“If you want anything done well, do it yourself. This is why most people laugh at their own jokes.”
Bob Edwards said it right. Many people, many minds. And it’s impossible for the limited products on the market to satiate everyone’s personal inclinations. Often the products we buy aren’t customized to our preferences.
DIY projects don’t only save you money, they’ll let your creative juices flow and help you build products just like you imagined. And the gratification that comes from building something by your own, is priceless!
Any dog having trouble getting into vehicles, beds or climbing stairs can use extra boost. A dog ramp is a great way to offer help to your canine. If you know how to build a dog ramp, then all you need to help him is some spare hours, simple skills and even simpler tools.
How To Build A Dog Ramp For Bed
The most time you’ll spend with your dog is at home. It’s only normal that your dog will make its way to bed, couch or furniture. If you want him to feel loved and welcomed, you should build a ramp to make his passage to bed easier.
- Measuring tape.
- Wood Glue.
- Wood Screws.
- Staple Gun
- New or scrap carpet.
1. Take Measurements: You need two measurements, the height of the ramp and the length. For the former, measure the height of your bed surface from the floor. Start from the place where you intend your dog to reach, and measure the distance straight to the ground.
As for the length of the ramp, measure the distance from the top to the ground maintaining a gentle angle your dog can walk easily. The longer the rap, the less steep the angle will be.
2. Cutting Wood/ Plywood: Wear protective glass and mask before starting the process. You can either choose pine wood or cheaper plywood for building the ramp.
Decide how wide your ramp should be. The reasonable width for most of the dogs is 12 inches. Cut three pieces of solid board maintaining the width. The length for each of them should be respectively the intended height you initially measured, the intended ramp length and the distance between them.
3. Cutting Wood Pieces For Frame: You’ll need to cut pieces from wood or plywood, whichever you intend to use for the frame. The ideal thickness should be ¾ inches. As for the length, each piece of supporting wood should match the length of the adjacent solid wood pieces. You can use a hand saw, miter saw or jigsaw for the cutting purpose.
4. Assembling The Frame: Attach four pieces of support wood to form a base. Use the drill to make holes and then fasten them together with 2” screws.
After that, attach other supporting woods to form a ‘right triangle’ frame, where the height of the bed will create a 90-degree angle with the ground, and the ramp will create an angle you projected with the ground.
5. Attach The Solid Wood Pieces: Now it’s time to attach the solid wood pieces to the frame. Always make sure the frame pieces are cut with the same thickness of the solid board. Use a clamp to keep the boards in alignment. Use wood glues to make the attachment more secure.
Then drill as many holes as you need keeping 18 inches distance between them. Drill from the side of the support pieces through the solid woods. Use construction screws to attach the boards. Tighten them with a screwdriver if needed.
6. Sand The Board: The construction is completed, but it needs a bit fine tuning. Use a 180 grit sandpaper to smoothen the rough edges and possible splinters.
Don’t press the board too hard, just pressing down lightly should do the trick. Feel with your fingers if the surface feels smooth. If you feel any rough spot, continue sanding it before it feels smooth.
7. Decorate The Ramp: After everything else is done, it’s time to make the ramp comfortable and gripping for your dog. You can use scrap carpet or grip tape for that purpose.
Use a carpet cutter or sharp utility knife to cut a piece of carpet exactly as the dimension of your ramp. Use the staple to fasten the carpet with the ramp. Make sure the carpet lays straight and tight, not wobbling.
How To Build A Dog Ramp For SUV?
Your dog may start having a hard time getting into your vehicle with age. It is upsetting for owners seeing their dogs sitting on the ground by the vehicle door, giving a look that tells, “Sorry man, I can’t.”
What can a loving pet owner do? Since it’s too much of an agonizing option to leave him behind, perhaps the easier choice is making a dog ramp for him.
- Measuring tape.
- Wood/ Plywood.
- Staple Gun.
