea and love taking a trip on your speedboat or sailboat, then your pet will need the Great Day LP500 Pet Platform. It’s easy to hook onto the side of your boat for a sturdy grip. Once it’s securely attached, then you are good to go! Your dog will be able to enter and leave the boat at will.

The pet boat ramp is constructed with aircraft-grade aluminum that’s extremely lightweight but still very durable. The ridges on the platform itself give your dog’s wet paws a good grip as he steps aboard. If your boat has a boarding ladder, then you will be able to put this pet boat platform to the test.

Pros:

+ Easy to set up
+ Secure
+ Aircraft-grade aluminum
+ Ridges for good paw grip

Cons:

– The straps can be improved

Why We Like It – The material alone puts our minds and hearts at ease. Only the best and most durable material would be used for airplanes, and this load – a – pup platform is no exception.


2. PetSTEP Original Folding Pet Ramp

PetSTEP Original Folding Pet Ramp

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Product Specifications

  • Brand: PetSTEP
  • Item Dimensions: Open: 70 L x 17 W x 2.5 H inches, Folded: 36 L x 17 W x 5.75 H inches
  • Surface: Non-Slip Ridged Rubber
  • Capacity: Industry-Leading 500lbs
  • Weight: 18.5 lbs
  • Portability: Convenient cut-out handles on both sides

Our Review

PetSTEP‘s extra long ramp provides excellent traction for paws, and on the side of the boat. It also comes in two colors – beige and gray! The pet ramp is made of durable composite plastic, and is surprisingly strong with a weight limit of up to 500lbs! So whatever you plan on lugging onto your boat will be supported.

The material will ensure longevity and will not rust or corrode, which is great if it’s used for boating purposes. Not only is it great for boats, but it also offers you a lift for vehicles as well. The grip that is meant to be latched onto the side of your vehicle is a universal fit. The non-slip surface makes using the ramp on a wet and rainy day safe.

Pros:

+ Strong material
+ 500lb weight limit
+ Water-resistant outer layer
+ Provides a good grip

Cons:

– A little bit heavy

Why We Like It – The long ramp folds in half for easy storage. When you are finished boarding, grab it by the ergonomic handles on each side and store it inside your boat.


3. PetSafe Solvit UltraLite Bi-Fold Pet Ramp

PetSafe Solvit UltraLite Bi-Fold Pet Ramp

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Product Specifications

  • Brand: PetSafe
  • Item Dimensions: 62″L x 16″W x 4″H
  • Weight Capacity: 150 lbs.
  • Item Weight: 10 lbs.
  • Features: Lightweight, No slipping, Safety tested & durable

Our Review

Similar to the design from PetSTEP, this option also folds in half and is lightweight and durable. Solvit prides themselves in creating the lightest full-sized ramp available. Just how lightweight is this model? It’s only 10 lbs but can support over 150! Measuring at 62 inches, your pet will be able to reach and step onto any higher platform.

The rubber feet and traction pad on the surface add to the ramp’s stability. The safety latch will prevent the ladder from accidentally unfolding in storage. Once you’re done with this bi-fold ramp, just give it a hose off or wipe down.

Pros:

+ Incredibly lightweight
+ Foldable
+ Rubber feet + traction pad
+ Safety latch

Cons:

– Will work even better with traction reinforcement

Why We Like It – The lightweight characteristic of the PetSafe Solvit UltraLite Bi-Fold Pet Ramp has got us sold! At 62 inches, the maneuverability is quite amazing for something of this length and size.


4. WaterDog Adventure Gear Wag Boarding Steps

WaterDog Adventure Gear Wag Boarding Steps

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Product Specifications

  • Brand: WaterDog
  • Package Dimensions: 43 x 19 x 6 inches; 8 Pounds
  • Features: Lightweight and collapsible for transport/storage, Non-corrosive materials

Our Review

If you are looking for a steeper incline that ramps just don’t seem to give you, check out these boarding steps by WaterDog Adventure Gear. They are designed specifically for dogs and are very sturdy. The collapsible stairs are easy to transport and store in the back of your boat. The lightweight dog stairs are quite buoyant and will float to the surface if dropped into the water.

