the 8 Best dog boat Ramps and Ladders [in 2021]

For some dogs, walks aren’t enough. Active dogs love unique exercises, such as swimming, to thrive. But swimming for dogs can be clumsy and difficult, and getting out of the water isn’t a breeze. Luckily, many dog owners have chosen the best dog boat ramp to help their pet get out of the water effortlessly. It’s the ideal product for any water-loving canine!

Our Top picks for Dog Boat Ramps

Product
Best Budget
Paws&Pals Dog Ramps for Dogs
Best Value for Money
Great Day Load-A-Pup
Best Premium
Beavertail Aluminum Folding Dog Ladder
Image
Dog Ramps for Large Dogs - Pet Ramp for SUV Truck RV Cars Pets Accessories Best for Car or High Bed, Small Medium Large Doggie & Older Cats up-to 120lbs - Wide Portable Outdoor Folding 60" Step Ladder
Great Day Load-A-Pup 14x20in Robust Safety Pet Loading Platform - for The Boating Dog - Off-White Powder-Coated Finish - Intended for Use in Fresh Water, LP500
Beavertail Aluminum Folding Dog Ladder, Olive Drab Green
Verdict
While this ramp isn’t made specifically for boats, it’s the most affordable option. If you’re looking for a way to save some cash, you can easily make modifications to this model
It’s everything you’ll need in a dog boat ramp because it’s made specifically for boat use. It’s easy to set up, it’s durable, and it’s compact for storage
it’s designed with a shape to help your dog easily get in and out of the boat. This boarding ladder is also durable and easy to set up on most types of boats.
Delivery
-
-
-
Best Budget
Product
Paws&Pals Dog Ramps for Dogs
Image
Dog Ramps for Large Dogs - Pet Ramp for SUV Truck RV Cars Pets Accessories Best for Car or High Bed, Small Medium Large Doggie & Older Cats up-to 120lbs - Wide Portable Outdoor Folding 60" Step Ladder
Verdict
While this ramp isn’t made specifically for boats, it’s the most affordable option. If you’re looking for a way to save some cash, you can easily make modifications to this model
Delivery
-
Where to Buy
Best Value for Money
Product
Great Day Load-A-Pup
Image
Great Day Load-A-Pup 14x20in Robust Safety Pet Loading Platform - for The Boating Dog - Off-White Powder-Coated Finish - Intended for Use in Fresh Water, LP500
Verdict
It’s everything you’ll need in a dog boat ramp because it’s made specifically for boat use. It’s easy to set up, it’s durable, and it’s compact for storage
Delivery
-
Where to Buy
Best Premium
Product
Beavertail Aluminum Folding Dog Ladder
Image
Beavertail Aluminum Folding Dog Ladder, Olive Drab Green
Verdict
it’s designed with a shape to help your dog easily get in and out of the boat. This boarding ladder is also durable and easy to set up on most types of boats.
Delivery
-
Where to Buy

Last update on 2021-07-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dog Boat Ramp Buying Guide

Since dog paws can’t grab onto objects like human hands, they need a little help getting out of the water. Luckily, the best dog boat ramp can be life-changing for a great day on the water with your furry friends. But what is a pet ramp and how does it work?

What is a Dog Boat Ramp?

A dog boat ramp is any product that can help your pet climb in and out of the boat from lake water. Usually, they come in the form of ramps, stairs, or ladders. They can hook onto your boat and rest in the water. Many ramps can fold up when not in use.

Not every ramp for dogs is made for swimming purposes though. Small dogs, old dogs, and difficult dogs have problems climbing onto all sorts of things. Even large dogs could have difficulties climbing a boat dock or boarding ladder. So, as long as it’s waterproof, you can use any type of pet ramp for your boat. 

A pet ramp made for cars, couches, and beds are often great for boats too. However, if the ramp isn’t made specifically for boats, some adjustments might need to be made. For example, an added floatation device or a different type of attachment could help you modify a dog ramp to make it easier for boat use. A floating dog ramp is easier for dogs to use than one that sinks in the water. If you do need a ramp for your car or truck check out our article on the best boat ramps for trucks and cars.

