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8 DIY Dog Ramps for Cars & Trucks You Can Make Today (With Pictures)

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

dog with car ramp

Let’s face it — your dog’s going to ride in your car sooner or later.

Whether you’re like us and take your pooch with you on every trip to the supermarket or your pet’s travels are limited to vet visits, you’ll eventually need a convenient way to get Fido in the vehicle. This is especially true if he’s injured or getting on in years, and jumping right in is out of the question.

Learning how to build a dog ramp like the ones below, are fast and easy to make, and they make getting in even the tallest cab painless for both you and your dog.

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Top 8 DIY Dog Ramps for Cars & Trucks

1. Instructables’ DIY Dog Ramp Idea

Inexpensive Doggie Ramp
Image Credit: instructables
Materials: Closet shelves, Zip ties, Carpet, Rubber end covers
Tools: Awl
Skill Level: Beginner – basic assembly skills

Despite being incredibly easy to build, this ramp from Instructables is also incredibly versatile and can help your dog get on the bed just as well as it helps him climb in the car.

If the thought of getting out a saw and working with wood fills you with dread, this is the design for you.

2. DIY Dog Ramp by My Repurposed Life

Image Credit: myrepurposedlife
Materials: Piano hinge, Duct tape, Carpet, Paint stick
Tools: Drill, Staple gun, Utility knife, Scissors
Skill Level: Intermediate – basic woodworking skills

While nominally an indoor ramp, this creation from My Repurposed Life works just as well for getting Fido in and out of the car, due to the long plank at the top that makes scrambling onto the seat a breeze.

You’ll simply need to modify the instructions to make the ramp taller, but that’s not much of a hassle at all.

3. DIY Dog Ramp by Sarah Leamy

Image Credit: sarahleamy
Materials: Plywood, Hinges, Screws, Paint, Carpet, Glue
Tools: Drill
Skill Level: Beginner – basic woodworking skills

Sarah Leamy offers up this no-frills option, which has plenty of footholds for your pup, not to mention an incredibly stable base.

This model requires very little woodworking skill, but you’d never know it from the finished product.

4. DIY Plywood SUV Dog Ramp from Alpha Paw

Plywood SUV Dog Ramp from Alpha Paw
Image Credit: alphapaw.com
Materials: Plywood, fabric, wood screws
Tools: Circular saw, sander, sandpaper, drill & bits, pencil
Skill Level: Beginner

This DIY dog ramp is about as easy as they come to make but will still do a great job helping your dog get into your SUV or another large vehicle. It’s a simple plywood ramp with material attached to the top for extra stability and gripping power. This DIY project should take under 2 hours and cost less than $40, making it effortless and inexpensive. If you only need a dog ramp occasionally, this should work well for a smaller dog. A more sturdy choice from our list is recommended for larger dogs or in situations where the dog ramp will be used often.

5. Heavy-Duty DIY Dog Ramp from SirDoggie

Heavy-Duty DIY Dog Ramp from SirDoggie
Image Credit: sirdoggie.com
Materials: Various wood parts, heavy-duty material, nails, screws, wood glue
Tools: Circular saw, sander, sandpaper, drill & bits, pencil, nail gun, measuring tape, angle iron, miter saw
Skill Level: Advanced

If you’re serious about making a heavy-duty, durable dog ramp for your pet, these plans from SirDoggie are for you. This ramp is extremely well-built and should last many years of your dog getting into and out of your truck or car. One drawback is that, when finished, this ramp likely weighs about 40 to 50 pounds, which would make it difficult to move around. That’s why we suggest you add casters to the base, so it will be easy to roll around in your garage or driveway. This one might be the best of all the DIY dog ramps on our list.

6. Foldable, Portable DIY Dog Ramp from Explore with Erik

Materials: 1×8 plank, hinges x 2, heavy-duty material, nails, screws, wood glue, foam mat, bungee cord
Tools: Circular saw, sander, sandpaper, drill & bits, pencil, nail gun, measuring tape, angle iron, miter saw
Skill Level: Moderate

While the DIY dog ramps on our list are all excellent, most have one large drawback; they’re not portable. The way we see it, what good is a dog ramp if you can only use it at home? That’s why this dog ramp from Explore with Erik is one of our favorites because it folds in half for effortless portability. It’s also lightweight and has a foam base so your dog can grip it well when climbing. In other words, you can use this DIY dog ramp at home and wherever you and your dog travel.

7. On the Fly DIY Dog Ramp

Materials: Various 1×3 and 2×4 boards, wood screws, wood glue, small piece of indoor/outdoor carpet, bungee cord, 2 4-inch bolts, 2 washers, 2 nuts
Tools: Circular saw, sander, sandpaper, drill & bits, pencil, nail gun & nails (optional), measuring tape, angle iron, miter saw
Skill Level: Easy

Some of the DIY dog ramps for cars and trucks on our list are easy to construct, and some are a lot more difficult. This one, from On the Fly DIY, is right in the middle. It will take a little bit of time and effort, but it’s a dog ramp that even a newbie should be able to put together in an afternoon. Even better, with foldable legs, it’s sturdy but portable. With relative ease, this DIY dog ramp can also be adapted to larger and smaller dogs and different lengths. If you want a durable, transportable dog ramp that costs next to nothing and can be completed in an afternoon, this one is probably your best choice.

8. Foldable DIY Dog Ramp from Breakgive

Materials: Large piece of plywood, piano hinge, several children’s floor mats
Tools: Circular saw, sander, sandpaper, drill & bits, pencil, measuring tape, polyurethane glue, razor knife
Skill Level: Easy

OK, so this video about a DIY dog ramp has been on YouTube since 2011! It has almost 54,000 views, probably because it’s so easy. There are no instructions verbally given in the video but, here are the basic steps:

  • Step One: Cut a piece of plywood to the length and width you desire.
  • Step Two: Cut the plywood piece in half lengthwise.
  • Step Three: Attach the two halves together, lengthwise, with a piano hinge.
  • Step Four: Glue children’s play mats to the top of the hinged plywood halves, covering them completely. Let them dry.
  • Step Five: Using a razor knife, cut the play mats in half along the same line as the piano hinge.
  • Step Six: Hang the ramp off the edge of your truck’s bed.
  • Step Seven: Enjoy watching your favorite canine get into your truck.

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Ramp It Up

Don’t let any squeamishness about your woodworking skills prevent you from making a ramp for your furbaby, as most of the options above are remarkably easy to make — and your dog will thank you for them.

After all, what’s easier: taking an hour or two to learn how to build a dog ramp, or spending weeks in physical therapy after you throw your back out lifting Fido into the truck?

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Featured Image Credit: Dagmar Breu, Shutterstock

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