A little over a week ago, Chuy’s back flared up again after a walk around the neighborhood. We’ve been dealing with his compressed disc flare ups (otherwise known as IVDD or Intervertebral Disc Disease) for the past two years. The vet has told us that the flare ups are totally unpredictable and this is something we have to learn to manage for the rest of Chuy’s life. Luckily, as of right now he’s doing great!
We decided to create a dog ramp to lessen the impact on his back when getting on and off our bed. We had a chest at the end of the bed he would jump on but we needed to minimize the shock to his spine and get rid of all that jumping!
We have a tall bed so I noticed that most of the ramps for sale were either too short or too expensive. My husband was determined to make one himself and of course I wanted to share with you how we did it. The sizes in this tutorial are specific to our bed so it might be a little different for you. However, the general directions should be about the same.
This project took us about 4 hours from start to finish and cost around $60 for the supplies. We already had most of the tools in the supply list so keep that in mind when budgeting! That was quite a savings considering the ramp I saw online that I really wanted was around $400!
Before you head to the store, start by measuring your bed to determine how much wood you’ll need. Once we measured the bed, my husband sketched out how the ramp would look with this fancy blueprint!
After we measured and sketched out the design, we headed to Home Depot to pick up the supplies we needed.
- One 4X8 sheet of Plywood (at least 3/4 inch thickness)
- One 2×2 8 foot strip to create support beams
- Circular Saw
- Power Drill
- Measuring Tape
- Sand Paper
- Paint Brushes/Roller
- Carpet Tape
How To Make a DIY Dog Ramp
Start by measuring the pieces of wood you’ll need by marking them on the plywood with a pencil. For the specific size ramp we created, we used the following sizes:
- Two angled sides measuring 72’’ (L) X 29’’ (H) X 16’’ (Platform) X 59” (Ramp)
- 16 X 59 inch ramp
- 16 X 16 platform
- 16 X 29 inch back panel
Here is a visual of the angled sides to help illustrate the dimensions.
Once everything is measured, start cutting out the pieces using a Circular Saw.
Don’t put the saw away just yet! You’ll need to cut out the support beams to keep all of the plywood pieces together. We used about 8 beams, placed along the top and bottom of the ramp. Use a power drill and screws to put the support beams in place. If you prefer, you can use nails and a hammer.
After you’ve put all the support beams in, use the power drill to place the top of the ramp, the platform, and the back together to close up the ramp.
Once everything is put together, check the sturdiness. When we first did this, it was a little shaky, so we added more support beams inside.
I recommend painting the ramp before applying the carpet. We did the carpet first which made it really challenging to paint the sides close to the carpet. Learn from my mistake!
Start by sanding down the plywood to soften the wood. Paint the ramp the color of your choice using a paint + primer in one to save some time. We used Behr Premium Plus Ultra in Sweet Molasses.
Once the paint dries, it’s time to place the carpet on the ramp and platform. I had some left over carpet from when we moved into our home that worked perfectly with the amount needed for the ramp. Adhere the carpet to the wood using Roberts Double Sided Carpet Seam Tape.
The easy part is done! The challenge begins when you start training your dog to use the ramp. Chuy picked it up pretty quick but occasionally he gets on and off incorrectly and tries to jump. If you are interested in ramp training tips, check out our post How to Train Your Small Dog to Use a Ramp. For more ideas like this DIY Dog Ramp, be sure to stop by our DIY Pet Project Gallery!
If you have a dog that suffers from IVDD please check out our other blog posts:
- How To Train Your Small Dog to Use a Ramp
- How I Treat Chuy Chihuahua’s IVDD
- Wiggleless Dog Back Brace Review
- An Update on Chuy’s IVDD Flare Up
- Five Benefits of Crate Training Your Chihuahua
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