The thoughtful design uses non-corrosive materials, perfect to use on the water. No metal will come in contact with your boat, which means no scratch marks! Sometimes you need your canine pal with you during waterfowl season. These steps will allow him to accompany you on your hunt.

Pros:

+ Non-corrosive materials
+ Collapsible design
+ Lightweight
+ Floats

Cons:

– Not as stable when afloat

Why We Liked It – These dog boarding steps can handle a weight capacity of 130 pounds! There is a slip-resistant surface on each step to ensure your dog has firm footing.


Dog Boat Ramps Buyers Guide

No matter how close you are docked to land, there will always be a gap your dog needs to cross over. Give him an easier time with either a ramp that guides him safely across or steps that lead him down safely. To keep your pooch safe and to guarantee the efficiency and practicality of the product, there are a few factors to look at.

What to Look for When Buying a Dog Boat Ramp?

Weight Limit

Although this usually isn’t an issue because most ramps are designed to hold at least 100lbs, you should still double-check just in case two of your dogs use the ramp at the same time. This will only be possible if you have two small dogs, in which case the weight should not exceed most limits.

Material/Waterproof

Since this article is about boat ramps, water-resistance is a no-brainer. There are different degrees of water-resistance. Depending on how long you will leave it attached to your boat, different materials need to be used. Hopefully, you can find rust-resistant non-corrosive material.


The material of the best dog boat ramps also needs to provide proper traction. Especially since this is dog boating ramps we’re talking about, so it’s inevitable that they will get wet. Make sure the ramps or doggy boat ladder have traction pads and won’t be too slippery when wet.

A slippery surface could affect your dog’s footing and cause him to slip. It’s less of a concern if  your pooch lands in the water, but if he manages to hit the edge or if the boat ramp doubles as a car ramp, then the injuries would be more significant.

Easy Installation

Who wants to use a device that is difficult to install? Especially one that will cost a pretty penny. Most ramps and stairs are designed to be convenient and easily portable.

This would mean the set-up and disassembly should be a relatively easy endeavor. Although ones that become permanent fixtures, like pool stairs, would require a multi-stepped process.

Don’t pick an easy boarding ladder just because you are afraid of an arduous setup process. The best products would ensure a quick and painless installation anyway. Large dogs will most likely need a larger dog water ramp while small dogs may not do well on dog stairs with steep steps.

The Edges

Are the edges on the dog boat planks smooth? This has become quite a large focus in regards to safety. If your dog does happen to slip off the side, he won’t cut himself on the ridged and sharp edges. It’s okay if the dog ramp edges aren’t round if there is padding.

There is also a way to ensure this if you take the time to add additional padding, but not many consumers want to spend extra time on the boat’s boarding ladder and reinforcing the edges with padding if dog owners can already find one built suitably.

Traction

Speaking of tumbling off the side, traction pads or a textured surface will also reduce this risk. We mentioned this above, but it’s such an important point that we feel it deserves its own section.This feature is especially important when it comes to boat ramps since they are used close to water.

Some dog ramps are so heavily textured that they can give your dog a good foothold even if it is submerged.

Ease of Transport

For easy transport, the dog boat ladder or ramp should be as lightweight as possible. You can find collapsible and foldable options that are easy to store once your dog is finished with it.

Dog ramps made from aircraft-grade aluminum will definitely be lightweight, as aluminum usually is, and incredibly sturdy. Since these contraptions are meant to support your dog and will have additional hinges, nuts and screws, you should expect that a dog ramp should weight at least a few good pounds. What it shouldn’t do, is be so heavy that it takes you a lot of effort to move.

Items that are cumbersome and a hassle to setup will most likely go unused for years. This will result in a waste of money as well, so finding dog ramps that are easy to transport is more beneficial than you would think.

What are the Benefits of a Dog Boat Ramp?

Other than giving your dog easy access to the vessel, it’s also easier for you! Hunting dogs, especially water retrievers are usually a significant size.

