Does your dog go everywhere with you? Do you love how eagerly he bounds into your car when he knows you are going somewhere fun? When is it time to consider dog stairs or steps to help your dog get into your SUV?
Once you have decided your dog could benefit from assistance to get into your vehicle, how do you choose the best dog ramp for SUV or truck use? We give you tips as well as review 10 dog ramps, stairs, and steps for trucks and SUVs.
Quick Picks: The 10 Top-Rated Dog Ramps for Suv and Truck
- PetSafe Solvit Deluxe Extra-Long Telescoping Pet Ramp
- PetSafe Solvit Mr. Herzher’s Smart Ramp
- Titan 28 – 61 Telescoping Collapsible Pet Ramp
- PetSTEP Original Folding Pet Ramp
- Dog Ramps for Large Dogs – Pet Ramp for SUV Truck RV Cars
- Gen7Pets Natural Step Ramp for Pets
- Pet Loader Light 16″ Platform
- Upgraded Pet Dog Car Step Stairs
- Heininger 3052 PortablePET Twistep Dog Hitch Step
- Otto Step Car Pet Ramp Pet Step
In a hurry? Then check out Pet Loader Light 16″ Platform as our recommendation.
Best Adjustable Dog Ramps for Cars, Trucks & SUVs
A light dog ramp, weighing only 18 pounds, the PetSafe Solvit folds into a compact frame that is easy to cart around. Despite its lightness, this dog ramp can safely hold more than 300 pounds with its plastic-aluminum construction.
Based out of Knoxville, Tennessee, PetSafe has been helping the owner and pet bond since 1991 with ramps, invisible fences, and toys. All of their products are subject to thorough in-home testing and certified lead-free.
The extra-long ramp gives you over 40% extra length over the Deluxe model. If your dog has difficulty climbing into your truck, he will appreciate the gentler incline this dog ramp will afford him.
- Guard rails – pre-treated with paraffin wax
- Extends from 47 inches to 87 inches
- Walking surface is textured for extra traction
- Reasonable price for its size
- Can also use it for small livestock like goats and pot-belly pigs
- Sandpaper-like lining does not provide enough grip
- Folded down it is still long
2. PetSafe Solvit Mr. Herzher’s Smart Ramp – Review
At full extension, this dog ramp is 70 inches long and 17 inches wide, made to fit large dogs. It is quite portable, only weighing a little over 16 pounds. It has gray rails with a black base color to the ramp.
The Herzhers can support up to 300 pounds with its ladder-like frame. It has feet at both ends to ensure the ramp does not shift during use. Further stability is provided by the OSHA-certified material used to line the ramp’s walking surface.
Although it can support giant breeds, this ramp is for any dog with mobility issues. Small dogs, who may have knee or back problems, can use the ramp to get into SUVs and other vehicles that sit high off the ground.
- Shur-foot tread material provides security on track
- Color-contrasting rails
- Rounded edges to eliminate sharp corners
- Has dual grips for transport
- Extends from 42 inches to 70 inches
- Long to fit in vehicles for transportation, even collapsed
- Its angle is rather steep
- Difficult to collapse for some people
3. Titan 28 – 61 Telescoping Collapsible Pet Ramp – Review
Like other ramps of similar style, the Titan-28 is constructed of aluminum and plastic, which makes it rigid. This framework is built on the same premise as a ladder, providing for exceptional weight-bearing stability.
This ramp holds dogs and other animals that weigh 180 pounds or less. It expands from 28 inches to 60 inches long, and its walking surface is about 13 inches wide. The walking lane has been textured to provide traction for dogs with difficulty walking.
Both ends have large rubber feet to help hold the ramp in a fixed position. The Titan 28 is pretty light, weighing only 13 pounds.
- Rubber tread provides traction and easy on dog’s feet
- Stores easily – shorter than others in its class
- High-profile rails – color contrast may also help dogs delineate the track
- One-handed operation possible
- Sections do not stay extended – no locking mechanism
- sturdy but not durable over the long-term – users reported bending
- Steep angle – ramp is rather short
Best Folding Dog Ramp for SUV and Truck
4. PetSTEP Original Folding Pet Ramp – Review
The PetStep Folding Ramp is perfect if your dog has arthritis or dysplasia of the hips or elbows. It is also beneficial for dogs recovering from surgery.
