This AlphaPaw PawRamp review is our comprehensive take on this premium, yet affordable, ramp for light pets ranging from toy to medium sizes. We are delighted to have received a ramp for trial and here is what we think about the product.
There are countless pet ramps on the market today, and it is very easy to be overwhelmed, overspend or underspend, not understand our pets’ unique needs and ultimately, not purchase the optimal item for our dogs. This is why we decided to review actual products and put them to the test, to give you that peace of mind when purchasing a pet ramp.
The ramp we will be reviewing today is The PawRamp Full by AlphaPaw.
Why Do You Need a Pet Ramp
With one in four Dachshunds developing IVDD, a genetic degenerative back disease, along with countless other breeds ranging from little to big dogs, dog ramps are a necessity. Injuring your pup’s back can be as easy as jumping up and down the furniture, being lifted or simply falling from a high area. Dog ramps can help reduce that risk tremendously, but it also means adding a new piece of furniture in the house or in the car, and so many companies sell dog ramps that it becomes nearly impossible to know if you’re making the right choice for your pup!
That is why we went through countless brands and products to bring you our top picks for the best dog ramps for your pup, so you don’t have to!
Picking a Good Pet Ramp
Dog ramps vary in size, height, weight, maximum inclination, material, look, but here are the few things you should consider:
- The incline: Although a very small incline will be easier for your dog, it also means the ramp will be that much longer. Ideally, you would not want to go past a 35-degree incline. Acceptable inclines will start at 16 degrees and up.
- The length: Goes hand in hand with the incline. Do you have a lot of space in your home? Is it for the living room, are you willing to have a ramp that is the size of your couch? Probably not. The best ramps are the ones that while providing you with sturdiness and safety, can fold down to fit under the couch or under the bed when not in use.
- The ramp weight: At one point or another, you will have to move the ramp! Consider your overall health and strength. Dog ramps shouldn’t go over 15 pounds unless they’re in their permanent spot. You should be able to easily lift it and move it.
- The maximum supported weight: How heavy is your pup? (we won’t tell anyone!) Ramps have a maximum supported weight, and your dog can’t go past it without risking serious injuries. As a rule of thumb, 10% or less of the maximum weight under the limit, you should use it very carefully. Most weight limits on dog ramps have been tested on still weight, and jumping or running on the ramp can add several pounds to your dog’s weight.
- Your dog’s health: If your dog already has back issues or his health is deteriorating, favor ramps that have a lower incline and sturdy base that is low to the ground. Do not allow your pup to even climb up and down steps!
|AlphaPaw PawRamp 2’s Characteristics|
|Height||12, 16, 20 and 24 inches|
|Incline||17 to 35 degrees|
|Material||Marine plywood and quarter-inch polyester carpet|
|A Plus||Can be easily stored flat|
|A Minus||Limited to lightweight dogs|
We managed to get you a 20% discount using this PawRamp voucher to use directly on PawRamp’s store during the checkout: BREEDING20.
Our PawRamp Review
The Pawramp is only sold online on their website and the checkout process is pretty straight forward. They always have discount codes available, and I purchased mine during their Saint-Patrick Day 20% off Sale, which made my ramp purchase at $127.99 + tax.
It ships from the US and took 4 days to arrive. I got a confirmation email with my tracking information a day after my purchase, and FedEx delivered it really quickly. My ramp came from California, but I know they also ship from Pennsylvania and Florida. I think it just depends on the closest one from your delivery address.
The ramp comes already assembled and arrives wrapped in bubble wrap in a cardboard box. Pretty standard. Once out of the bubble wrap, simply put it up with the base on the floor and choose your desired height. We first set it up to 16 inches high, which is their 2nd setting and put it by our couch for our dogs and cat to sniff it and get used to this new piece of furniture in their environment.
The ramp is made out of this beautiful natural wood and black thick carpet that fits really well in our living room. It has no smell, which is always my biggest pet peeve when ordering online!! So far, 5 out of 5!
Since we got our ramp on Wednesday, we didn’t start training our dogs on it until Saturday; by then, they were already used to having it in their space and our cat Panda had even made it his own scratcher! The carpet held up extremely well even with Panda scratching it every time he goes to the couch, which reassures me about the quality of the materials.
Our dogs have very different personalities and I expected the ramp training to be a challenge from the beginning. There is Danno, a 22-pound 2-year-old Beagle and Steve, a Border Collie of 11 years old and 36 pounds.
We locked old Steve in the bedroom while we worked with Danno, and it barely took two treats to get him up and down the ramp! The only thing is I don’t know what will take him to use the ramp instead of jumping on the couch as he has done before. The company advises putting pillows where your dog might jump-off, which is probably what we’ll do until he understands that the ramp is the safe way to the couch.