We are sure you would rather be doing something other than lifting your 80+ pound dog onto the boat. Lifting large dogs will do a number on your back, but do small dogs require a dog boat ramp?

After all, it’s not hard to carry a small to toy breed onto a boat. We would still recommend getting a dog boat ramp for small breeds or any dog, in fact, because it’s easier for everyone involved. If your feet do accidentally come out from under you, your dog will still be safe.

There is also less risk of injury to both parties with proper traction. These ramps also have preventative benefits to your dog’s joints. They stave off hip dysplasia and other mobility issues. Another major benefit of a dog boat ramp or dog boat ladder is its versatility.

If you’re looking into the best dog boat ramp for a mobile-challenged dog, the same dog ramp can be used for more than just getting onto a boat. Your pet will need a dog ramp to get up onto the couch, the bed, or even up the stairs in some cases.

Having multiple ramps will take up a ton of space and quite frankly, it doesn’t look great. If you can find yourself a lightweight ramp that can still handle your dog’s weight, then you can carry it around the house and place it wherever needed.

A dog ramp is also a good idea for dogs with hip and elbow dysplasia that can’t really handle steps. A dog ladder or dog steps are common fixes for pets with joint problems but sometimes it doesn’t help or can aggravate the situation.

In this case, we suggest looking for the best dog boat ramp money can buy for your furry friend.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I maintain my dog ramps?

Just because it’s built to be tough, it doesn’t mean a dog ladder or dog steps won’t require any maintenance at all. You need to take good care of it in order to ensure that it is always in tip-top shape. You can do so by always storing it properly and making sure it is dry before you put it away.

Yes, it will require a quick wipedown, but this could prevent rust in some dog ladders and ramps as well as mold.

Cleaning the ramp is easy too, and it should be done a few times a month. You don’t have to do it after every outdoor adventure, but as often as possible. Use a mild pet-friendly detergent to scrub the surface and then hose it down thoroughly before wiping it dry and storing it away.

Be careful not to scrub it too hard because you don’t want to damage the traction pads or material.

How do I train my dog to use the best dog boat ramp?

Some dogs just instinctively understand what the dog ramp is for and will automatically know how to use it. Others will take some time and some coaxing. After you install the dog ladder, ramp or steps securely, you can try to entice your dog with treats. Remember to engage in the training slowly and give your pooch plenty of positive reinforcement and rewards.

You can show your dog how to use the dog ladder by placing his paws gently on the ramp, step or rung and reward him generously. Do it a few times until he feels more comfortable to move onto the next tier.

In the case of floating dog ramps, they don’t tend to be as stable as a secure dog boarding ladder and could shift under your dog’s weight. This could instill anxiety in some pups, so we recommend using something steadier such as a boat ladder.

Conclusion

Responsible and caring dog parents would use ramps to give their pup a leg up. It’s a safe and secure way to make sure your dog can board and depart the boat stably. A lot of ramps offer versatility and ease of transport. We hope you have found your forever dog boat ramp on our list!

As mentioned, a dog ramp is also highly versatile and can work around the house and as a car ramp. This way, your dog will never have to feel left out of family adventures and he will still be able to join in summer fun at the pool with the right dog pool ramps or dog pool steps.

Boating adventures won’t be off-limits for your injured or senior dog breeds thanks to the invention of dog water ramps.

You don’t have to get a dog ramp if dog boat stairs can work just as well. These nifty devices also fold down easily to become a more compact and easily stored unit. As a dog owner we’re sure you would want to share in as much fun with your pet as possible, and that can be true with the right dog ramp.

Expert Tip

The size you choose depends greatly on your pooch. A larger dog would benefit from a larger and longer ramp. However, the weight limit is a more vital feature. Take your dog’s measurements to make sure the next ramp you purchase is wide enough.

Did You Know?

Dog boat ramps are made with a weather-resistant material. They need to be more durable than a regular car ramp. Anti-rust and aircraft-grade metals are great choices.

For ramps used at home, a pet parent could just lay out a multi-stepped stool for example. However, for boats, we would advise against designing your own ramp.

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