Ramp It Up To Adventure – #Solvit Pet Ramp Review

What do you think of when you hear the word ramp? Wheelchairs? Wild leeks?

Since Honey and I have found the Solvit Deluxe XL Telescoping Pet Ramp(affiliate), when we think of ramps we think of adventure.

Honey the golden retriever with her Solvit telescoping pet ramp.

You keep saying this is my ramp to adventure. There better be an ice cream adventure aboard that boat.

As Mike and I have taken up sailing, the big mystery has been how Honey would feel about life aboard a boat. But the first question is always how she would climb aboard a boat.

For humans, boarding a sailboat takes balance, agility, and a little bit of nerve. Dogs either learn to jump aboard, get boosted by their people, or carried on board. Oh, and some large dogs get hoisted aboard with the help of a winch. None of these options seemed terribly safe or comfortable so we started looking into boarding ramps.

Most marine pet ramps help swimming dogs return to a boat or dinghy. Since Honey doesn’t know she’s a water dog, that wouldn’t work. We needed a ramp that would allow her to safely walk from a dock, no matter the distance.

Honey the golden retriever eyes liver on her Solvit Telescoping Pet Ramp.

I see the liver on the end of the ramp. But there’s got to be some way I can get to it without stepping on this contraption.

The Solvit Deluxe XL Telescoping Pet Ramp was one option we were exploring when a company rep emailed me and asked if I’d like to review it.

The ramp is made of aluminum so it won’t rust. It extends from 47 to 89 inches. But would Honey the timid pup feel comfortable using it? And would it be light enough that I could set it up from a dock to a boat without losing it in the water?

Let’s check out the video.

As you can see, Honey took to the ramp easily.

The rubber feet on the bottom of the ramp kept it secure, even when the dock and the boat moved. We tried the ramp at other docks where the angle changed because the boat was farther from land and Honey (and the ramp) adapted easily.

Honey the golden retriever at Treasure Island marina.

What’s this new place? Oh well, at least the dock doesn’t move.

For us, the telescoping feature was a huge help since we never knew how high or how close a dock would be once we landed in a marina. And the added length meant Honey didn’t have to walk a steep angle when the ramp was fully extended.

But Pam, I can hear you saying, I wouldn’t be caught dead on a boat. Why should I care about a boat ramp?

Here’s the cool thing. The Solvit Telescoping Pet Ramp exists to help your dog climb into your car or truck. Or perhaps your deck. Or sofa. Or bed. To see how it works in a more traditional setting, check out Jodi Stone’s review over at Heart Like a Dog.

It’s no secret. I loved the Solvit Telescoping Ramp. Are there any downsides?

Honey the golden retriever at Gananoque marina.

Whoa, what’s happening here? If I’m not careful, this adventure ramp will lead me right into the drink.

Non-skid surface – At a low angle, the gritty, non-skid surface of the ramp works perfectly. A few people reviewing the ramp at online sites said their dogs skidded a little on the surface. But at a steeper angle, your dog’s pads must make full contact with the ramp for safety. That means keep your dog’s toenails trimmed.

Weight – The ramp supports up to 300 pounds but only weighs 18 pounds. That means after my initial fear of dropping the ramp overboard when swinging it from the boat to the dock, I didn’t have any problems. But it also means that when the dictator director husband called for 30 takes while shooting the video, my arms got a little tired.

Hopefully you won’t have the same problem.

Size – Choosing the longer and wider ramp was a good choice for us. But we could only transport it in the compact car we rented flat on the back seat. If you’re using the ramp to get your dog into a truck or SUV, presumably you’ll have plenty of room to store the ramp in your vehicle. Or if you don’t need the maximum flexibility, opt for the smaller Solvit Deluxe Telescoping Pet Ramp(affiliate) which extends from 39 to 72 inches.

Honey the golden retriever models her life jacket.

Okay, enough adventures. It’s time for a treat and a snooze.

I’m thrilled to have found the perfect solution for getting Honey on and off a sailboat with no trauma. And I’m even more thrilled to offer you a chance to win your own Solvit XL Telescoping Pet Ramp.

Do you need a dog ramp? You might if

  • you have a puppy under a year old. Young pups should avoid high jumps while their bones and joints are growing.
  • your dog is a senior who’s having stiffness or pain in her joints
  • you think your dog could ever injure himself and need extra help getting up on high surfaces
  • you want to take your large dog aboard a boat and don’t want to carry, throw, or winch him over the side.

It looks like you just might need a pet ramp yourself. At least if you want to keep the adventures going. So use the Rafflecopter tool below to enter our giveaway. And good luck.

Win a Solvit XL Telescoping Pet Ramp.

Your Turn: Have you ever had a dog that needed a little help getting up into a car or furniture? How did you manage it?


a Rafflecopter giveaway
  (Disclaimer: Solvit provided the ramp I reviewed and is sponsoring the giveaway. I received no other payment for reviewing the ramp and offering my honest opinion. I do not review products I don’t believe in or would not use myself. Some of the links in this post are to affiliate programs. That means if you buy something after following the link, I will earn a small commission. Thank you for supporting Something Wagging. Rules for the giveaway are listed in the Rafflecopter tool.)

