Taking the family out on the boat should be fun and safe for everyone including your dog. Dog boat ramps make it easier for dogs to get on and off your boat at the dock and back on the boat after swimming.
Things to look for in a dog boat ramp
- The ability to attach the ramp to the boat.
- Non-skid surface for secure footing.
- Corrosion resistant construction- Look for ramps made from UV resistant plastic, stainless steel, and aluminum.
- Is it easy to store aboard the boat? Look for ramps that are telescoping or fold.
- The weight of the ramp. Look for ramps that weigh 20 lbs or less.
- How much weight the ramp will support. Weight capacities range from 70 lbs to 500 lbs.
You also need to consider whether your dog goes swimming or just needs to get on and off the boat at the dock.
For swimming, the end of the ramp should sit far enough below the surface of the water so your dog can step on the ramp, not climb onto it.
It should also not be too steep of a climb back into the boat for your dog. The best angle is around 15 degrees.
This article by Paul Esterle on www.lakeexpo.com has great information that makes picking a dog ramp for your particular boat easy. It includes useful links to manufacturer websites which make getting what you need easy and quick.
If you are a do-it-yourselfer there is also a great diagram of how to put a dog boat ramp together.