Outdoor dog ramps

Old 08-27-05, 07:10 AM
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Outdoor dog ramps

We have just built outdoor ramps for our 2 dogs - one ramp from the house to the deck and another ramp from the deck to the backyard. Both are 2ft wide and 8ft long, and we used pressure treated wood to support the plywoods.

My dilemma is in determining what to use as "covers" for the plywoods, to prevent the dogs from slipping as they walk down the ramps, as well as to prevent them from getting any slivers on their paws.

I've been to our local hardware/home/garden store, and have looked at some heavy duty rubber mats that I could possibly use. This would be fine for mild sunny weathers, however not good for rainy and snowy weathers (as the rain/snow would get into the nooks & crannies of the rubber mats).

A friend had suggested to nail pieces of wood down the plywoods - kinda like mini steps all the way down the ramps.

Would anyone have any other suggestions I could look into? I need all the help I can get!

Many thanks!
Old 08-27-05, 12:35 PM
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You could paint them and embed sand in the paint for traction. Tread strips the size of stair treads are available to nail down. These have a high friction surface to prevent slipping. You could attach a section of roll roofing to the ramps or attach roofing shingles.

How steep are the ramps? Dogs have four wheel drive and likely won't fall although they slip and slide. At least mine do. We rarely have slippery conditions here, but they seem to cope.

Hope this helps.
Old 08-27-05, 08:17 PM
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Thanks for your great suggestions, Chris!

I'm going back to the store tomorrow to check them out. I do like the idea of the tread strips. I'd also like to cover the plywood to protect it from weather so the roll roofing would work too.

Not sure exactly what the angles are for the ramps, - the height from the door to the deck is about 2ft, maybe less. And the ramps are 8ft long, so it doesn't feel steep...

I'm hoping they won't be too steep for the dogs to use.. we have a corgi and a german shepherd.

Thanks again for your help!
Old 08-28-05, 03:08 AM
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Just my 2 cents but if your thinking about that black tar paper, that is worth less and wouldn't last. Maybe a roll of shingle could do the job. But with that your adding weight. Also with the indoor / out mat , they look great but get trashed real easy ( meaning mud, leaves will show on it and cleaning it can be a hazzle.
Personally I would just put a good primer on it and some exterior paint and get some of that indoor / outdoor rug ( the green plastic rug).

Last edited by mattison; 08-29-05 at 04:07 AM.
Old 08-28-05, 07:49 AM
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Adding My two cents worth too...

We used cheap astro turf on our steps/deck entrance for our dogs...it comes in rolls and is not really spendy. You can wash it off when it gets too mucky, and it helps drag the yuckies off of paws before they come in the house.

Being that it is plastic, it protects the wood and last a long time in any weather.

Best of Luck,
Old 12-18-05, 05:21 PM
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My boyfriend and I just got done building one too! Use roofing asphalt or shingles thats what we did and it works ok boy that was a job ill tell you what!!
Old 12-26-05, 01:54 PM
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If it snows in your area the ramps will likely get slippery no matter what you do. I like your friends idea: ". . nail pieces of wood down the plywoods - kinda like mini steps all the way down the ramps." Maybe over top the "cheap astro turf" someone else suggested for waterproofing. The wood pieces would give the dogs some traction in the worst conditions.

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