Building a simple ramp will protect the joints and health of your dog while providing access to decks, vehicles and beds. Do not leave your pooches behind just because they can't make the leap. Build an easy ramp and bring them along!
Set a four-by-eight sheet of plywood on a saw horse. Measure and mark 2 feet of width, or half of the board. Cut the board with a skill saw. Cut two, 2-foot-long two-by-fours. If you are uncomfortable with a saw, some hardware stores will make the cuts for you.
Align a two-by-four flush with one end (width) of the plywood to create a rail. Drill 2 1/4-inch deck screws to connect the boards. Repeat on the opposite end of the plywood. This makes one rail on the top and one on the bottom of the ramp. The rails provide stability and prevent the ramp from slipping.
Cover the surface of the plywood with scrap carpet. Overlap the edges of the plywood with several inches of carpet. Staple the overlapping edges of carpet on the bottom side of the ramp. Pull the carpet tight as you apply the staples. This will create traction for the dog. Do not cover the traction rails with carpet. The wood grabs surfaces better than carpet.
- Look for scrap lumber to save on the cost. The dimensions are flexible and you can make adjustments based on dog size and the height of the climb.
- Wear gloves and safety glasses while working with the saw. Use a stable surface and keep your hands clear of the blade.
Zach Lazzari is a Montana based freelance outdoor writer and photographer. You can follow his work at bustedoarlock.com.