Most dogs love swimming, but depending on the breed, not all of them will have an easy time with it. This is especially true for getting in and out of pools, boats, lakes, etc. When going boating with your pooch, and you expect some swimming action, bringing a dog boat ramp is a great idea, and it'll make everything easier for both you and your pup.
Table of Contents
- The 7 Best Dog Pool Ramp Brands
- Considering Different Dog Pool Steps
Similarly, if you own a pool, it’s important that you have a fence around the pool to protect your dog from accidental drowning, but it’s equally important to have a dog pool ramp (or dog water ramp) so your canine can get out of the pool easily should they fall in or get tired while swimming.
Water ramps for dogs aren’t limited to one use; they can always be helpful while boating, in pools, swimming at the dock or going hunting with your dog near lakes. Below in the article, we’re reviewing and taking a more detailed look at a few of our top picks for the best dog pool ramp brands to help you shop for one and pick the right type.
|Petstep Original Folding Pet Ramp, Khaki/Beige||617 Reviews||$76.16||Buy on Amazon|
|Skamper Ramp Super, Large Size, 42 x 13 x 6.5 inch||317 Reviews||$53.59||Buy on Amazon|
|Beavertail Aluminum Folding Dog Ladder, Olive Drab...||31 Reviews||$119.99||Buy on Amazon|
|Great Day LP500 Pet Platform (Load-A-Pup for...||108 Reviews||$129.99||Buy on Amazon|
|Paws Aboard Doggy Boat Ladder and Ramp||76 Reviews||$199.00||Buy on Amazon|
|Dog Ramps for Large Dogs - Pet Ramp for SUV Truck...||284 Reviews||$39.90||Buy on Amazon|
|Paws Aboard PoolPup Steps||46 Reviews||$129.99||Buy on Amazon|
What Makes a Good Dog Pool Ramp?
The first thing that we looked for when shopping for dog pool ramps is the quality of the ramp itself. Even for very small breeds, you must trust it'll hold, so it’s important to us that each dog water ramp we picked was made from durable, high-quality material rather than flimsy plastic.
Not only is a flimsy pet ramp more likely to break with use, but it also creates a feeling of instability that – in our experience – makes our dogs reluctant to use the ramp at all. It cannot be shaking, or have give when the dog steps on it.
Lightweight but Sturdy
It is not mandatory for a water ramp to be lightweight unless you plan on using it for boating or regularly taking it in and out of your pool. While it’s not imperative, however, we did consider this when choosing our top dog pool ramp picks and for the most part, you will notice that our ramps are all rather lightweight.
How compact a water ramp is influences how portable your water ramp is going to be. For example, does the ramp fold in half or telescope out to reach full length to make it easier to load in your car or boat?
How compact a water ramp is also refers to how long the ramp is or how much space it will take up when placed in your pool. It’s important to have a ramp that is long enough to accommodate your dog’s needs, but it’s also important not to have a ramp that is so long that it’s cumbersome and takes up too much room in your pool.
A Non-Slip Surface
Lastly, but most importantly, a dog water ramp for any use should have a non-slip surface. A good non-slip surface will allow your dog to get a good grip on the ramp and climb it into the pool or boat without the risk of slipping. That said, it’s also important that a non-slip surface not be too rough, or you risk damaging your dog’s paw pads.
Below are our favorite best dog pool ramps for use not only in your swimming pools, but also on boats, playing at the docks, or most elsewhere near water with your pup.
The 7 Best Dog Pool Ramp Brands
1 PetSTEP Original Folding Pet Ramp
The PetSTEP Original Folding Pet Ramp is from a name that we trust (we used their indoor steps for our older Labrador when he could no longer jump on the furniture). We like the quality of PetSTEP products, and their prices always seem to be mid-range, so you feel better about not getting the cheapest product on the market, but you don’t have to splash out a fortune either.
- Unique soft non-slip...
- Universal non-slip grip fits...
- Folds in half for easy storage...
