Ramp for an older dog for a small porch?

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jmr106

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I could use some help with suggestions for some type of ramp. I have an 11 year (pushing 80 in dog years) old Labrador/Chow mix. She's not very tall. Her legs are about maybe 12-14 inches tall. She has made it up and down the 2 steps on the porch for all of this time, but she seems to possibly have some type of arthritis or something going on with her back legs now. Sometimes they bother her and sometimes they seem fine. Of course, we're working with the vet and such on that. While she "can" make it up and down them, she has a little bit of struggle sometimes and looks at me longingly like she is tired of going up and down them. I'd like to make it easier for her. The porch is obviously not very tall or big at all. I don't want to add anything permanently onto the porch (such as extra concrete for smaller steps, for instance - even though that is probably a really odd idea), but I was thinking of some kind of wood ramp that I could cover with maybe some type of rubber that her paws can grip. I'm handy with a variety of things, but I'm certainly not the best carpenter. I don't want it to be too steep, of course. Got any suggestions for what I could do with this? I have had a few people suggest the "single sheet of plywood from the edge of the top step down to the driveway with supports on the first step" deal. I can't figure out if it would be to have smaller steps or a ramp, but I'm thinking the ramp would be easier on her in the long run. Each step is about as tall as her entire legs, so that could certainly be an issue for an older dog. She sort of "jumps" up them now with this little hop she does. She does the same hop for the little doopstep that is about 6 inches high, but that one of course isn't as hard for her.
 

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jmr106

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Are you thinking just for the dog or for people too? How wide between rail and wall?
Just for the dog. I'll have to get exact measurements tomorrow. That's maybe 3 feet or a little more between the railing and the house.
 

nealtw

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Just for the dog. I'll have to get exact measurements tomorrow. That's maybe 3 feet or a little more between the railing and the house.
We make ramps for people in construction out of 2x10, I would just start with a 12 ft length and see if the dog takes to it. If it works then you could look at how to attach it and make it non slip and decide if it would be a hazard for people. There are non slip paints and with a little lower railing removed it could go out the back. and if it is too bouncy. that can be fixed too.
 

Thomas529

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Is building permit needed? Wonder if ANY outdoor ramps have to conform to ADA standards
 

joecaption

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There's no location in your profile so it's anyone's guess if a permit would be needed.
Best bet, go down to the building dept. and ask so you do not get well meaning incorrect advice.
 

Eddie_T

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If only for a dog I definitely would not get building department involved. Make it portable and temporary and cover with outdoor carpet for traction.
 

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