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How to get Elderly Dog into a Car

Posted by: Tim Berrisford  Date: 19/02/2016   Category: Blog

Whilst we spend most of our dogs life taking them in the car for dog walks or day trips, they get to an age where getting in and out of the car becomes more of a challenge for both dog and owner. At this point in their life or even if you dog has an injury or is disabled, you might look at getting help to ensure they will get regular trips out and the same quality of life.

Two of the main products dog owners turn to in situations like these would be dog steps and dog ramps, which you choose for your dog is entirely personal preference.

Dog ramps are regularly used by many to get their dog in and out of their vehicle and with a wide variety on the market at present; it is simple to obtain a dog ramp that suits you and your need. The main thing to consider when using a dog ramp is the incline, if you have a high backed vehicle then be sure to purchase an extra long version of the ramp as having a ramp to steep will cause your dog to feel unstable and can result in an injury. Check where you will place your dog is there enough room in the back of the car or would it need to fit in the boot as well as your dog? Some ramps fold into two or three and some telescopic; each will result in the ramp being a different size when not in use so check which is best for you. Always remember that you will need to be able to physically carry and assemble the ramp each time you use it so it is best to look for light versions of ramps, such as the Solvit Ultra Lite.

Dog ramps are most often used on the boot of the vehicle as they can be placed evenly and allow your dog to travel in the biggest area of the car however if you would rather them be in the back seats then there are adaptors you can buy for certain ramps to allow side access use.

Other dog owners might prefer to use dog steps for your dog’s access in and out of the car. Steps come in two versions, standard steps and folding steps. For travelling, you would mainly be looking at the folded version as the other steps are quite large and will not fit in most people’s cars. Some may prefer using dog steps as they think their dog will feel more at ease as they are used to steps. The main issue with steps is stability as they do not attach to the vehicle like ramps do and if placed on an uneven surface could become dangerous. We would always recommend using a dog ramp at first as it lessens the impact on dog’s joints and is the safety way to get your dog in and out of your vehicle. As a last resort, if they refuse to use a ramp, i would attempt using steps however always ensuring you are there to support your dog incase they are placed on uneven ground.

Whichever product you choose to help transporting your dog you will need to train your dog correctly how to use it and feel confident using it as this will help them continue enjoying their life dog walking and visiting places with you. When training your dog how to use the ramp, be patient, it will not happen immediately for everyone but take your time with the training and they will gradually take to it. Firstly using a lead walk your dog up and down the ramp whilst it is flat on the floor, this allows them to sniff and get used to the feel of the ramp. Then using a very short object like a brick or a bottom step, give your dog a slight incline. Use treats if needed to get your dog to walk up the dog and praise your dog when they do so. Gradually increase this incline until they are ready to try the ramp on the car. Always hold your dog by either their lead or their collar to be extra safe.

If you require any further advice, please contact us on our helpline as we can help you decide which the best product is for you and your dog.