The Joy of Dog Ramps – Boating with your dog is a simple pleasure that’s a joy for any family. What’s better than hitting the water in a Crownline with your most loyal companion by your side? We’ve posted blogs about the importance of dog safety while boating, including tips like keeping plenty of water around, providing sun protection, and having your dog wear a life jacket. But today we’d like you to consider adding another item to your boating-safety arsenal: a dog ramp.
Most dogs are nimble enough to hop on and off a boat with ease, but dogs can get fatigued faster than people. They lack the same upper-body muscles that humans have, so it can be more difficult to haul themselves in and out of boats. Sure, they’re spry enough to jump aboard from the water at the beginning of the day, but by the end they often need some help. It’s an investment that’s especially beneficial for older, arthritic, overweight or smaller dogs, but important for all animals to reduce the risk of straining or joint injury. Ramps can also be used to coax a water-shy pooch into overcome his or her fears.
The Paws Aboard Doggy Boat Ladder is the most user-friendly product on the market today. Simply clamp to the boat’s ladder and it’s ready to go. It’s sturdy enough to support big dogs (and even most humans), while providing a no-slip, rubberized surface that makes climbing on board a breeze. Trust us, your dog of any size will love it. Being the market leader, it retails for $200 to $300, which is steep. Luckily, it’s built so well that you’ll never need to buy another one.
Another option is the cheaper and simpler Skamper-Ramp. It uses rope to tie off to any surface (such as a cleat) and can then support most dogs and people. It’s also a lighter-weight solution, weighing around 7 lbs. compared to 15 lbs. for bigger ramps. It’s not quite as easy to use and is a little more likely to scratch your boat, but costs only $40 to $60 depending on what size you get.
Even if your boat has a swim platform, a removable ramp can make all the difference for your faithful friend. No matter which you choose, you should feel good knowing that you’ve made your dog’s boating life a bit easier. The possible injuries and joint issues that can result from repeatedly scampering on board are real threats to your dog’s health and wellness. And what’s better than a happy and healthy pet?