That was the sound I’d often hear when my dog, Tobu, hopped off the bed and ran to the front door to greet my wife. When she came into the bedroom, he’d rev up his paws, Looney Tunes–style, and leap on the bed, asking for much-deserved pets.
All that leaping and thunking was probably not good for his joints, so years ago we got a cheap foam staircase for him to climb up. Problem solved! Except for the fact that this thing was ugly, the fabric got dirty quickly, and it often slid away from the bed when he reached the top.
Then I got the DoggoRamp to test. We’ve been using it almost all year. Yes, this wood ramp is expensive, especially compared to anything you can find on Chewy. But it’s attractive! I want my bedroom furniture to look nice, and not like a raccoon just broke in and walked over everything. It works with dogs of varying sizes, has an adjustable height, can be stowed away, and is a little better for his joints too. Best of all, it’s super easy to clean. If cat owners can have fancy cat furniture, I think it’s fair to splurge on your pup too.
DoggoRamps makes a few different kinds of ramps—for beds and couches, and even a step-ramp. I tested the Couch Ramp in Walnut and used it for my bed. The other options seem as though they’d take up way more space in my already cramped bedroom, so I’m happy to report that the Couch Ramp easily let my dog walk up and down the bed (which sits at a height of 24 inches). Just expect a few stubbed toes the first few weeks as you get used to it being in your space.
It’s made of solid maple hardwood sourced from the US and Canada, supports up to 150 pounds, and has a rubbery surface for traction. The company recently introduced a railing add-on for extra security. I love that it comes fully assembled; all you need to do is set the height using the adjustment mechanism on the underside of the ramp.
The anti-slip surface and sturdy build construction are two points Tiffany Durzi, a veterinarian and chief of service at the Ontario Veterinary College Fitness and Rehabilitation Service, says to look for in a ramp. A dog’s feet can sink into a soft foam staircase, potentially putting some strain on lifting up their paws to get to the next step, which isn’t a problem on a sturdy ramp. The non-slip surface helps with grip, and I’ve never seen my dog slip off the DoggoRamp.
Durzi says stairs can be a good exercise for pets, but ramps are recommended after orthopedic surgeries and for pets with mobility issues. She does say that there’s “no evidence to suggest that using ramps early on in life can help from a mobility perspective,” outside of just getting your dog used to using one. Regardless, my dog climbs our staircase several times a day, so he gets plenty of exercise—my primary concern was the jumps and falls he makes to get on and off our high bed. The ramp has been a wonderfully elegant solution.
It might take some time for your pup to get used to it. Durzi recommends being patient and slow, and using positive reinforcement techniques like treats to entice them. My wife and I laid out treats on the ramp and encouraged him to climb up, rewarding Tobu with every few steps. Slowly but surely, after a few days, he started climbing up and down on it on his own. Mind you, Tobu doesn’t always climb down—sometimes he still thunks—but it’s not as frequent as it was before. He rarely climbed down the foam staircase.
Clean as a Whistle
I’d be lying if I didn’t say that a part of why I like the DoggoRamp is because of how it looks. I’ve slowly been phasing out old cheap furniture I bought when I was broke (I donate to people who want them!), while upgrading certain pieces to create a cohesive look in my home. The walnut Couch Ramp easily fits my bedroom’s aesthetic and is far more appealing than the cheap foam staircase I had earlier. After nearly a year of use, it looks practically new. All I have to do is wipe down the surface every so often with a damp cloth to clear out some pet hair. No more unsightly dirt stains.
These hardwood ramps won’t work for every room or person—they’re expensive, take up more room than their foam counterparts, and you’ll bump your shins or toes into it when the room’s dark. But my dog runs up and down it now to get on the bed, and it gives me a bit more peace of mind when I hear those steps instead of a thunk.