An Informative Guide on How to Build a Dog Ramp for a Truck

A dog ramp for a truck serves precisely the same purpose a crutch or a walker does for human beings. Just like a walker or a crutch serves as an accessory of ease and convenience and helps you to effortlessly move when you can’t do it yourself, dog ramps can help your fur babies get into your vehicle effortlessly.

Dog ramps are handy and beneficial when your dog becomes too old, weak, suffering from an injury, or is in too much pain to get on your vehicle. They are also helpful for dogs who are too small and can’t jump on top of trucks or SUVs with a height. There are all sorts of dog ramp designs for different vehicles. 

Dog ramps can be found across different pet supply and specialty stores for purchase. However, with a little bit of effort, time, and supplies from your nearest hardware store, you can easily create your own customized dog ramp. Here’s a complete guide on how to build a dog ramp for a truck to make it more convenient and less exhausting for you and your fur baby. 

An Informative Guide on How to Build a Dog Ramp for a Truck

Building a Dog Ramp for your Dog

If your 4-legged furry friend is getting old in years and fears heights, the best thing you can do for it is to build a dog ramp. Naturally, dogs have a weight of their own, especially the bigger and heavier ones. 

A ramp gives your dog the freedom to move up and down on your vehicle on its own. It also relieves you from the trouble of carrying them on and off and saves you from an aching back. 

Suppose you own a big vehicle such as a truck and want to build your own ramp. In that case, you will need to specially design a dog ramp as trucks usually have higher cabins than your standard vehicles. 

Ideally, while building a dog ramp for your truck, you should ensure that it has the following qualities:

  • A gradual incline
  • A foldable design
  • Adequate length
  • A low angle of entry
  • Suitable weight tolerance
  • Elevated sides for guaranteed safety
  • A slope with a no-slip and skid-free fabric

Types of Dog Ramps for Cars and SUVs

dog fixed ramp

1. Fixed Ramps

A fixed dog ramp comes in a single piece and can’t be folded down for storage purposes. Since they’re permanently fixed, they’re not quite ideal for vehicles like SUVs and trucks. On the contrary, fixed ramps are the best for household use for your pets. 

Available on Amazon: Fixed Ramps (not an affiliate link. If you like this article please do share it)

Foldable Ramps For Dog

2. Foldable Ramps

Foldable ramps can easily be folded down and stored. They’re much more compact and versatile than fixed ramps and enable you to save ample space in your vehicle or home. They’re suitable for trucks and SUVs, and you can easily fold them, store them away when you don't want to use them, and set them up as required.

Available on Amazon: Foldable Ramps (not an affiliate link. If you like this article please do share it)

Telescopic Ramps for dog

3. Telescopic Ramps

Similar to foldable ramps, telescopic ramps can be pulled in for storage and transportation. They’re also different in designs, meaning they have panels that simply slide over the other. This makes them incredibly easy for your dog to use. All you need to do is detach the safety locks and sliding panels underneath one another. 

A telescoping ramp is the best way to help your furry friend get in or out of your truck on their own and make the journey easier. An extra-wide and long telescoping ramp enables your dog to step in or out of your truck with steeper inclines. Typically, a ramp for a truck should measure up to 47-87 in L x 4 in H x 20 in W.

Available on Amazon: Telescopic Ramps (not an affiliate link. If you like this article please do share it)

Steps To Build a Dog Ramp At Home for a Truck

If you go to the pet store, you’ll see that dog ramps come at high prices. A much better option would be to build a dog ramp at home for your beloved pet at your own convenience. This way, you can ensure the ramp will be of sturdy quality as you’ll build it independently. 

The internet is filled with lots of inspiring ideas, and if you go through them, you can quickly get tons of ideas on how to build a dog ramp. If you already have some tools and materials around your homestead, you can best utilize and improvise with what you have. Or, you can just go to your local hardware store to purchase all the essentials. 

Know that there are numerous reasons to take into consideration for building a dog ramp for a truck. For instance, you must consider your dog’s body size, weight, height, and other complications that can be stimulated because of health concerns, such as joint pain or arthritis. 

For the ramp’s construction, you will have to take your dog’s body measurements to determine which of the three ramp sizes will be best suited for your pup’s size: small, medium, or large. This initial step helps you from purchasing excessive materials and wasting them or getting the wrong plywood size. 