- Advanced composite plastic...
- Will not rust or corrode and...
Made from composite plastic, we weren’t too sure about just how well this ramp would hold up to big dog use over time, however, it is rated for up to 500lbs. and seems to do quite well with larger breeds. That said, we should clarify that we haven’t tried this with a dog over 80lbs. so if you have a Newfie or St. Bernard, it’s worth testing this ramp out before you buy it just to be sure.
There are plenty of things we love about this water ramp! Firstly, the fact that it doesn’t use that awful sandpaper texture tape is the most exciting feature of this ramp. We hate those rough treaded ramps that tear our dog’s feet to shreds! This ramp has a soft rubbery surface instead and it makes all the difference in your dog being able to grip the ramp. Secondly (and for those of you who don’t get as excited about rubberized walking surfaces), this truly is a multi-functional ramp and anything that saved us money is a plus. We use ours regularly in the pool and in our SUV and have had no problems with it to date.
What didn’t we like about this ramp? Our biggest pet peeve is that the swimming pool extension must be purchased separately. That said, we do like the fact that additional research went into a special pool extension and PetSTEP didn’t expect their product to work flawlessly for multiple applications.
- Folds in half for easy storage.
- Holds up to 500lbs.
- Soft rubberized surface for grip without abrasion.
- Easily cleaned.
- No rust or corrosion.
- No sharp edges.
- You must purchase a “pool extension” to adapt this ramp for pool use. This will cost just under $60 on top of the price of the ramp.
- The closing clasp to lock the ramp when folded can be weak.
- Some pet parents had trouble with the rubber coating coming away from the ramp.
- This is a slightly narrow ramp for big dogs.
- The ramp can “bounce” if a larger dog runs across it.
2 Skamper Ramp Super Dog Pool Ramp
The Skamper Ramp Super is a ribbed plastic ramp with drainage holes all over the body of the ramp. It’s designed specifically for emergency water escape (such as in a swimming pool). This ramp comes in two sizes – large and regular, although we recommend the larger ramp because even small dogs seem to have trouble with the small ramp not giving them enough length. This is also another mid-range product when it comes to price, but unlike a few of the other products, this one looks a lot flimsier for what you pay.
- SCAMPER RAMP: This pet ramp...
- RAMP FOR THE POOL: The...
- PET SAFETY: Keep pets safe...
- GAMMA2 PET SAFETY: Gamma2...
- JUST FOR PETS: Petmate makes a...
Made from 8mm, chemical- and UV-resistant, recyclable, box-corrugated, PP (polypropylene), we like the appeal of these ramp features, but we’re not quite sold on how well it will stand up to bigger dogs because it does seem quite flimsy. The other thing that’s important to know is that the ramp uses rope for “docking” which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does make the ramp a little more “free-floating” which can put off some dogs.
We love that Skamper Ramp went for a ramp material that is so pup-friendly and that it won’t yellow in the sun. We also thought that using a white material for the ramp so that it would be visible in the water was a pretty great idea. Lastly, if you have trouble lifting heavier weights, you’ll love that this lightweight ramp can easily be flipped back over the side of the pool and you don’t have to lift it out and pack it away with every use if you don’t want to.
What we didn’t like so much about this ramp, though, was that the regular sized ramp was so small that it was almost nonfunctional. We also weren’t too happy with the anchoring system for this ramp – it just wasn’t sturdy enough to give us confidence let alone make our pups feel comfortable.
- Available in multiple sizes.
- Corrosion resistant.
- Easily pulled from the water by flipping it over the side of the pool.
- No slip-free grip.
- The extension of the larger ramp can bend downwards under heavier dogs.
- Some pet parents report the ramp flipping sideways in the water if their dog did not center themselves on the ramp.
- Too narrow for wider breeds to use comfortably.
- Many pet parents found the shorter ramp size to be too small to be practical.
