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A pet ramp is a portable inclined plane or set of stairs which allows elderly, disabled or recovering pets to access beds, couches or cars more easily. A pet owner may use a telescoping pet ramp when transporting an animal by car, or a fixed pet ramp to provide easier climbing for a challenged indoor pet. Some pet ramps are shaped more like stairs, with generous tread sizes to allow pets to climb from level to level without the need to stretch from step to step.
As pets mature, it often becomes more challenging to reach higher levels of typical home furniture. While a young puppy may be able to leap from the floor to a couch or bed, an older dog may not have the same strength. A graduated pet ramp placed next to the furniture eliminates the need to jump several feet in the air or endure the shock of a hard landing. Different types of furniture may require a different type of pet ramp, since the point is to create a more manageable slope or incline.
For those animals who may still be able to perform some climbing or leaping, a pet owner may invest in a set of pet stairs instead of a pet ramp. These pet stairs allow pets to rest on individual padded steps or use the stairs to access a favorite couch or bed. Some pet stairs may be padded with plush carpeting, while others might use a slip-resistant rubber mat. A good pet ramp or pet stair should have sturdy construction and use materials which can be cleaned easily and provide a sturdy surface for pets.
A pet ramp designed for automotive use often uses a telescoping design to aid portability. The telescoping design could begin to fail structurally after years of regular use, however, so owners should be prepared to repair or replace telescoping dog ramps periodically. Some manufacturers of pet ramps promote their products as resistant to the type of structural damage often caused by constant use of a telescoping mechanism.
If an animal needs assistance following surgery or as a result of age-related mobility issues, a pet ramp may be the ideal solution. Keep in mind that pet ramps may be an obstacle for humans, so they should be stored away safely when not in active use. Also, portability should not be a substitute for quality. Make sure the pet ramp is sturdy enough to support the animal and provides a suitable degree of incline to make things truly easier for a challenged pet.
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