dog climbing a yellow boat dog ramp

Best Dog Boat Ramp. Review and Buying Guide

Why use a dog boat ramp?

Dog boat ramps are the best way to help your pet get in and out of the water with the least amount of hassle. There are so many different types on the market, so you might be having trouble finding a place to start. Don’t worry; we’ve done the research to bring you the best dog boat ramps.

The best dog boat dog ramp is Pawz Pet Products Doggy Boat Ladder and RampIt is a dog ramp suited for smaller as well as bigger dogs. Older dogs will find it easy to climb as well. It is sturdy and foldable. It can be attached to boat ladders wider than 1 foot. 

Our List of The Best Six Dog Boat Ramps

Dog RampAdjustable/Foldable
Great Day LP500 Pet PlatformYES
Pawz Pet Products Doggy Boat Ladder and RampYES
Paws Aboard Doggy Boat Ladder and RampYES
WaterDog Adventure Gear™ Wag Boarding StepsYES
Great Day Load-A-Pup HDYES
Great Day Load-A-Pup Salty DogYES

 Great Day LP500 Pet Platform

This pet boat ramp is great for dogs that hate to stay home while you go to the lake. It’s at the perfect height for just about any dog to be able to climb on and off of it easily. It’s nice and lightweight. You don’t have to worry about it being too heavy when you pack your boating gear.

Don’t think it’s a light-duty worker though, it’s durable, even for dogs that get a little too excited when it’s time to go out on the water. When they’re ready to get out, you won’t have to worry about them slipping; the pet platform has an excellent grip that keeps your dog steady.

Pros:

  • Unfolds to a 14’ by 20’ platform but weighs only about 5 lbs
  • Easy to install, just hook to the boarding ladder
  • Dogs can easily get on and off

Cons:

  • Not as easy for older dogs to use

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Pawz Pet Products Doggy Boat Ladder and Ramp

Not all pet ramps cater to older dogs that might struggle with aching or stiff joints. Many older dogs struggle with shorter, less textured ramps. This Pawz Pet ramp really has everything you want in a good pet ramp: it’s textured with a no-slip surface, it’s fairly wide, lightweight, and easy to store.

It does look more like a set of shallow stairs, and that helps pets get out of the water more easily. It’s definitely a pet ramp you can keep for years. It also folds down for more compact storage. Additionally, it’s rust and corrosion-resistant, like any good piece of boating gear.

Pros:

  • Wider and longer, less strain for pets getting back into the boat
  • Older dogs with joint problems find it easier to use
  • Durable and resists rust and corrosion

Cons:

  • Won’t attach to ladders less than a foot wide

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Paws Aboard Doggy Boat Ladder and Ramp

If you’re sick of measuring a dog ramp to fit your ladder, this Paws Aboard ramp is your solution. That’s because it uses a universal sized grip that can attach to just about any boat ladder. That said, it gets even better when you realize that attaching and removing it takes almost zero time (we’re talking less than 10 seconds here).

It’s great for smaller dogs that love to get out in the water, and you’ll love seeing them scamper in and out of the water as they please. The other very nice thing about this pet ramp is that it folds up nicely. Once folded, the ladder is compact enough to fit under your boat seats.

Pros:

  • Easy to install, can be adjusted to different widths
  • Folds up nicely and can store under boat seats
  • Makes getting on and off boat easier for dogs

Cons:

  • Somewhat slippery, non-stick pads could be added

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WaterDog Adventure Gear™ Wag Boarding Steps Model LM-6H

This is one of the sturdiest dog boat ramps you’ll find on the market today. It looks more like a set of stairs but made to be more dog-friendly. They aren’t as deep as the stairs you have at home; they’re more shallow and, therefore, easier for your dogs to use, even if they’re older pups that don’t take to standard stairs very well.

The steps are each about 4 inches wide and tall, which gives dogs the perfect amount of space, whether they’re toy breeds or really big dogs. The steps also have a lot better grip than other pet ramps, so you can have peace of mind your dogs won’t have trouble getting up.