3 Beavertail Aluminum Folding Dog Pool Ladder
The Beavertail Aluminum Folding Dog Ladder is an unusual ladder compared to other dog water ladder options simply because of the shape. Initially designed for use on duck hunting boats, this is a very sturdy ladder that has also been used in swimming pools by simply hooking it on the ladder. It’s probably important to note that this isn’t a water ramp/ladder that’s recommended for swimming pool use by the manufacturer, though, even though it has been used for that purpose.
- This ultra strong two-way...
- Floods up for easy storage
- Olive drab color
Made of durable aluminum and stainless steel, this ladder/ramp option also has rubber covered arms to keep it in place and to silence it when you are using it during a duck hunt. Although the unique shape of this ramp might be a bit off-putting if you’re looking for a ramp that’s less bulky, the shape is one of the features that we love most. The unique wave makes it much easier for dogs to climb up and continue climbing without as much strain as a traditional ramp would create on the limbs.
As we mentioned above, we really love the shape of this ladder, but there are a few more features that we love too. The dual point latching system that keeps the ladder sturdily attached to the boat is a huge plus, and the material quality is another bonus. Unlike the plastic versions of these ramps, this option is much more likely to last even with ongoing use.
Unfortunately, in addition to all the things that we love about this ramp, there are also several things that we don’t like so much…but this could be because we aren’t a duck hunting crew? Firstly, we have trouble with the color. Again, this is a ramp largely used for duck hunting, so we understand the need for camouflage, however, the drab color does make it harder to see under the water which is a tough sell if you have seniors.
Our second concern with this ramp option is that it doesn’t offer much purchase for your dog’s feet while walking up the ramp – some pet parents have said that they had to add a towel to the ramp to give their dog a better grip on the surface. We suspect that these are older dogs or dogs that are less steady on their feet, but it’s something to consider.
- Designed for boat use, but also works on the side of pools or on pool ladders.
- Darker, drab color for better duck hunting use.
- The product design makes it easier to climb than a traditional flat slope.
- Rubber covers on the arms of the ramp make sure it doesn’t scratch the sides of your boat or bang against your boat or pool side, scaring your dog.
- Takes up limited space.
- Although great for hunting use, the dark olive color of these steps makes them harder to see in murkier river waters.
- Slightly too narrow for some larger dogs.
- Some pet parents complain of weak threading on the screws that required them to do some DIY work.
- The surface of the ladder is too a little too slick for dogs to grip.
4 Great Day LP500 Pet Platform for Pools/Boats
The Great Day LP500 Pet Platform is another unique water ramp/platform option that was designed for boat use but has been used by multiple pet parents in their home pools with success. We must admit that when we first saw the Great Day platform, we weren’t too sure about the design, but seeing it in action, it actually works really well! Unlike other ramps, this one provides a flat step up like having an “in between” step. Yes, we know, it’s a step not a ramp, but it doesn’t require the climbing that traditional stairs do so we think that it’s more comparable to a ramp in terms of functionality.
- With The Load-A-Pup, You And...
- Simply Hook The Load-A-Pup To...
- The Load-A-Pup Platform Is...
- Fits Any Boat That Has A...
The Great Day LP500 is made from light-weight aircraft aluminum and has ridges along the length of the platform for traction – not adhesive tape that will peel away. Despite being lightweight, the platform is incredibly sturdy and fits right on to your boat ladder or pool ladder securely. When it’s not in use, the platform folds up for easy storage or it can be removed completely by removing the easily removed adjustable anchoring straps.
We love quite a bit about this “ramp” option, namely, the unique design that finds a middle-ground between slippery ramps and hard to climb stairs. We also like that this is a very lightweight platform because it looks deceptively heavy when you first see it – in actuality, it weighs just 7lbs. Lastly, the fact that this platform is made from aircraft aluminum is a great peace of mind if you are going to use it frequently or intend to leave it in your pool.
What don’t we love about this ramp/platform choice? Our biggest pet peeve about any product is when so much thought went into the main design, yet so little thought went into the “accessories”. This is exactly what happened with the anchoring straps of this swim platform. While the platform itself is very stable and reliable, the cheaper anchoring straps are easily loosened causing the platform to slowly slide down with regular use.