Some families even make their own dog boat ramps. As long as your pet can safely get up and down it, then it’s serving its purpose. 

But dog ramps are often used for so much more than just boat transportation. Ramps can also be used for a dog pool, making it easier for your pet to get in and out of a dog dock or swimming pool. Any time your pooch is near the water, especially near a lake or ocean, it’s a good idea to make sure they have a way of staying safe.

How to Use a Dog Boat Ramp

Every ramp will function differently, but most will need to fold down and latch onto the boat somehow. Once it’s secure, your pet can simply walk up and down the ramp when needed. The best dog boat ramp should come with instructions on how to assemble and operate it.

In most cases, the trickiest part will be teaching your dog how to use it. If your pet has never used a dog ramp before, they might be scared to go up and down it. So, it can be a good idea to teach your pooch to walk up and down it on land before having them use it in the water. 

When training your dog, make sure the ramp is stable and bring your dog close to it. Use treats to guide them up the ramp. Start with baby steps though. First, reward them for putting their paw on the ramp. Then, for climbing partially up it. And finally, reward them when they make it to the top. Keep guiding your pet with treats until they feel safe with their doggy boat ramp.

Some dogs will understand how to use the ramp right away while others might struggle. Don’t give up on your dog, but instead, keep encouraging them. Dogs learn best from patience and repetition, so keep trying no matter how frustrating it seems.

Having your pet walk on the flattened ramp before placing it on an incline can also help with the transition. Do what will make things easier for your dog and encourage them along the way. Once they understand how to use a dog ramp or dog steps, you can try it on the boat. 

Even when on the boat, it’s a good idea to have treats handy. That way, if the ramp becomes more intimidating in the water, you can coax your pet onto the boat using treats. A new ramp can be confusing for any dog, so you might need to help pull your dog up during the first few attempts. Then, the ramp should eventually make life easier for you and your pup.

Features of a Dog Boat Ramp

While most of the best dog boat ramps will look similar, it’s the features that set them apart. In most cases, you’ll want the option that’s easiest to set up, store, and use. It’s unlikely that you’ll always keep your dog boat ramp in one spot, so it should be easy to transport as needed. If it folds up and has a handle, that will be your best bet.

The material of the ramp is also important. It should be durable with a high traction, non slip surface so your pet can feel safe climbing up and down it. Pet ramps should also be wide enough and strong enough to support your dog’s weight. Another good feature to consider is floating. The ramp should be able to float in water in case it detaches from the boat. It should be waterproof to avoid rust and corrosion, which is why durable plastic or stainless steel hardware are good choices.

There aren’t a ton of dog boat ramps on the market, but there are plenty of other types of ramps. Thus, if none of the boat ramps for dogs fit your needs, you can always choose another dog ramp and modify it. Sometimes all a dog ramp needs is a little extra floatation and grip, and it’s good to go.

Finally, how do you know if traditional ramps, stairs, or ladders are better? The style of the product doesn’t matter, as long as it fits the above criteria. Some dogs will find it easier to climb stairs or a dog boat ladder while some families might find transporting dog boat ramps easier. It’s really up to you your dog’s needs.

Best Dog Boat Ramps

If you’re new to boating with your pet, how will you know what type of ramp to choose? I’ve selected eight great products to help you narrow down your search. Each dog boat ramp is analyzed based on features, pros, and cons. 

Skamper Ramp Super, Large Size, 42 x 13 x 6.5 inch

Skamper Ramp Super, Large Size, 42 x 13 x 6.5 inch

Buy on Amazon

The Skamper Ramp Super is commonly used as a dog pool ramp, dock ramp, or platform over a body of water. It’s designed to help dogs climb in and out of a swimming pool or lake, and it’s especially useful for dogs who accidentally fall into swimming pools. Even so, it can still be used as a dog boat ramp too. It comes with ropes and hardware to attach it to a surface. While it works for most boats, it’s better for solid permanent structures like a swimming pool deck or a dog boat dock. It’s made with UV-resistant durable plastic. It comes in two different sizes: a regular and large option. The large size has an extension, which should make it easier for dogs of all sizes to get up. Both versions are white with holes throughout to make it easier for your pet to grip onto.