Pros:

  • Very sturdy holds up to 130 lbs
  • Steps are non-slip, and ideally sized for dogs
  • Lightweight and easy to collapse for storage

Cons:

  • Rubber feet can slip off top ends

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Great Day Load-A-Pup HD

This dog boat platform is excellent for all water-loving pups, but it’s especially nice for pet parents that like hunting waterfowl. It’s designed to make it quick and easy for your puppy hunting partner to get out into the water and retrieve your catch. You can use it on smaller boats, too, and they won’t get rocked about since you can position the platform lower to meet water level.

Here’s a neat thing about this one too: it can hold almost literally any dog. It has one of the highest weight capacities you’ll find for dog boat ramps (if not the highest overall). How much weight can it support? It can hold any dog up to 200 lbs, which is pretty impressive.

Pros:

  • Extremely durable and robust (holds up to 200 lbs!)
  • No ladder needed, will hook to sides or transom
  • Makes it so much easier to get wet dogs into the boat

Cons:

  • Mounting hooks are better replaced with a sturdier set

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Great Day Load-A-Pup Salty Dog

Great Day Salty Dog Boat Ramp

Now, not all dog boat ramps are created equally, or for the same purpose. Some are designed for smaller hunting boats; others attach to ladders. Likewise, while many boat ramps for pets are designed for freshwater use, not all are. That’s where the Great Day Salty Dog ramp comes in.

It’s designed to work with all the challenges that saltwater brings while standing up to rust and corrosion. It’s a very high-quality ramp, from the materials to construction to longevity, and it’s a ramp your dog will love using.

Pros:

  • Seems more comfortable for dogs to learn to use
  • Very high quality, great value
  • Works in saltwater without rusting

Cons:

  • Straps for ladder are somewhat difficult

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Benefits of Using a Dog Ramp

Prevent Slips and Injury

Wet conditions can make any situation harder for a dog. This is especially so when they’re in the water itself. Having a non-slip dog ramp prevents slips and slides that injure your pet.

Take Stress Off Joints

Climbing up can be a lot of work for older dogs, especially if they suffer from joint issues. While water exercise is good for them, it can stress their stiff joints to climb back into the boat. A ramp takes the pressure off joints and allows for a smoother entrance or exit.

Hassle-Free Fun

Anyone that loves hanging out with their pet at the lake knows that trying to get a slippery, wet dog back into the boat can be a huge pain. Once you train your dog to use a special boat ramp, you can each enjoy the time out without the stress of helping your pup get in and out of the water.

What to Look for in a Dog Ramp

Surface

The surface of the dog ramp is more important than you might realize. It’s really important to look for a non-slip surface, especially if you have an older dog that’s prone to slipping. If you find the perfect ramp, but it doesn’t have a grippy surface, consider adding some of your own.

Height

Some ramps are designed to extend when needed, but many come in fixed sizes. If you’re looking at a dog ramp with a fixed size, make sure you measure to ensure it’ll fit your boat before you buy it. When you measure, make sure there’s enough room for your dog to get onto the boat easily.

Design

While you may want to look for a pet ramp that matches your boat, the design of the ramp is really important when it comes to how your pet uses it. Some dogs do better with a platform that’s more like a ramp, while others find stairs easier. Other dogs may be able to use flat platforms better. Ultimately, it depends on what’s more comfortable for your dog.

Pet Step vs. Pet Ramp

Pet ramps are easier for some dogs to use, especially if their joints can’t handle stairs like they used to. Other times, dogs may have a fear of stairs, and a ramp is more helpful then. Ramps give more of a gentle ascent than stairs do. Pet steps do require a little more from the dog’s joints. But pet stairs are designed to be easier for dogs to mount. They aren’t as large as your regular stairs and are sized for dogs.

Conclusion

A pet boat ramp can make all the difference in your lake outings. No more struggling to get a wet dog back into the boat, just extra time to enjoy. While it may take a little time, it’s worth it when you get on the water!

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