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  1. That was a great review Pamela and thank you for the shout out.

    Drawback I have found? If I don’t snap the ramp in place (operator error of course) the roughness of the ramp can scrape the finger.

    I’m glad Honey adapted so well to the ramp, that must have been quite a relief to you. Sampson is very good about using the ramp and Delilah will occasionally as well. :-)

    How nice that you are giving a ramp away, I hope whoever gets it starts using it right away, it is truly beneficial at any age.

    As for the storage, I have a small SUV and the ramp fits along the back and we use a cargo net to keep it from sliding forward.

    • Despite being a major klutz, I have yet to hurt myself on the ramp. I think it’s because I’ve mostly used it over bodies of very cold water. I handle it so tenderly to make sure I don’t drop it in the drink, I couldn’t possibly hurt myself. :)

  2. Shelley P says:

    My 15 yr old spaniel mix can no longer get up on furniture or in the car by herself. She needs to be lifted. This ramp would be great to have and easier on my back :)

  3. I think these ramps are a great idea. I’ve bought a couple over the years to use with my seniors for getting in and out of the car. I have one of these and the only problem I had was once I got my fingers pinched in it…due more to user error than anything else.

    • Jodi also talked about hurting herself on the ramp. As I said to her, handling it so gingerly because we use the ramp over very cold water has obviously benefitted me. Because normally I’m such a klutz I’d probably have taken a finger off with something truly dangerous.

  4. Great review! Having corgis, ramps are important for getting them in and out of SUVs. They really should not jump down from that height with their stumpy legs.

    • And you probably don’t have to do much ramp training with agility dogs. Unless it’s to keep them from looking for a tunnel or jump after walking up into the car.

      Good luck in the giveaway!

  5. Great review. I love that ingenious inventors keep coming up with products that make life easier for dogs and their owners. And thanks to the internet the seller can reach the buyer easily. There were times though when I could hear Honey saying, “Oh, what fresh hell is this?”

    • Gee, you noticed Honey got a little weary of our ramp games? At least we edited out the part when she sat down on the dock and scratched for 30 seconds, signifying that she was done, done, done. :)

  6. We would definitely need one of these for boating with Moses – looks like it would do the trick perfectly (up to 300lbs – check!). Even Alma might get some use out of it.
    Actually… might be something to consider for Mo in my SUV. At present, he gets is front feet up and I help hoist is back legs. Yes, it is as ridiculous and awkward as it sounds, and no fun for me if we were just on a wet or muddy walk. I should really just suck it up and get a ramp.
    Okay, I just looked it up and the price tag is definitely one I can live with. Will seriously start considering this now.

    • Wow, even lifting the back legs of a Newf is probably a good (and often, messy) workout.

      I must say I’ve been impressed with the sturdiness of the Solvit ramp. We looked at quite a few while doing research.

      The company notes over and over again that the ramp is not tested for use by people. But as it was set up on the dock, we did find people using it to get aboard and the thing didn’t move a bit (except for the movement of the dock and the boat).

  7. My car is pretty low, so our dog steps into the floorboard then up onto the seat. He’s still young and doesn’t have any trouble. But I am thinking about the future when he is older or when I buy a “dog car” (i.e. something with a rear hatch and cargo space).

  8. De Cunningham (@skye613) says:

    All but 1 dog is a senior and he’s a 5 month old. Ramps are great for Doxies and 1 golden pup. Super review

    • When we brought Honey home, our breeder made us swear we wouldn’t allow her to jump for at least a year. And I discovered that agility trainers also don’t allow jumping for young dogs.

      So young or old, there are lots of dogs that benefit from a joint-friendly way to get into a car.

  9. Funny you should ask that…I was just helping Sheba up into our SUV today! She’s OK when we leave to go somewhere but after some exercise she has some trouble. I am impressed with how quickly dogs can be trained to use this (I know Jodi said Sampson adapted pretty quickly). And I’m also glad to see Honey do well, because Sheba is timid too and my fear is that she wouldn’t want to use it. It took us a long time to get her to use the stairs up to our bed. And this would be good for Luke as well, with his growing joints. This is a great review and giveaway, thanks for the chance to win! :)

    • If I put the ramp down on the ground today, I’d still have to coax Honey to cross it. What we found was that she began to associate the ramp with living on the boat. It was the route to being with us, which is what she wants more than anything else — except possibly a tall handsome stranger who loves dogs and carries hamburgers in his pockets. :)

      Anyway, if Sheba associates the car with good times, you might find it easier to get her into the car using the ramp than just practicing with it laid flat inside your house or yard.

      Good luck!

  10. Good job Honey! And good job Pam!

    We don’t take the dogs on the boat too often, but now that my dogs are getting up there in age this ramp could come in handy for getting in and out of the car.

    One thing I was wondering is if the boat was rocking a little more would you have been worried the ramp might fall into the water or is it pretty secure with the rubber feet and the lip of your boat?

    • I was very concerned that the ramp would tip off the boat. Especially since the boat was only 30 feet and quite light and the dock was floating.