Pros:

  • It’s UV-resistant.
  • It’s easy to use.
  • It comes in two sizes. 
  • It has holes for high traction. 
  • It’s lightweight. 

Cons:

  • It could sink too much for heavy dogs.
  • It could have jagged edges.
  • It could arrive with missing parts.
  • It works better for solid ground than boats. 

Great Day Load-A-Pup 14x20in Robust Safety Pet Loading Platform - for The Boating Dog - Off-White Powder-Coated Finish - Intended for Use in Fresh Water, LP500

Great Day Load-A-Pup 14x20in Robust Safety Pet Loading Platform - for The Boating Dog - Off-White Powder-Coated Finish - Intended for Use in Fresh Water, LP500

Buy on Amazon

Luckily, the Great Day Load-A-Pup is made specifically for boats, so you won’t have to worry about making modifications to this product. This white platform allows your dog to walk in and out of the boat with ease. It’s made of aircraft aluminum with a durable enamel finish. The platform has ridges to help your pup easily grip to it. It’s designed to hook on your boat’s boarding ladder. You can purchase adapter kits for different types of boats, but it’s not compatible with a pontoon boat. It only weighs 7 pounds, and it folds completely flat, making it easy to transport. You can set it up in seconds, which is why it’s great for any boating adventure.

Pros:

  • It’s made specifically for boats. 
  • It’s easy to set up.
  • It folds up for storage.
  • It’s lightweight.
  • It has ridges for easy access. 
  • You can purchase adapter kits for different boats.

Cons:

  • It doesn’t work for pontoon boats.
  • It doesn’t float.
  • It could come with missing hardware. 

Petstep GRAPHITE (66222)

Petstep GRAPHITE (66222)

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The PetStep Original Folding Ramp is made for all types of purposes. Many use it to help their dog into a vehicle, but it could easily be used for a boat or dog pool too. Yet, you might need to modify it slightly by adding a flotation device to one end. The edge can hook onto the boat platform, and the grooves allow your dog to climb up it without slipping. It will not rust or corrode if it gets wet. When it’s not in use, you can fold it up for easy storage and transport. It comes in two different colors: gray and beige. It is designed to hold up to 500 pounds at once.

Pros:

  • It folds up for easy storage.
  • It’s easy to set up.
  • It comes in two colors.
  • It won’t rust or corrode.
  • It has grooves for high traction.

Cons:

  • It might need to be modified for boats. 
  • It could arrive damaged.
  • It could be too steep for some dogs. 

PetSafe Happy Ride Folding Pet Ramp, 62 Inch, Portable Lightweight Dog and Cat Ramp, Great for Cars, Trucks and SUVs - Side Rails and High Traction Surface

PetSafe Happy Ride Folding Pet Ramp, 62 Inch, Portable Lightweight Dog and Cat Ramp, Great for Cars, Trucks and SUVs - Side Rails and High Traction Surface

Buy on Amazon

The PetSafe Happy Ride Folding Pet Ramp is very similar to the PetStep ramp. It’s made for vehicle transport, but can be used for boats too with modifications, such as a flotation device at the end. It hooks on the edge of a vehicle, so you might need to find a way to clamp it down for boat use. The ramp is 62 inches long with side rails and traction to keep your dog safe. It weighs 10 pounds and can fold up for easy transport if needed. It even has a locking mechanism to keep it folded or unfolded. The bottom of the ramp has rubber feet to help it stay in place when used on land.  It’s a durable ramp that can hold any pets up to 150 pounds. As the ramp gets worn down, you can purchase a replacement tread as needed. 

Pros:

  • It folds up for easy storage.
  • It has a safety lock.
  • It has a non slip surface and safety rails.
  • It’s lightweight.
  • It’s easy to use.
  • You can buy replacement treads. 

Cons:

  • It might need to be modified for boats.
  • The traction might not be strong enough.
  • It might not last long. 