Designed with composite plastic that is noncorrosive, the PetStep ramp holds up to 500 pounds. It folds into half easily with no hardware required. Ergonomic handles on both sides make it convenient to carry.
The ramp has non-slip large rubber grips on both ends to provide a universal fit for any truck bed or SUV edge. The rubberized tread eliminates slipperiness on the track, perfect if you must transport your dog while it is raining outside.
The ramp opens up to 70 inches long and is 17 inches wide. It folds to 36 inches in length and thickness of almost six inches. At a weight of 18.5 pounds, it is portable.
- Surface provides secure traction in wet or dry conditions
- Easy to clean – dirt wipes away with soap and warm water
- Soft ridged surface – no carpet or sandpaper; designed with sensitive paws in mind
- Gentle incline
- Heavy and cumbersome
- Expensive when its quality is average
This dog ramp is suitable for medium-small to large dogs with a capacity of only 120 pounds. It extends to about 60 feet and has hinges to reinforce stability. It has a carrying handle that engages when you fold the ramp. Side latches keep it closed.
This dog ramp is easy to set up, and plastic coverings protect your pet from any hardware.
The dog ramp folds into a convenient box 15.5 inches wide, 10 inches long, and 16.5 inches thick. It is extremely light, only around 10 pounds. Constructed of PVC plastic, it is strong and durable.
- Very light ramp
- Ridged pads are angled for greater traction – also includes optional grip tape
- Easy to clean
- Easier than other ramps to store and carry
- Weak point in structure reported at hinge – occasionally fails
- Sliding occurs where the ramp’s feet touch the ground
6. Gen7Pets Natural Step Ramp for Pets – Review
Have you ever pictured artificial turf going straight up into the bed of your truck? The Natural Step Ramp features soft synthetic grass that provides traction while at the same time protecting your dog’s paws. It may even encourage your pet to use the ramp more readily.
The ramp is 72 inches long and 16 inches wide, constructed to support large dogs. It can accommodate up to 250 pounds and yet only weighs 17 pounds. When you fold the ramp, there is a latch to keep it shut and a rubber handle to ease transport.
Once collapsed, this dog ramp is 36 inches long and three inches thick.
Rubber padding on both ends prevents the ramp from slipping on pavement or blacktop.
- Astro Turf allows your dog to grip the surface with his claws
- Soft surface is friendly to paw pads and will not scratch any surfaces
- Comes in a mini-ramp also that is only 42 inches long
- Does not wobble or slide
- A few reports that the grass is slippery
- High vehicles may cause the incline to be too steep for some dogs
Best Dog Stairs for SUV and Truck
There are a few features that make dog stairs a better option than ramps, especially for impaired dogs. If your dog has severe arthritis or can only use three legs because of surgery, for example, stairs are more stable and less intimidating. Moreover, steps naturally break up the steepness of an incline.
7. Pet Loader Light 16″ Platform – Review
The 16-inch platform consists of three, four, or five steps and is most suitable for light SUVs and mini-vans. It usually fits the back of the SUV but can also allow for side entry to select vehicles.
This assembly weighs 18 to 30 pounds depending on how many steps you are working with. Three steps are for vehicles 16 to 20 inches high while the five-step model will reach truck beds that are 29 to 40 inches tall.
A 16-inch pet loader is recommended for dogs under 150 pounds. If you have a Siberian Husky, German Shepherd, or English Bulldog, these dog stairs will serve you well.
- Solid steps
- Can remove a step if necessary
- Ergonomic stair step 11 to 17 inches deep for a dog’s horizontal stride
- Needs accurate measurements
- Some dogs cannot negotiate the steps
- Does not allow side entry for most vehicles
8. Upgraded Pet Dog Car Step Stairs – Review
Car Step Stairs provide an easy alternative to a ramp in the form of accordion-style steps. The steps fold for easy storage. They are constructed of metal but only weigh about 10 pounds.
