If you have a vertically challenged pup, you probably learned long ago to take her with you when you go upstairs. Otherwise, you'd be subjected to Mitzi's pitiful cries and have to turn around at the top to go back down and pack your pooch up the stairs. A useful solution to your dog's problem is a ramp to go over your stairs so she can go up and down as she pleases. Ramps are also excellent for dogs of any size with arthritis or other joint problems, like hip dysplasia, because they're easier on painful joints than stairs are.
Measure your stairs with the tape measure. You need both the width of the stairs as well as the measurement from the floor at the bottom to the top of the top step.
Add 4 inches to the length of the top to bottom measurement.
Cut the plywood to the dimensions of your stairs using the saw, remembering to cut the length 4 inches longer to create a gradual slope your dog can maneuver. If your dog is small, you can make the ramp half as wide as the stairs so that you can leave it in place all the time. That will allow both you and your dog to go up and down without having to constantly move the ramp.
Mark the dimensions of the ramp on the back of the carpet remnant using the marker. You only need to cover the top of the ramp, so no extra measurements are required.
Cut along the markings on the carpet using the knife.
Lay the carpet over the top of the ramp and affix it into place using the staple gun.
Cut two pieces of rubber strips, making them the same length as the width of your ramp.
Attach one rubber strip to the underside of each end of the ramp using the staple gun. This will help keep the ramp from sliding out of place when your dog uses it.
You can add more than 4 inches to the length of the ramp if it is too steep.
You probably won't have much cutting to do if you use carpet samples, maybe just a bit of trimming on one or two pieces. It will look like a patchwork quilt, unless you're able to find samples that are all the same. Indoor-outdoor carpet is useful if your ramp is to be used outside, but you can use berber, loop pile or even cut pile carpet to cover an indoor ramp.
Attach strips of wood lath to the top surface of your ramp every 12 inches for added traction. You may need to use screws or nails to do this, as the lath might be too thick to use staples.
If your dog doesn't immediately take to using her new ramp, place it flat on the floor at first to allow her to get used to walking on it. You can also entice her up and down it a few times with a treat.
Items You Will Need
- Tape measure
- Plywood, 3/8 inch thick for dogs under 50 pounds, 5/8 inch thick for over 50 pounds
- Carpet remnant, either one large piece or enough sample-sized small pieces to cover ramp
- Utility knife
- Staple gun
- 2-inch-wide neoprene rubber strips
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