How to Build a Dog Ramp

By Louise Lawson

Dog ramps can help aging or injured pets reach tall surfaces they might otherwise be unable to reach. There are dozens of commercially made dog ramps on the market, but they can be bulky and cost upward of $250. You can construct a completely customized dog ramp with just a few simple materials. Building your own ramp can save you hundreds of dollars and drastically improve the quality of life for your pet.

How to Build a Dog Ramp

Decide how long you want your ramp. If you are building a vehicle ramp, 6 to 8 feet is long enough. If you are looking for a smaller ramp for indoor use, a 4-foot long ramp should be acceptable.

Lay out two of your 2x2 boards and measure them according to the needs of your ramp, marking them with a pencil. Cut the boards to fit your specified lengths to begin the frame of your ramp. Be sure to cut them evenly to avoid rough edges that might injure your pet.

Place your plywood section on a flat surface, placing your frame boards 12 inches apart on the plywood as a guide. Mark the width and length of your frame, and cut your plywood section according to these measurements. The plywood will serve as the top of your ramp, so measure carefully to ensure a proper fit.

Measure out 12-inch lengths of your remaining 2 x 2's and cut them with your saw. These small slats will be the steps for the top of your ramp, helping your dog climb and giving him plenty of traction as he navigates the ramp.

Nail your plywood top to the ramp frame, driving the nails in firmly with your hammer. Space your slats evenly along your ramp, nailing them to the top of your ramp to build your steps. Make sure you hammer the nails all the way into the wood to prevent your dog from injuring herself as she climbs up and down.

Paint your ramp with a layer of water-resistant paint. Painting your ramp will not only make it a bit more stylish but will also prevent it from rotting or warping if it gets wet.