If you’ve seen your senior pet struggling to get up on the couch or bed—or landing awkwardly when they jump off, it’s probably time to look into the many options for pet ramps and stairs. You’ll find everything from lightweight, foldable ramps for travel and simple steps for cats and small dogs to heavy-duty ramps that can handle the weight of a large breed dog. Whether indoors or out, your furry friend will be able to move around safely and securely.
“As a certified vet technician and proud pet parent to two Doxies, I’ve seen a lot of dogs with disc disease (including Bruiser, my almost 14-year-old Doxie),” says Christine Caplan. “Ramps, in this case, aren’t optional. They’re a necessity to daily life.”
Caplan notes that while you may notice your dog or cat trying to get up to a couch, just picking them up isn’t the solution, because it can also be hard on their joints to jump back down to a hard surface. With Caplan’s help, we’ve selected some top-rated ramps for dogs, ones that are sturdy enough to be left in place even when you aren’t at home. We’ve added a few stairs for cats and small dogs as well.
What to Look for in a Ramp or Steps
Before we look at the list of preferred pet ramps and steps, here are some of the factors to consider when choosing one.
- Assembly: How easy is it to configure the ramp or steps, and how stable are they for your pet once they’re in place? Note that some ramps give you a choice of configurations.
- Incline: If you’re buying a ramp, make sure it’s not too steep for your pet. We found some detailed advice from animal physical therapists and veterinarians.
- Traction: Does the ramp have rubber pads or grip tape so your pet won’t slip or slide? For cats, a tight-weave carpeted surface will help with traction.
- Appearance: The nicer a ramp or set of steps looks, the more likely you’ll be to use it in your living room or bedroom.
- Replacement covers: Heavy use will wear down the covers some ramps—check before you buy to make sure you can replace worn pads or covers.
The Best Pet Ramps and Stairs
This attractive pet ramp is made from wood with a cherry finish and offers a ribbed carpet walking surface. We like the large landing area at the top, so your pet will feel confident moving to and from a bed or other furniture. The 25-inch height allows easy access to taller furnishings, and it can handle pets up to 120 pounds. Some reviews note that the tight-woven carpeting doesn’t offer as much traction as they would like. It does cost more than other ramps, but it comes with a limited lifetime warranty.Shop on Chewy
This pet ramp is sturdy but lightweight so you can easily fold it away for storage or take it with you for travel. The carpeted tread is a safe, easy-to-grip surface for older pets, and the ramp automatically locks when folded. Note that some buyers have reported this ramp is too short to work well on beds. It’s rated for dogs up to 200 pounds.Shop on Chewy
PetSafe (formerly Solvit) makes these folding stairs in large (20 inches high) or extra-large (25 inches high and wider) sizes. These have fabric covers, side rails, and non-skid feet to help prevent slipping and wobbling. While they weigh only five pounds, they are rated for small-to-medium size pets and can support up to 150 pounds.Shop on Chewy
This two-step, 22-inch plastic stairway from Pet Gear combines the best features of stairs and ramps. We like the big steps and the easy-to-grip carpeted ramps at each level, plus the carpet tread is easily removable for cleaning.Shop on Chewy
These pet steps are from Armarkat, maker of sturdy cat trees. True to form, these steps do not disappoint. Made of pressed wood and covered in fleece, they’re perfect for getting your senior kitty up to the bed or to a low window sill.Shop on Chewy
Looking for a longer, more gradual incline? This sturdy 71-inch ramp from Pet Gear will accommodate large dogs up to 200 pounds. It folds up neatly, making it a good solution for traveling. It’s made of plastic, has rubber feet, and weighs 15 pounds. Note that some reviewers reported that their dogs did not like the ramp’s rough tread.Shop on Chewy
This indoor ramp for cats and dogs made of firm foam provides a lot of traction. It’s available in three-, four-, and five-step versions, which can boost your pet up to 13, 19, or 23 inches. The faux lambswool covering can be removed and is machine washable. These stairs get rave reviews from people with cats and small dogs.Shop on Chewy
Large, durable carpeted surfaces on these steps make it easy for your pet to hop aboard and recover their balance, or settle in for a nap. These well-designed stairs top out at 26 inches and also double as storage boxes—just lift the plush lids to stash cat toys, blankets, or grooming tools. Want to get them out of the way? These stairs also cleverly fold flat to be tucked behind the couch or into a closet until your cat needs them.Shop on Chewy
What a great idea! This snap-together pet ramp set comes with the option of configuring it to wrap around the corner of a bed or other furnishing so it doesn’t stick out and take up lots of room. It even includes a storage area accessible from a hinged back panel. These stairs are designed for small and medium-sized pets and top out at 25.5 inches. The carpet treads can be removed for washing.Shop on Chewy
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Featured image via Chewy/Pet Gear