Steve, being a senior dog, was very hesitant to use the ramp. My husband bribed him with treats but Steve kept going around it until we brought Danno back and he happily demoed the ramp for his brother. Low and behold, it worked! Steve put his paws up on the ramp, and slowly but surely, with a lot of praise, he made it to the top. I know we will have to work on it daily to make him understand it is a safe area to be on, but I am confident that he’ll use the ramp by himself in a matter of weeks. Because he’s 11 years old, he has issues with arthritis on his back and our vet had recommended for him not to jump up and down, but how do you stop a stubborn Border Collie from being comfortable on the couch with his favorite humans? Apparently, the PawRamp was the solution! They can even use the ramp at the same time and the ramp will not budge. The packaging says the ramp has been tested to support up to 77lbs and my two dogs together are right at that limit, but the ramp holds their weights sturdily.
I can easily pack the ramp flat to fit under our couch when we have company over. My husband wants to buy another one for our bed and is thinking of staining the wood to match our darker bed frame. I reached out to PawRamp’s customer service team who answered super quickly, telling us that several of their clients have stained the wood of their ramp really easily to match their furniture, and I think having natural wood is a great solution for someone who really wants to customize their ramp to the perfect shade! I asked them what crazy customization their customers had done that they were aware of, and they told me about adding LED lights to the side of the ramp for visually-impaired dogs, or small railings that could easily be found at Home Depot.
What are vets saying about it
The market is filled with different devices and equipment to limit the risks of your dog having back issues, but few are actually worth looking into. What should you avoid? Stairs. Stairs might not make your dog jump, but it will strain their joints overtime as well as requiring some effort, which a ramp does not.
Dr. Ross Bernstein, veterinarian specialized in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery in Las Vegas, NV said: “Jumping on and off the furniture can have catastrophic effects. Having a ramp can take away the chance for them to have an injury.”
Shipping & PawRamp Return Policy
Shipping is advertised as 3 to 8 business days. The PawRamp ships from the US, where they have locations on the East Coast and West Coast to guarantee fast shipping. The company operates with major shipping companies like FedEx and tracking information are available within 24 hours.
For any issue related to any order; their customer support team is available Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM PST. For having contacted them, I can say they are extremely helpful and quick to assist!
PawRamp has a 30-day money-back policy but I intend on keeping mine! What started as a regular review actually ended up being an amazing addition to our home, and knowing that my beloved dogs are less at risk for back issues gives me immense relief. Their motto is Pets Come First, and I couldn’t agree more! Feel free to check out their returns and exchanges page on their website for more details.
How To Train a Dog to Climb The PawRamp
Ultimately, training will depend on your dog and the amount of time and effort you are willing to put into it. I only speak for my experience, but here are the few things I’ve noticed while training my two dogs:
- Treats are a necessity
- Start with the ramp at a lower setting and give your dog time to get used to having it in his environment
- When training your dog, use a lot of positive reinforcement
- Never EVER use physical force to put your dog on the ramp! He needs to know that the ramp is a safe place to be on, and eventually, he will understand how to use it.
- If your dog is a jumper, barricade the edges of your couch where your dog might jump off to only leave him the possibility of using the ramp.
- Pay close attention to your dog’s behavior; if he gets frustrated, he will tend to yawn, growl or bark. Stop training and wait a little while before resuming the session.
- If your dog gets confused, start over and go slower. Encourage him to put one paw on the ramp, then two. Put treats on the ramp to guide him up and keep his focus engaged.
- While most dogs get it fairly quickly, given the age or health of your dog, it might take anywhere from 10 minutes to two weeks. The main thing to remember is to train him daily. Even 10 minutes a day will generate that feeling of routine, and soon, your dog will have no problem going up and down the ramp!
- Moving the ramp to another room, from the couch to the bed? Take the time to show him that it is still safe. He might know how to use the ramp to go to the couch, but changing the height setting might be confusing for him. Nothing that a few treats and praises can’t fix!
Remember to always focus on praising your dog for good desired behavior and ignoring them when facing an unwanted behavior. You can also try to train your puppy without treats but that might be a much longer process.
Different Ramp Uses
The PawRamp was designed with dogs in mind. Simple, sturdy, soft on the paws yet thick enough for a good grip while going up and down. Their height adjustments going from 12 inches all the way to 24 offers a wide variety of areas and furniture once can use the ramp on; a standard couch goes up to 16 inches, while most beds don’t go past 24 inches. The ramp is light enough that it can be moved from room to room, and doesn’t require a sturdy top area for support since it has a fully flat base to hold on its own. The additional perk that it packs flat at 3.5 inches high allows for easy transport, whether it is from room to room or from inside to outside, to car, etc. Keep in mind that while you can use it outside, the PawRamp isn’t waterproof, so don’t forget to bring it back inside when you are done to avoid weather damage.
Because the carpet is so thick, the PawRamp can also benefit cats, who might use it as a ramp of course, but also have it double as a scratcher. Because the incline is much more minimal as a standard vertical scratcher, cats can really get all their energy out and file their claws on it, instead of on your catch! Isn’t it a nice added bonus!