Although light as a feather, the metal framework of these dog stairs is strong and long-lasting. The apparatus can support dogs up to 150 pounds in weight.
The support system has been updated on this model and the stairs now include a carabiner to secure them to your vehicle. This works in tandem with the rubber feet meant to prevent skidding as your dog loads up.
A non-slip rubber coating lines the steps, so your dog does not slide when climbing the stairs.
- Plastic board insert improves security
- Comes with a bag to store steps in their folded state
- Non-skid fabric on stairs is soft on paws
- Too narrow for large dogs
- Caps on ends of pipes pop off continually – must glue
Best Dog Steps for Truck and SUV – Reviews
An innovative design ensures you will always have a step-up into your SUV or truck bed. It attaches to the hitch and can be adjusted by up to six inches. The step swivels and this feature allows you to store it right under your vehicle.
This platform can hold up to 400 pounds. The surface is non-slip and 22 x 19 inches. You can increase stability by using an anti-wobble threaded hitch lock. It is under 16 pounds, not that you would have many occasions to carry it.
- Easy installation
- Product does not need to be removed
- Surface is soft for the paws and effective in wet weather
- Step is strong and durable
- Sturdy – customers report it has stood up to collisions with other cars when not swiveled away during driving
- Rusts and becomes more difficult to turn
- The pull pin locks at inopportune times
10. Otto Step Car Pet Ramp Pet Step – Review
Another assist step, the Otto only weighs five pounds but supports a 200-pound dog. It has a high-traction nylon surface with a 16 x 18-inch area. The platform itself is constructed of nylon glass-filled plastic.
The Otto slides into the hitch receiver without any pin or other pin required to secure it in position. It is sturdy and eliminates dogs having to leap the joint-jarring distance from the ground to the bed of your pickup.
The Otto Step Pet Ramp is designed to fit right into a two-inch hitch receiver, specifically Class III and Class IV. It is easy to install and remove quickly.
- Cuts the distance your dog has to jump to get into your vehicle
- Very easy to transport – lightweight and compact
- A hitch receiver adapter is available to connect to 1.25-inch hitches
- If your SUV has a modified suspension system Otto makes a 7-inch drop down hitch adapter – drops step so your pet can get in
- There is a hitch extension that allows you to use the step with your tailgate open
- Must uninstall when driving
- Bends away from the center, especially for larger dogs
- Surface is not large enough to be comfortable for dogs over 50 pounds
Why Dogs Need Steps and Ramps
If you have a Labrador Retriever, jumping on and off the bed of the truck seems effortless for him.
We take our dogs’ athleticism for granted. Yet there are several reasons to spare your dog’s muscles, tendons, and joints from the strain of jumping from vehicles.
- Wear and tear – Jumping up and down from a high vehicle can hasten the development of joint problems in large dogs. Certain breeds are susceptible to dysplasias and arthritic changes to their hips, knees, and elbows anyway. Landing from jumping down, especially, places tremendous concussive pressure on your dog’s joints and bones.
- Arthritis – Arthritis limits your dog’s mobility and at times may be uncomfortable. If your dog is suffering from osteoarthritis, not only is he unlikely to be able to jump safely from heights, but he may even need to be lifted. Ramps and steps preclude this.
- Surgery – Recovery from surgery depends on the type of repair performed, but jumping is always contraindicated. Even dogs who have only been spayed or neutered should not jump in consideration of their stitches. Ramps and stairs to aid in an SUV are ideal.
- Back problems – Whether suffering from a slipped disc or degenerative joint disease, your dog could have subtle proprioceptive deficits that make jumping dangerous for him. Knowing where his limbs are in space is the whole basis for a safe landing or launch for your dog. Another factor in back problems is hind limb weakness.
- Prevent injury – One misjudgment of distance and your dog could land funny or fall, injuring himself when jumping from an SUV or truck. A weary dog could miscalculate a landing after a grueling exercise session. Older dogs often overestimate their abilities and suffer from decreased flexibility and reflexes.
- Your safety – If you have a heavy dog, you can save yourself possible back strain and injury by utilizing a ramp to help him into your vehicle. You can prevent injury to your dogs as well, eliminating the possibility of dropping him or falling with him.