      We had the ramp out on a night with 20 knot winds with higher gusts and it didn’t go anywhere. The combing of the boat gave the ramp something to grab but the rubber legs stayed put once put in place.

      I saw no evidence of the ramp moving anywhere once it was set up and in place. And a car would be even more solid.

  11. Great idea, but we wouldn’t know where to keep it in the car. Mom has lifted each of us in and out of the car since day one so we don’t ever get injured jumping in and out. She even lifts 80lb Katie. If she couldn’t lift us, we would need something like this, but until that point, we are her personal arm trainers.

    • When we took the ramp to Canada, we rented a Ford Fiesta. The only place we could find for the ramp was laid flat on the back seat. We put Honey’s pillow on top of it along with the Kurgo hammock so she could ride comfortably.

      Of course, that car is so small, the ramp is unnecessary.

      BTW, Emma, thanks for reminding me never to tick your mom off. I never want anyone angry at me who can bench press an 80 pound pup. :)

  12. Darn. I follow you on Twitter, but my spell checker crazed phone “CORRECTED” my Twitter name from pen4hire to penthouse.
    As for the ramp I’m afraid we may be needing it. Usually bouncy Bogey is beginning to show signs of joint pain.

    • I’d be afraid to see the tweets I’d get if I tried following you at “penthouse.” :)

      Sorry to hear Bogey is showing some joint pain. A ramp might be just the thing to help him keep up with you on all your adventures.

  13. A brilliant review and just look at Honey go. You must have been so proud when she walked up and down that ramp like a pro – she’s a credit to all the hard work you have all done!!

    • Thanks, Lauranne. I was most excited to see Honey step off the boat on her own to visit the two studly South African men eating dinner in the next boat over.

      Who’d have thought her sluttiness would end up being a training tool? :)

  14. I’m still giggling over the video production, but I must say that it turned out really nice!

    I think this would help us a lot, especially at home. Our driveway is a really steep grade and so the dogs have to jump really high to get into the back of the SRX. A ramp would be just the little bit of help they need, because right now it’s just us picking them up if they can’t make the jump.

  15. When Stella needs help getting up I carry her.

  16. I would love to be able to get a ramp for my suv. Right now, I am helping my shepherd mix in and out of it by picking her back end up or lifting her down.

  17. Kelly Ann T. says:

    I have to help them, and they are both 80 lb. dogs, it is not easy for them to jump into my truck. This would be so helpful for all of us. Thank you for hosting the giveaway.

  18. Usually a boost from me.

  19. Lisa F. says:

    If my dogs can’t jump up into the car, I help them up myself.

  20. My friend’s dog has cancer and has to be lifted in and out of of their truck. He is a big, heavy Lab and it is hard on both the dog and my friend. I would give this to them if I won.

  21. Nelly and Sophie are small and easy to pick up. Theo does not like to picked up so its a struggle. I’d also love to lend it to my sisters who both have larger dogs.

  22. I have to help my 13 year old dog onto furniture and bed, I also have to pick her up to get her in the van.

  23. We lost all 3 of our ~50lb senior pups in 18 months. Some modifications we made include: the kitchen floor became a patchwork of assorted rubber backed throw rugs in order for everyone to maintain their footing, we used baby gates at the top and bottom of the stairs to the second floor to maintain supervision over climbing and descents, some of the sofa cushions (we have a large sectional, so this was easy to do) were removed so the pups had a shorter distance to climb yet they could still sleep on the sofa is they wanted to, my husband built a ramp outside our back slider for easier pup navigation, we used more baby gates on the deck steps’ top and bottom and installed non-slip treads on the steps for improved traction, and of course, we lifted them into the minivan when traveling was necessary (vet, etc). A ramp such as you are offering certainly would have been useful. Training our newly adopted 6 year old pup to use one of these ramps would be fun and helpful for us down the road….

  24. Looks like a great solution! Bet my Newf would like to use one to help with getting in and out of the vehicle!

  25. I currently use a folding ramp I bought at Costco, it does take a lot of room though. It would be nice to have telescoping ramp which would take up less room in the back of my truck.

  26. Sherman put his front legs up on the car and waits for me to lift his back part up! My back needs a break 😉

  27. Carolsue says:

    One of my dogs is just lazy and likes to be picked up and put in the car; the other has the beginnings of arthritis and does need help. So this would be great to have.

  28. My Ralphy is an 11 year old yellow lab. He can no longer get in and out of our car…it’s really sad because he misses going bye byes in the car! Having the ramp would be great for him and for us we miss going to the river and pet friendly events.

  29. I could use one of these for myself – I’m quite hysterical to watch as I try to go from pier to boat or vice versa. Hahaha! Being a small dog, CindyLu has a good distance to just about everything, and a ramp would surely be a way to avoid injuries incurred jumping down from (relative) heights. I can also think of a hundred reasons this ramp would work great in our rescue kennel and foster homes, too. Fantastic idea!

  30. Usually I just lift them. The dogs I have don’t currently have problems, but before Cheyenne died there were a few times a ramp would have been very helpful. Even if my dogs are young and have no trouble now, a sudden injury could necessitate it. And I think they’d be much more comfortable with a ramp into the car than being picked up.