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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Dog ramps for higher tailgates

When we bought our latest Dodge half-ton truck for our Lab, Angus, we failed to take into consideration the height of the tailgate, and the leap he'd have to negotiate to get in and out of the bed, which is covered with a canopy.

Our Dodge Dakotas have been low enough that Angus could jump in and out if he had to.  But this bigger truck is another matter.  After a 12-week recovery from shoulder surgery, we're not letting him leap in--and especially not out--of anything that high anymore.

Which would you find easier to negotiate?  The steps, or the ramp?
So we hauled out our old folding dog ramp and put it up to the new truck's tailgate so Angus could give it a try.  He didn't even get halfway up before I called a halt to the operation and got him off.  The ramp, at its steeper angle, just wasn't stable under his 80 pounds.  It was bouncy and slippery.

That's when my brilliant husband retreated to the mud room and came back out with the folding stairs we use with our dog tub.  (Yes, we had a professional grooming tub installed in our mud room, instead of a traditional "utility tub."  We use it for everything...even bathing dogs.)

These steps fit the higher tailgate perfectly.  They offer  stability (necessary when you have older or handicapped dogs).  They're lightweight and easier to maneuver than the folding ramp (which always pinches my fingers).  And Angus has absolutely no trepidation about climbing them, because the footing is so secure.
The steps can actually hook only the end of the tailgate, whereas the ramp can slide or bounce loose.

Once the dog is loaded, you just fold the steps flat and slide them into the pickup bed.  No more pinched fingers.

Only one problem now:  we can't bathe the dogs until we get more steps.  For some reason they're not complaining.

You can get these steps from any groomer supply catalog, at prices ranging from $100 to $125.


Alex B said...

What a great idea! These stairs are perfect for getting the dogs in and out and so easy to transport and store. Love it!

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Unknown said...

Where can I find the steps

Unknown said...

Where can I find the steps

Jerald said...

Good to know. I was thinking about getting a ramp for our dogs. They have no trouble jumping in and out now, but I thought a ramp would be useful on days when their arthritis pain was troubling them.
Thanks for giving me more to think about; I wouldn't have given it this much thought.