Dog Boat Ramp Review

“how and why to buy the safest and best in class”

Dog Boat Ramp Review

Paws Aboard Doggy Boat Ladder and Ramp, find more on Amazon.


Taking your pets out for boating is a fun way to get some fresh air and exercise. The trip will not be complete without indulging in some water sports and swimming. Swimming is not only a great way to exercise your dog’s muscles but also to burn off their excess energy. It is ideal for old dogs too, as it helps relieve joints pain. But trying to get the dog back on the boat after swimming is too much strain on the owner’s back and is certainly not the most comfortable way for the dogs. In such cases, installing a boat ladder for dogs works wonders for both the dog and the pet parent.

There are many boat ladders available in the market today. In order to help you choose the right one we have compiled a list of 5 such dog boat ramps and ladders and reviewed each one of them. Go through the comparison table and choose the right one that fits your dog’s age and weight requirements. Detailed reviews follows after that.

Paws Aboard Doggy Boat Ladder and Ramp

Paws Aboard Doggy Boat Ladder and Ramp is an ideal boat ladder for dogs that are either very young and are  learning to swim or are old and have problem climbing out of the water. This dog boat ramp is suitable for small and medium sized dogs and should not be used for very large or heavy dogs. You can use the ladder for above ground swimming pools as well.

Let us have a look at its features in detail:

Comfortable and safe

This boat ladder for dogs has steps that provide an easy way for dogs to get in and out of the boat. Hence, it is very comfortable for old dogs and dogs that have knee pain. They can now exit from the boat without any fear of pain or injury. In order to enter the boat they do not have to jump and risk falling or injuring themselves.

Easily assembled or disassembled

There is a detailed instruction manual which you can use to assemble the ramp easily and quickly. When it is not in use you can disassemble the dog ladder and fold it in half to store it in a car trunk or a boat. The ladder can also be easily detached when the boat ladder is required by others. It is easy to carry the light-weight ladder because of the straps given at its sides.

You can attach the dog ladder to any boat that has 3 or more steps in its ladder. In case the ladder is more than 14” in width then it will require an extension piece.

Durable and low maintenance

The ramp is made of plastic and stainless steel and hence is durable and rust and corrosion proof. The ramp will last in all types of weather conditions and you will be able to use it for years. The product does not require much maintenance and you can easily clean it with soap and water. Just ensure that there is no dirt left in the ramp before you store it otherwise it will become smelly by the time you take it out again. In case you use the ramp in saltwater you will just need to rinse it with freshwater after use. The ramp is also UV resistant hence no damage will be done to the plastic when it is exposed for long hours in the sun.

Slip resistant

The ramp has a ribbed design which provides a good grip while climbing on it. It is not only convenient for dogs to enter the boat but they can even use it for an easy exit. It is especially useful for young dogs or pups that are just learning to swim. Large dogs might find it a little cramped and fall off the steps. Manufacturers do not recommend it for dogs weighing more than 135 lbs.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Durable and lightweight The width of the steps is too small to accommodate large dogs
Easy and quick to install Does not fit all boat ladders. For wider boat ladders you will need to buy a separate extension
Can be folded and hence does not require much space for storage
Works well for old as well as young dogs
It is slip resistant and safe to use because of its ribbed design
It is UV proof, corrosion proof and weather proof
Easy maintenance
It does not have any  holes in the steps that will cause the dog’s paws to get stuck
Extra metal structure has been put out under the steps to give it more stability

Additional Features and product specifications

  • The product dimensions are:

Folded length – 32”, Unfolded length – 63”, Width – 16”

  • The dog ramp is ideal for Arthritic or older dogs.
  • It has a universal design that clips on very quickly and is easy to use.
  • It reduces strain of owners to pull their pets from the water.
  • The ramp prevents the pet from injuring its joints.
  • It can be used for on ground swimming pools as well.

What other buyers are saying

Most buyers are happy with the product and would recommend it to use for small and medium sized dogs. But some buyers find the ramp to be too restricted in its weight bearing capacity. Some have even complained that the ramp broke when their large dogs tried to board it.

Customers found the installation easy and quick and are using it for their pools as well as for their boats. Though the product description states universal design some customers had to make minor adjustments to make the ramp fit their boat.

Final Verdict

Pawsabroad boat ladder and ramp is ideal for small and medium sized dogs and for dogs that have knees and joints problem.