A tall ramp is best suited for smaller breeds to quickly get inside the bed of a truck on their own. Conversely, bigger dogs need that added durability, sturdiness, and thickness because of their weight. Here are some of the must-have tools and materials you need for constructing the dog ramp:

  • Staple gun and staples (1/4”)
  • A handsaw
  • 2 beams (120 inches long and cut into separate pieces)
  • A power drill
  • Wooden screws
  • Polyurethane for cushioning and making the ramp waterproof
  • AstroTurf or carpet sheet (this is optional and can be added for extra comfort or make the ramp look aesthetically appealing).

Here’s how you can build a dog ramp for your truck at home and have it ready in just a few hours’ time. 

1. Craft a Base 

With the help of a power or a handsaw, cut out the plywood in a feasible length (preferably between 3 – 5 feet or 36-60 inches) based on the kind of truck you own. You must ensure to cut out the perfect length so that it’s easy to carry the ramp in or out of your truck, and neither is it too steep for your dog to climb up. 

Ensure your dog ramp's base is strong by affixing wooden beams on each side of the plywood. The attached beam side will be the back, and its purpose will be to reduce any wood bowing under your dog’s weight. 

Next, you need to attach the railings by cutting two 12” x (your preferred plywood length between 3 to 5 ft.) x 3/4” planks and carefully line up the plywood pieces. Using 2.5-inch wooden screws, you should attach these pieces to the extreme outer surface of the beams. 

2. Add Traction

After this, you must add traction. Once again, you need to consider your pup’s physical and medical needs. If you own a dog who suffers from arthritis, joint pain, or any other medical condition, it will definitely require additional assistance with traction. Find out how much help your dog needs for maintaining grip, and then proceed ahead. 

This step can be completed before or even after adding the AstroTurf or a carpet. First, cut out the wooden beam into numerous pieces that will fit adequately on the length you’ve chosen for your dog ramp. They should be at least 10 inches apart and 24 inches in length. Fix the beams horizontally into place with 2.5” wooden screws along the plywood’s centerline. 

3. Ensure Cushioning and Waterproofing 

Now, apply polyurethane entirely on the back, front, and every part of the ramp for ideal protection against water damage. You don’t need an oil-based polyurethane for the ramp, so just use a water-based one. For more ease and convenience, purchase a spray-on polyurethane instead of a wipe-on and let it dry for a minimum of 1-2 days. 

If you choose to add the AstroTurf or carpet after adding the beams, cut the desired material into pieces that will rightly fit amongst the spaces that traction beams have formed. For more security, staple them in place by using one staple in each corner. 

Now your DIY dog ramp for the truck is ready to use. Here’s an easy video tutorial to better understand how to build a dog ramp for your truck.

Customize the Dog Ramp Based on Your Dog’s Needs

There are many other techniques of designing the ideal dog ramp for your truck. If a ramp without stairs is too simple for what you require, just add in an extra sheet of plywood or more beams to build a more appropriate base and stairs. You can also choose to make a narrower ramp to cut down on the quantity of wood you need to buy for the dog ramp. 

Another essential thing to consider is if your dog ramp will be used by just one dog or several dogs. If you have many dogs, you need to ramp up your ramp’s cushioning, strength, thickness, and durability. There can be times when it will be hard for you to control all your dogs from jumping on the ramp simultaneously. 

If your dog ramp is weak, it won't withstand the weight of multiple dogs. You can increase the plywood’s thickness and attach railings to the sides for extra safety, so even if many dogs step up on the ramp simultaneously, there will be no risk of the ramp collapsing. 

Some designs also incorporate a foldable base as a hinged accessory with the ramp. This adds to the overall design and stability when it’s being used. Regardless of the evident structural improvements, it’s not entirely appropriate for taking the ramp in and out of your truck when your pup is entering or exiting. 

Go a bit more creative about your choice and use of materials. Instead of plywood, you can even use other forms as a base or repurpose old items from your garage. After all, it takes more than just some screws and wood slabs to build a DIY dog ramp. You absolutely must keep your dog’s ease of use and comfort and other physical aspects in mind while designing it. 

Lastly, it is also essential to keep your own convenience and your truck’s appearance and wellbeing in mind. In the end, achieving an ideal balance of comfort and convenience for your dog and yourself is the key objective to building the best dog ramp for your truck.


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