Paws Aboard Doggy Boat Ladder and Ramp

Paws Aboard Doggy Boat Ladder and Ramp

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The Paws Aboard Ladder and Ramp is made specifically for boat use. It’s a bright yellow dog boat ladder with small stair-like grooves to help your dog get up with ease. However, the steps don’t have a lot of grip to them, so they could be a little slippery for your furry friend. This pool ramp attaches to the back of the boat, preferably on the boat ladder. It rests in the water, but might sink a little when heavy dogs climb it. It weighs 12 pounds, and it folds in half with handles on the side for easy transport. It can hold up to 150 pounds, and it should only be used for a dog, not a dog owner. It’s slightly adjustable if needed.

Pros:

  • It’s easy to use.
  • It has small steps.
  • It folds up and has handles.
  • It’s adjustable.
  • It won’t rust. 

Cons:

  • The steps could be slippery. 
  • It might not last long. 
  • It could sink too much for heavy dogs. 

Pet Gear Tri-Fold Ramp 71 Inch Long Extra Wide Portable Pet Ramp for Dogs/Cats up to 200lbs, Patented Compact/Easy Fold with Safety Tether, Black/Yellow(Reflective) Extra Wide, Extra Wide, Tri Fold

Pet Gear Tri-Fold Ramp 71 Inch Long Extra Wide Portable Pet Ramp for Dogs/Cats up to 200lbs, Patented Compact/Easy Fold with Safety Tether, Black/Yellow(Reflective) Extra Wide, Extra Wide, Tri Fold

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This is an extra long ramp that’s best for helping dogs into cars, but can be used for boats with modifications like a floatation device. It comes with a clip to attach it to an SUV, so it can also be attached that way on a boat. It’s 71 inches long and extra wide to cater to dogs of all sizes. It has traction along the top with strips of reflective yellow parts on the top and sides. It folds down and has a built-in handle to make storage and transport easy. It’s a suitable ramp for any pets up to 200 pounds. 

Pros:

  • It’s easy to set up.
  • It folds down and has handles.
  • It’s reflective.
  • It’s extra long and wide. 
  • It has a non-slip material.

Cons:

  • It might need to be modified for boats.
  • Dog nails could scratch up the platform. 
  • The safety strap could fray.
  • It’s heavy.

Beavertail Aluminum Folding Dog Ladder, Olive Drab Green

Beavertail Aluminum Folding Dog Ladder, Olive Drab Green

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The Beavertail Dog Ladder is a unique shape, with a curvy aluminum ramp. The shape makes it easy for dogs to climb up without having a steep ramp or confusing steps. It’s made for boats, so it can hook right onto the boat ladder. It’s made of coated metal that’s a dark olive green color. It’s made to withstand water, so no need to worry about rust. This dog water ramp has lots of small holes on the platform to provide an accessible walking surface. It’s also slightly adjustable to cater to different dogs. Additionally, it can fold in half for easy storage. 

Pros:

  • It has a unique shape to help dogs get up.
  • It has small holes on the walking surface.
  • It folds up for easy storage.
  • It’s easy to set up.
  • It’s adjustable.

Cons:

  • It could arrive damaged.
  • It might need better traction.
  • It’s very narrow.

Dog Ramps for Large Dogs - Pet Ramp for SUV Truck RV Cars Pets Accessories Best for Car or High Bed, Small Medium Large Doggie & Older Cats up-to 120lbs - Wide Portable Outdoor Folding 60" Step Ladder

Dog Ramps for Large Dogs - Pet Ramp for SUV Truck RV Cars Pets Accessories Best for Car or High Bed, Small Medium Large Doggie & Older Cats up-to 120lbs - Wide Portable Outdoor Folding 60' Step Ladder

Buy on Amazon

This easy, affordable model is a car ramp, but if you add a flotation device to the end, along with a sturdier mount, it can work well as a boat ramp too. It’s 60 inches long, and the platform has grooves to help your dog grip to it. It comes with optional grip tape to give it more traction, but that might not hold up to water. It has raised edges to ensure that your dog doesn’t fall off.  The hinges of the ramp can lock in place for added safety. It can also fold up into a compact size for easy travel and transport. It can hold up to 120 pounds and it won’t rust or corrode from the water. 

