How to Build a Dog Water Ramp? Splashing Sidewalks

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Author: Jacob Kay

We humans cherish being in the water and sometimes diving or jumping in too. But, what about your Fido? Many dog 🐢 breeds like swimming and enjoying some chilly moves in water on a hot sunny 🌞 day. If your dog loves being in the pool then you might have experienced getting the dog in and out of the pool with his heavy wet fur. This must be really challenging for you as well as your dog.

how to build a dog water ramp?

But no more clinging. Your dog will get in and out of the pool on his own. What he needs is just a water ramp. Nah! Don’t think of buying that expensive product from the market, you can build one on your own. But, how to build a dog water ramp? Let’s delve into the insights to understand what you require to get started.

What Is a Dog Water Ramp?

A dog water ramp is a simple device using which your dog 🐢 can access the water without jumping or falling. This is especially useful for senior dogs as they can’t jump into the pool. “If your older dog continues to jump like he did when he was a puppy, it can lead to pain and even injury.“, confirms experts at PetMD.

The water ramp consists of a flat surface attached to the edge of the pool from where the dog can easily enter or exit the pool or the boat 🚀. The surface is generally covered with a non-slip material like rubber. The surface can be adjusted to different angles and heights, depending on the depth of the water and the size of your dog.

How to Build a Dog Water Ramp?

While a ramp is a gentler slope for dogs to use, some owners may prefer building stairs instead. So which is better dog ramp or dog stairs?

You can build a dog water ramp in two ways. If you are an expert at carpentry skills then you must go with the first one. It will require plywood and hence it would be strong and durable. The second one is made up of a simple plastic or rubber mat. Let’s see both the methods.

1) Plywood Ramp

This is a strong and durable water ramp as it is made of plywood. Instead of plywood, you can also use metal pieces or other material that is readily available at your house.

Refer to the table for the tools and materials needed to build a dog water ramp:

A sheet of plywoodA saw
A non-slip materialA drill
A metal frameScrews
ClampsA level
A measuring tape
dog on a water ramp

Step 1: Measurement and Cutting

Take the plywood and mark the desired rectangular shape. Its length should be such that it can stay at an inclined position from the edge of the pool to the bottom. The width should be enough for your dog 🐢 to walk comfortably and that should fit on the pool ramp. Cut this with a saw.

Step 2: Cover the Plywood

You will need to cover the entire surface of the plywood with non-slip material, such as carpet or rubber. This will prevent your dog from slipping or sliding on the ramp. You can use screws or glue to attach the non-slip material to the plywood, making sure there are no gaps or wrinkles.

Step 3: Attach the Frame

You will need to attach a frame, such as an old ladder or a metal shelf. The frame should be strong enough to support the weight of the plywood and your dog. Moreover, it should have legs or hooks that can clamp onto the edge of the pool. You can use screws or bolts to attach the frame to the plywood.

Step 4: Adjust the Ramp

Adjust the angle and height of the ramp according to the depth of the water and the size of your dog. The ramp should be slightly inclined so that it is easier for your dog 🐢 to walk on it. You can use clamps or ropes to secure the frame to the edge of the pool.

Step 5: Test the Ramp With Your Dog

Finally, test the ramp with your dog before letting them use it on their own. You can use treats πŸ– or toys 🧸 to encourage your dog to walk on the ramp and praise πŸ‘ him when they do. Walk with them or hold their leash to guide them and support them.

2) Rubber Mat Ramp

This is a simpler version of a water ramp. You can easily make it in just 30 minutes ⏳ using a rubber mat and some other materials. Although it is not as durable as the one with plywood, it efficiently serves the purpose of a water ramp.

Materials needed:

  • Black industrial mat 3 x 3 feet. (sectioned into nine parts)
  • Zip ties
  • Nylon rope to tie to the deck
  • 2 large carabiners
  • Pool noodles
  • Utility knife
dog on a water ramp

Step 1: Cutting

To make a longer ramp, take an industrial mat and cut βœ‚ off one-third of it. This will leave you with two different mats with a 6 x 2 piece and a 3 x 1 piece. Then cut one-third off the smaller section you just removed and discard the smallest piece.

Step 2: Secure the Ramp

Take zip ties and attach the smaller section sideways to the larger section. This will create a 4 x 2 pad that your dog 🐢 can use to easily get out of the water. Next, take four water noodles and attach them under the mat with zip ties. Be sure to point all zip ties down in the water to prevent any harm to your dog.

Step 3: Attach the Support

Weave some nylon rope through the top sections of the mat and then tie the string around something to secure it from floating away. If you have some support like a handle on the edge of the pool then you can also attach carabiners to the mat.

Step 4: Test the Ramp

Place the top sections on the ground outside the pool and the rest in the water. The water noodles will keep the other sections floating in the pool. Again, ensure that all zip ties are placed in the water pointing down and not up to avoid any harm to your dog.

Tips for Using and Maintaining Dog Water Ramp

Now that you know how to make a dog ramp, here are some tips for using and caring for your DIY dog ramp.

Tips for using and maintaining dog water ramp:

  • Supervise your dog when they are using the ramp.
  • Never leave them alone in the water.
  • Check the condition of the ramp before using it, and make sure it is stable and secure.
  • Clean the ramp after using it
  • Remove any dirt or debris that might damage it or harm your dog.
  • Store the ramp in a dry and cool place when not in use.

Benefits of Using a Dog Water Ramp

Congratulations on building a water ramp for your dog! With letting your dog in and out of the pool the water ramp is useful in many different ways. There are many benefits of using a dog water ramp.

dog on a water ramp

Benefits of using a dog water ramp:

  • Prevents your dog from getting hurt by hitting the water too hard or scraping against sharp edges.
  • It prevents your dog from getting tired or panicked by swimming too far or too long.
  • Prevents your dog from swallowing too much water or getting infections from dirty water.
  • Makes it easier for you to supervise your dog and help them if they need assistance.
  • Saves you from having to lift your dog in and out of the water, which can be difficult and dangerous for both of you.


  1. How steep should a ramp be for a dog?

    For toy and small dogs, the width of the ramp should be approximately 11-12 inches, while for medium-sized breeds, it should be around 22-24 inches. It is essential to make sure that the ramp’s incline angle is between 18 to 25 degrees, with 18-20 degrees being suitable for toy or small dogs and 22-25 degrees for medium-sized dogs.

  2. Why do dogs need ramps?

    Ramps not only make it easier for the pet to access the pool, car or back door, but they also protect them from an injury that could occur if the dog attempts to jump up into the pool or a vehicle.

  3. Why won’t my dog use a ramp?

    It is perfectly normal for a dog to be nervous around new objects, especially if they are large. It is crucial to provide your furry friend with the opportunity to introduce themselves with the ramp at their own pace.

Wrapping Up

A dog water ramp is a simple but effective device that helps your dog get in and out of the water safely and easily. It can be attached to a dock, a boat 🚀 or a pool providing a gentle slope for your dog to walk on. It can also make your life easier, as you won’t have to lift your dog in and out of the water!

With the best dog water ramp, you can improve your dog’s health and happiness. Now go, find the best dog ramp for your pet to make water adventures more enjoyable

You can build your own dog water ramp with these easy steps. By using the water ramp properly, you can improve your dog’s health and happiness. Now go, build your own water ramp and enhance the bond 🀝 with your dog by making water adventures more fun and memorable.🐢❀

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Jacob Kay
Jacob Kay is a Veterinary Advisor and Editor at WWD. He’s also a dog lover and has two pet dogs of his own. He has extensive knowledge in the field of veterinary medicine and is always happy to share his insights with others.

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