Dog Ramp

Dog Ramp

Postby Don1806 [OP] » June 16th 2017, 1:05am

I have a retired racing greyhound who is getting older and is starting to hesitate when jumping in and out of the van. I'm assuming that aches and pains from racing are catching up with him, which is what makes him not want to jump into the van at times. He loves riding, so it's not being stubborn - the boy would be happy to live in the van and drive the open road every day if we could.

I'm wondering if anyone has done anything custom in the way of an access ramp or stairs for a pet on their Astro. There are numerous ramps on the market, many of them being flimsy or junk. I can make one out of 3/4 or 5/8 plywood if necessary to have one with more of a custom fit and have it fold up the way I want.

Anyone already created something using the side door and willing to share the plan or measurements you used? The main thing is stability and very little bounce to keep him from being spooked on the ramp.

My thought is to mount something that will fold up in the small step well of the side door so I can fold/unfold it as needed, yet make it easy to remove if not needed.

Thanks!
99 Astro LT - Orginal Owner.
New Engine at 140,000 miles due to intake gasket failure. Hoping to at least double that.
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Re: Dog Ramp

Postby Leeann_93 » June 16th 2017, 2:11am

Good luck with the ramp.

Have you tried glucosamine? It turned my brother's boxer from an old lady using a walker back into a ball-chasing puppy again.
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Re: Dog Ramp

Postby Don1806 [OP] » June 16th 2017, 3:06am

Leeann_93 wrote:Good luck with the ramp.

Have you tried glucosamine? It turned my brother's boxer from an old lady using a walker back into a ball-chasing puppy again.


Yup - he's on a couple of supplements including glucosamine. He has an old racing injury in one leg that has been giving him some trouble and I think jumping in and out puts too much pressure on it. He has always been a jumper and hopped in and out of the van, the car and even higher SUV's with no trouble until this injury started hurting. His pain is under control, just don't want to aggravate the old injury any further.

Thanks!
99 Astro LT - Orginal Owner.
New Engine at 140,000 miles due to intake gasket failure. Hoping to at least double that.
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Re: Dog Ramp

Postby Leeann_93 » June 16th 2017, 3:20am

Gotcha!
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Re: Dog Ramp

Postby Astro Pop » June 16th 2017, 3:43am

How about something like those folding steps used for attics? Instead of steps just a ramp? There's a space on the side door between the step and the rocker panel, a small hook could catch on it. I'm all about helping animals. I built a set of steps for my aging cat to get on my bed, they're good companions and keep all the secrets you tell them. Find a human to do that!
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Re: Dog Ramp

Postby Don1806 [OP] » June 16th 2017, 3:57am

Astro Pop wrote:How about something like those folding steps used for attics? Instead of steps just a ramp? There's a space on the side door between the step and the rocker panel, a small hook could catch on it. I'm all about helping animals. I built a set of steps for my aging cat to get on my bed, they're good companions and keep all the secrets you tell them. Find a human to do that!


That's sort of what I was envisioning - something I could hook in there. I think it's going to be easier to find a heavy duty ramp (the big boy is about 85lbs) and install some hardware to attach it so that it doesn't move around whiles he's on it. I'm more about finding something to modify and install quickly than building from scratch anyway - we are heading for temps of 120 plus the next few days and it will not be pleasant in the garage. At least with those temps, I won't really be taking him anywhere while it's that hot, but will need something for vet appointments and his occasional rides to McD's to get his french fries. (Not that he's spoiled)

Thanks!
99 Astro LT - Orginal Owner.
New Engine at 140,000 miles due to intake gasket failure. Hoping to at least double that.
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Re: Dog Ramp

Postby dramey » June 16th 2017, 5:10am

If your dog has arthritis, have your vet prescribe Rimadyl. It is an arthritis medication that really works well on our 12 year old 100 lb Golden Retriever. For a ramp, I would just use a length of 2x12" with furring strips screwed to the surface. You could paint it with something that has some grit in it so the dog doesn't slip. They make an end piece that gets bolted to the 2x12 that allows you to place the ramp on the bumper and the ramp is held in place by some 1/4" pins.
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Re: Dog Ramp

Postby Astro Pop » June 16th 2017, 5:46am

One of these with plywood screwed down to it. Add the little brackets to the top end to catch the lip.

https://www.harborfreight.com/6-ft-x-9- ... 96513.html
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Simpson-Stro ... /100375310

Could probably take some old latex paint throw in a bunch of sand and roll it on the plywood. Or just throw sand on the wet paint.

With the McD's two burgers & fries special why not get him a burger too? My boy loves that deal!
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Re: Dog Ramp

Postby Don1806 [OP] » June 16th 2017, 12:23pm

Astro Pop wrote:One of these with plywood screwed down to it. Add the little brackets to the top end to catch the lip.

https://www.harborfreight.com/6-ft-x-9- ... 96513.html
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Simpson-Stro ... /100375310

Could probably take some old latex paint throw in a bunch of sand and roll it on the plywood. Or just throw sand on the wet paint.

With the McD's two burgers & fries special why not get him a burger too? My boy loves that deal!


He gets his share of burgers, but his favorite s an Egg McMuffin. Again, not that he's spoiled. :mrgreen: Someone at the track or racking kennel must have given him fries when he was racing. The first time that a bag of fries came into the house after adopting him he came running and proceeded to drool on my pant leg until it was soaked. He knew what fries were and he had never had them from us up to that point.

Looks like I will be playing with the tape measure this weekend to figure out the optimal length of the ramp for the various places that I need to load and unload him. I'm more worried about the angle being too steep and having him refuse to use it. In most of the places I can park next to a concrete island with a curb that makes the angle a less steep. This is a very long-legged dog, so I have to worry about him being balanced and steady enough on the ramp without falling.

Knowing how this goes, i will buy the stuff, build the ramp, and he will decide he'd rather jump over it to get in and out of the van anyway. :banghead:
99 Astro LT - Orginal Owner.
New Engine at 140,000 miles due to intake gasket failure. Hoping to at least double that.
Original Poster [OP]
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Re: Dog Ramp

Postby astroracer » June 16th 2017, 2:00pm

I would think a simple step stool would do the job. Rubbermaid makes one that has a tool box in the top of it. Good place to keep treats and supplies. Greyhounds are so smart it would take him no time to learn to use it. :)
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Re: Dog Ramp

Postby Don1806 [OP] » June 16th 2017, 5:37pm

Normally I would try something like this, but the old racing injury shows up on an xray and is just above an ankle. I think a ramp is more prudent at his age with this injury. I'm trying to avoid excess pressure on that injury and a step of any kind is going to cause him to have to push-off or step down on that leg. Hopefully, I can use his harness to control how fast he runs on the ramp.
99 Astro LT - Orginal Owner.
New Engine at 140,000 miles due to intake gasket failure. Hoping to at least double that.
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