Pros:

  • It’s easy to use. 
  • It has grooves for traction.
  • It folds down for storage.
  • It has raised edges for safety.
  • It won’t rust.

Cons:

  • It might need to be modified for boats.
  • The extra grip tape might not work with water.
  • It might not last long.

Frequently Asked Questions

Even after looking at your options, it’s normal to still be unsure. Here are some common questions dog owners ask. They might help you make that final decision.

Are Dog Boat Ramps Better Than Stairs?

Yes, dog boat ramps can be better than stairs, but that’s not always the case. It depends on the quality of the product and your preferences. Most families will choose dog ramps because they are more compact and lightweight when they fold down, making them easier to use, transport, and store.

On the other hand, some dogs are afraid of climbing up ramps, but stairs and ladders make them more comfortable. If that’s the case, you can choose dog boat stairs instead. Either can make great options for your boating adventures.

How Steep Can a Dog Boat Ramp Be?

In general, a dog ramp should be at an incline of 18 to 25 degrees. The bigger the dog is, the bigger the incline can be. So, if you have a small dog, stick to 18 to 20 degrees, but if you have a big dog, 20 to 25 degrees is perfectly fine. 

Can a Dog Owner Use a Dog Dog Boat Ramp?

No, people should never use dog steps, dog ramps, or even dog ladders. If it’s made for animals, then it’s only meant to support a dog’s weight. Even if it claims to hold hundreds of pounds, it’s safer for humans to stick to a regular boat ladder instead of a dog boat ladder.

How to Get a Dog On and Off a Boat

The best dog boat ramps are ideal for getting your pooch on and off a boat, but even then, your dog might still need some help. If the ramp isn’t high traction enough or if your dog is too scared to climb up all the way, you might need to reach into the water and pull them up. Having them wear a life jacket with a handle while swimming can make it easier for them to get in and out of the boat. With enough practice, even large dogs should be able to climb up and down the dog water ramp with ease.

Conclusion

Are you and your canine ready to explore the waters? Then, it’s time to select one of the best dog boat ramps for you. Here are my favorite choices based on different categories, including price, quality, and features.

Best Budget Dog Boat Ramp

Dog Ramps for Large Dogs - Pet Ramp for SUV Truck RV Cars Pets Accessories Best for Car or High Bed, Small Medium Large Doggie & Older Cats up-to 120lbs - Wide Portable Outdoor Folding 60' Step Ladder

Buy on Amazon

The best on a budget is the Paws & Pals Dog Ramp for Large Dogs. While this ramp isn’t made specifically for boats, it’s the most affordable option. If you’re looking for a way to save some cash, you can easily make modifications to this model. Adding a pool noodle to the end for extra floatation is a great way to start. 

Best Value for Money Dog Boat Ramps

Great Day Load-A-Pup 14x20in Robust Safety Pet Loading Platform - for The Boating Dog - Off-White Powder-Coated Finish - Intended for Use in Fresh Water, LP500

Buy on Amazon

The best value for money is the Great Day Load-A-Pup. It’s everything you’ll need in a dog boat ramp because it’s made specifically for boat use. It’s easy to set up, it’s durable, and it’s compact for storage. It might take a little while for your dog to get used to using it, but it will definitely make water safety easier for your furry friend. 

Best Premium Dog Boat Ramps

Beavertail Aluminum Folding Dog Ladder, Olive Drab Green

Buy on Amazon

The best premium product is the Beavertail Aluminum Folding Dog Ladder. It has a more unique look than the other products, but that’s because it’s designed with a shape to help your dog easily get in and out of the boat. This boarding ladder is also durable and easy to  set up on most types of boats. It requires less modifications than all the other products.

Now that you know some of the best dog boat ramps, it’s time to make that final decision. Consider the size, quality, and equipment to ensure that the ramp will fit your boat and be safe for your pooch. All these ramps are unique, but they can all make great choices for certain families.

For other dog travel products, check out our articles on the best collapsible travel dog crates and the best dog backpack carriers.

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Peter Schoeman