- Easily hooks onto boat or pool ladders.
- Gripping ridges are built into the platform making it easier to grip without worrying about a grippable surface peeling away.
- Fits to any boat make or model that has a boarding ladder.
- The platform is large enough for bigger dogs.
- Folds flat for storage.
- Made from aircraft aluminum for durability and strength.
- Better suited for boat use than pool use.
- Some pet parents find that the ladder hangs too low on their boat.
- The attachment straps aren’t as strong as they should be for such a sturdy ramp.
5 Paws Aboard Doggy Boat Pool Ladder/Ramp
This Paws Aboard doggy boat and pool ladder/ramp is one of the most practical ideas we have seen for an emergency water exit option. This product is designed with inflatable tubes on each side of the mesh ramp and with a safety platform built at the top of the mesh ramp and the top of the inflatable tubes. The whole point of this ramp option is to have it float for easier access for your pup without the ramp sinking as it gets used, and we really like it!
- The Doggy Boat Ladder is an...
- Portable, lightweight and...
- Making boating fun and safe...
Made from plastic, “Superman mesh”, and steel, the dog pool ramp looks clumsy and it takes up more room than most other dog water ramps, but this is one of those products that – if you can afford it – you’ll get more than enough use out of it to make your money back. That said, however, it’s not your average family that’s going to spend $400+ on something that they can be (less effectively) remedied with a much cheaper product.
What do we love about this pet ramp for pools? Its practical design doesn’t just make it much easier for dogs to use it because they can see it above water, but it also helps to counteract the weight of your dog when they step on the ramp by creating less of a “dip” when they step onto it. We also really like the inflatable side pieces (which are puncture proof) because they allow a tired dog to safely rest while still in the water before they attempt to climb out.
What don’t we like about this dog water ramp? It's the price tag. Of course, you pay for quality and as one of the best ramps on our recommendation list – if you have the money – it’s worth the purchase. The truth is, however, that very few people are going to invest the alternative of a hefty car payment into a product that they can find alternative solutions for at less than a quarter of the price!
- Can be used on a boat or in a pool.
- The fasteners and tubing are stainless and galvanized steel making them sturdier than other ramps we’ve looked at.
- Features two large floats on each side of the mesh ramp to make your dog feel safer and keep it afloat.
- Easily stored.
- Simple to use and requires less “learning time” for dogs than other ramps.
- If you want to put the ramp up in storage, you must deflate the bolsters and reflate them when you’re ready to put it in the water again. (Note: an air compressor will make this easier.)
- Some pet parents have experienced fraying of the mesh material on the ramp, but this seems to be a seldom occurrence.
6 Paws and Pals Pool Dog Ramp for Large Dogs
The Paws and Pals Dog Ramp for Large Dogs is an affordable dog water ramp that might look simple, but it actually has quite a few incredible features including the ability to use it in the car, SUV, indoor pool, and outdoor pool! Although, you bigger dog parents out there should know that this ramp is only rated for a max capacity of 120lbs.
- DIMENSIONS: When folded:...
- SECURELY LOCKS IN PLACE: Ramp...
- INJURY PREVENTION: An...
- GREAT FOR TRAVEL: Folded...
- INCLUDES: One (1) pet ramp,...
Made from PVC plastic, this lightweight dog ramp comes with grip tape that can be trimmed to fit your ramp and make it an easier climb for your dog. With that in mind, however, you can use the ramp without the grip tape and find that it works just as well for your dog. When not in use, you can fold this ramp up for easy storage and it even has a carrying handle.
What we love about this dog water ramp is the fact that it has so many applications so that you effectively end up with multiple products in a single ramp! We also like that this ramp is so lightweight that it can be folded away in your vehicle and taken to the lake or a friend’s home for pool day without much fuss at all! Lastly, we also love that this ramp is a little wider than some of the narrower products on the market which prove difficult or even impossible for big dogs to use safely.