- Stanley Staples.
- New or scrap carpet.
1. Picking The Right Wood: You don’t need to build a support base as you do for bed dog ramps. But that means picking a right-sized wood becomes more important.
To carry medium to heavy dogs, choosing a 1-inch thick wood/ plywood should suffice. We suggest you use plywood since they are lighter, durable and easy to cut. The ideal board measurement should be 2′ x 4′.
2. Attaching The Carpet: The process is rather simple. Just attach a piece of carpet that’s exactly the same as the board. Use a staple gun and make sure the carpet lays flat. If you use a board 1” thick, we recommend using 9/16″ staples. Using too short of a staple might make it come out and hurt your dog’s paw.
How To Build A Dog Ramp For Car?
You can basically adopt the same working method we’ve discussed for SUV’s. However, there’s another method by which you can make inexpensive but highly effective dog ramps. Building this ramp is so easy you won’t need more than an hour.
- Closet Shelves.
- Rubber Shelf End Plug.
- Zip Ties.
- New or scrap carpet.
1. Attach The Closet Shelves: The closet shelves work as the frame on which the ramp is built. Usually, you’ll need a ramp around 6 inches long. So you’ll probably have to attach two shelves to meet the length. Attach them together with zip ties.
2. Mount The Carpet: You’ll need 6 feet by 2 feet carpet for the ramp surface. However, if you want to get creative and cover the whole structure, the width should be more, i.e. 2 feet 8 inches.
Use the zip ties to attach the carpet with the wire shelves. Make sure to cut the excess part of the zip ties so that they won’t hinder the path. As a rule of thumb, you can poke the carpet along every fourth spacing in the wire and use a zip tie to them together.
3. Use Rubber Shelf End Plug: The ends of the closet wire shelves are sharp. Make sure to cover the exposed ends with the rubber end plugs. This’ll protect the floor or the seat fabrics of your car from damages.
How To Build A Dog Ramp For Stairs?
Dogs with arthritis and other joint problems might find it difficult to climb stairs. As a result, you’ll be stuck with this infirmity because every time you want to take the dog upstairs, you’ll have to carry him. Building a simple ramp can be a nice solution for both since your canine can go up and down as he pleases.
- Measuring Tape.
- Miter Saw.
- New or scrap carpet.
- Rubber Strip.
1. Take Necessary Measurements: Measure the distance from the top of the highest step to the ground. Measure the width of the stairs too.
2. Cut The Plywood Accordingly: If you want to leave the ramp over stairs all the time, make sure the ramp width is half of the stairs. This way, you and your dog can use it concurrently. As for the length, add 4 inches with the measurement since you’ll need to form a gradual slope with the ground.
3. Attach The Carpet And Rubber Strips: Cut the carpet according to the upper surface of the plywood. Attach it with the board using a staple gun. For safety measures, using 9/16″ staples is a good idea.
Take two rubber strips and cut them according to the width of the ramp. Attach them underneath the ramp with staple guns. They’ll help the ramp stay stable and in place.
Is DIY Dog Ramps Cost Effective?
As fun as building a dog ramp sounds, the feasibility depends on several factors. If you have spare time and the kids want some quality times around you, then, by all means, go for it. However, you have to take precautions and use safety glasses and masks.
If you are an extremely busy man with little time to spare, then cost doesn’t just revolve around money. “Time is money”, they say. So you can just buy one and save yourself the trouble. The ramp doesn’t necessarily be super expensive. Rather, there are several quality dog ramps (You can link the buying article here) on the market that comes with astonishingly cheap prices.
Knowing how to build a dog ramp isn’t rocket science. With the right tools and mindset, it shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours. Whether it is for bed, car or stairs, the construction process is almost the same. For bed or couches, you’ll have to build a frame. For vehicles and stairs, you don’t necessarily need any frame. Regardless of the process, always make sure you’re not leaving any splinters or rough edges which might harm your dog.