Qualities to Look for in Dog Ramp for SUV and Truck
Shopping for the best SUV ramp is not much different from selecting among other canine supplies. Your priorities are sure to involve effectiveness, ease of use, portability, safety, quality of materials and construction, and durability.
- Effectiveness – Equipment is only effective if you and your pet know how to use it. Make sure you measure the dimensions and height of your truck or SUV to ensure an appropriate fit. Stability is a major component of effectiveness, so use safety features correctly. Double-check your installation.
- Ease of use – It will be more difficult for you and your dog if you have to fight to use the equipment. Rubber ends and plantable feet ensure the ramp or steps do not slide around. Check that the equipment is simple to place, fold, collapse, and open.
- Portability – How easy the equipment is to carry also will tell you how much effort will be involved with the installation. Our experience suggested 18.5 pounds was the threshold before users began to struggle to handle a ramp and place it.
- Safety – You have precautions you will take, but the equipment also needs to be safe. It should stay in place without collapsing, hardware coming loose, or structural bending or breaking.
- Construction – Quality of materials and design also contributes to safety. The material should be sturdy enough to last more than a few uses. There should be no sharp edges, the surface should have as much grip as possible without being sticky, and non-grip material should not be abrasive to the paws or any dragged limbs.
- Installation – should be easy and fairly dummy-proof. You should be able to install a ramp or steps conveniently and without risk of making a catastrophic error.
Dog Steps Versus Dog Ramp
Are you torn between getting stairs or a ramp for your dog? There are different advantages to each. Know your dog. Negotiating steps may be more difficult for some dogs while the incline on several ramps is prohibitive.
Ramps are often easier for large or giant dogs. Stairs make some animals feel more secure, especially if they are used to steps in your home.
Prerequisites and Precautions for Dog Ramp Use
When you purchase a ramp or stairs to assist your dog, remember, to him it is unfamiliar equipment. There is a chance he will take to it intuitively, but it is best not to risk inspiring intimidation, fear, and distrust. Also, safety should always be a priority.
Educate your dog about how to use a ramp before you ever attach it to your SUV. The best way to introduce your pet to a ramp is to lay it flat on the ground and have your dog walk on it.
You can use treats or other motivators to encourage your dog to step onto the ramp. Praise any progress he makes.
This video illustrates a telescoping ramp, a large SUV, and training a dog to use the ramp.
Once your furry friend becomes comfortable with the flat ramp. Start gradually increasing the incline until eventually, you have it at the height of your vehicle.
Keep an Eye on Your Dog
No matter how secure a set of steps or a ramp is, never allow your dog to navigate equipment unsupervised. Like a spotter for a cheerleading squad, you should always be ready to assist your dog in case he has difficulty and prevent him from falling.
Make sure your dog utilizes the entire ramp. During training, prevent jumping off the side of the ramp or bypassing the ramp.
If your German Shepherd, for example, has arthritis, you know he has bad days and good days. He may have occasions where he struggles with a ramp or steps more than usual.
You Stay off the Ramp
On every ramp or set of stairs, you are likely to see a warning that it is only suitable for animals.
No matter the weight limits, stay off dog steps and ramps. They are built for a quadruped’s center gravity relative to ours and the dispersal of their weight over four limbs instead of two.
Ramps and stairs increase safety and ease in getting dogs into vehicles that sit high off the ground, such as pick-up trucks and SUVs. We selected the Pet Loader Light 16″ Platform as the best dog ramp for SUV and Truck use.
We chose this dog ramp because of its excellent attention, quality and durability. We liked all of the options to ensure a great fit for a variety of vehicles and their heights.
We feel the soft grip is superior to the sandpaper-like surface of the Solvit PetSafe Extra-Long Telescoping Incline.
Except for the Solvit PetSafe Extra-Long Incline, it was difficult to find a ramp that did not have a prohibitive uphill slope. That was another reason we chose the stairs. The depth of the steps provides a secure and stable experience.
The Twistep received excellent customer ratings, but we decided it did not have sufficient support for large dogs and those with severe physical impairments.
What’s is the most important factor for you when choosing a dog ramp for car, truck or SUV?