What don’t we like about this dog water ramp? Our primary concern is that this ramp can be much too steep of an incline for older dogs or dogs that are unsteady on their feet.
- Solid construction that gives your dog more confidence than flimsier ramps.
- The grip tape is water resistant and can be trimmed to any desired size or shape.
- Folds up for easy storage and has a handle for transport!
- Ridged design for easy gripping even without grip tape.
- Approved for dogs up to 120lbs.
- Can be used for various situations including cars, pools, and RV’s.
- There is no latch at the top of the ramp to secure it in place so it is possible that it will move.
- Some pet parents have trouble with the folding hinge freezing so the ramp doesn’t fold without a little force (some pet parents say they kick it, but we wouldn’t recommend it!)
- The grip tape can peel up and rip if not applied properly.
- The ramp can be a little too steep for older or unsteady dogs depending on the height of your vehicle.
7 Paws Aboard PoolPup Dog Steps for Pools
The Paws Aboard dog pool steps are, unlike some of the other options listed, actual steps as opposed to being a ramp. It's also priced rather affordably and can be used in various incline positions ranging from a basic ramp to fabric steps. This allows your steps to be catered specifically to your dog’s needs.
- The discreet step provides a...
- The Pool Pup is made from...
- Contains no holes that paws...
- Steps have slip-proof grit...
- Once installed, it is very...
Made from UV stable, chlorine-resistant ABS plastic, these dog water steps can also be used in your car as well on your boat and in your home pool, making it a pretty good investment if you have a dog with limited mobility. The pool stairs also features rubber feet which keep it from slipping while it is in use. This may sound like a simple feature, but you’d be surprised at just how many water ramps don’t have anything to keep your dog safe from slipping when using them.
What we love most about these pet pool stairs option is that it provides multiple step size choices that can be adjusted to suit your vehicle and your dog’s size or health. This makes it a great option for families with multiple dogs in their household because adjustable settings can accommodate each dog separately – ever tried to shop for products that suit a Great Dane and a Chihuahua?
What don’t we like about this dog steps for pools? The fact that the safety buckle that helps to hold the ladder in the right position resembles nothing more than a flimsy carabiner. We’re not sure just how much weight or movement that carabiner can take before it breaks and takes the whole ramp/steps down with it!
- Supports up to 100lbs.
- The accordion design gives better grip and more purchase for older or unsteady dogs.
- Stores easily because it folds up in a unique way.
- Has a handle for easy transportation.
- Can be set to a steep step angle or a shorter step angle depending on the height of your vehicle.
- Anti-slip rubber feet keep the ladder in place.
- Although designed for multiple uses – one of which is pool use – the fabric can be a little slippery.
Considering Different Dog Pool Steps
In addition to a pool ramp for dogs, there is also the option of utilizing dog water steps. Although dog water steps aren’t ideal for everyone (we don’t recommend them for older dogs or dogs with weak limbs), there are relatively few dog water ramps available and so there is very little variety. If you can’t find a dog water ramp that suits your needs or your budget, consider looking into pool steps for dogs instead.
Our Top Pick Overall
Of all the dog water ramps we reviewed and listed above, it was difficult to pick between a few brands since many of them serve a similar purpose and are of similarly great quality. Nonetheless, our favorite pick ended up being PetSTEP Original Folding Pet Ramp.
While we didn’t find an overall perfect and best dog pool ramp that left us with no concerns at all, the PetSTEP dog ramp is the best option on the market at the moment with the least disadvantages and most reliable features. It is more expensive than some of the cheaper options, but it is a higher quality product and has fewer points of concern than the most expensive ramp on our list.
We also picked this as the best pool ramp for dogs because it is a multi-use option with an extension specifically meant for use in pools which shows us that research was done into making the ramp safer for use in pool areas where some of the other ramps seem to be a “one size fits all” solution for boats, pools, and dry land.
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