PetStep Original Folding Pet Ramp


PetStep original folding pet ramp is a versatile and multipurpose ramp that can be used as a dog boat ramp, a ladder for climbing in and out of a SUV or truck or as a stepper to climb up to an examination table.  It provides a comfortable and safe way for dogs of any size or weight to climb up and down.

Let us have a look at its features in detail:


The ramp has an advanced plastic and fiberglass construction that can easily hold weights up to 500 lbs hence making it an ideal choice for large dogs. The material will also not corrode or rust ensuring longevity of the product.


It has a non-slip rubber surface that is easy on the paws of your pet. There are no abrasive substances used that can injure your dog. The ramp is also 17 inch in width which is wide enough for dogs of any size to walk on comfortably. The ramp has sides that are raised to prevent any kind of slippage but are not high enough to cause pain or injury to the dog.


The ramp is easy to carry as it measures just 36” when you fold it. On unfolding, the length of the ramp is 72” providing enough steps for the dog to comfortably reach the ground. Since it is made of light weight material it weighs just 18.5 lbs. The ramp can easily reach a height of up to 32” on unfolding which is enough to reach beds, decks, boats, pools, tables and so on.

Weather resistance

The ramp does not corrode when exposed to rain or snow. It has a non-slip surface which provides good traction even when it is wet. Hence, it makes an ideal boat ladder for dogs.

Ease of set up

You can easily open and close the ramp as it does not require any kind of assembly. Additionally the ramp has handles on the sides which make it easy to carry and transport anywhere. The rubber grips on both the ends of the ramp will keep it in its place when in use.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
It is easy to fold, carry and store the ramp The ramp might feel a bit heavy and awkward to handle with one hand only
It is easy to clean and maintain the ramp Though the width is enough for most dogs, it might prove a bit cramped for very large dogs who are a little unsteady while walking (due to pain or an injury)
It can hold the weight of large dogs Since there is no support under the ramp it might feel wobbly and make some large dogs uncomfortable while walking on it
It has a gentle slope hence it is easy for climbing The height of the ridge makes it difficult for some dogs to climb up
The ramp is durable and sturdy
The ramp has a perfect grip in both wet and dry conditions

Additional Features and product specifications

  • It is ideal for old or injured dogs as it prevents any shocks acquired due to jumping.
  • The ramp is easy to clean with water and soap without any fear of damaging the material.
  • Since it has a ridged rubber surface, the ramp helps to reduce joints pain in dogs.
  • The ramp does not have any carpet, sandpaper or tape that can trap moisture and odors and deteriorate the ramp over time.
  • The ends of the ramp can fit any size vehicles and surfaces.
  • The ramp comes with 5 years of warranty.

What other buyers are saying

Most of the buyers are happy with the ramp and find it convenient to use it. They are happy that by using the product they able to go on more outings with their pet. But there are some customers who find the ramp a bit heavy to handle. They also find the width not sufficient enough for large dogs to climb down. Some customers find their pets resorting to jumping from the side instead of climbing down fully.

Final Verdict

PetSTEP Original Folding Pet Ramp is an ideal climbing accessory for old dogs as well as newborn pups. You can use it with furniture, vehicles, staircase, boats and pools in all type of weather conditions.

Great Day LP500 Pet-Loading Platform

Great Day LP500 Pet-Loading Platform is a light weight boat ramp which gives your dog easy access to the boat while swimming. Specifically designed as a boat ladder for dogs it works only with boats that have a ladder. You cannot use it for pools or vehicles. It has gripping ridges which ensure that your dog will not slip while climbing on to it from water.


Let us have a look at its features in detail:

Durable and Lightweight

The load a pup ramp is made from high quality aircraft aluminum which is known for its light weight and non-corrosive properties. The ramp can hold large dogs easily without any fear of breakages. Since the material of the ramp is long lasting, you can easily attach it to houseboats too. You can leave it under water for long duration without worrying about any growth or mildew formation.


The dog boat ramp is very safe and secure. The installation kit comes with safety straps that prevent loss of the ramp in water. Though some customers have reported the straps loosening under water, you can always get extra security straps or fasteners to tighten the hold of the ramp and prevent its loss. The bracket given to secure the ramp with the boat ladder is adjustable for different size ladder rungs.

Ease of set up

It is very easy to set up the ramp. Just attach the L shaped bracket to the ramp and hook it on to your boat ladder. Generally, it is better to hook it low enough in the water so that your pet can easily swim up to it.

There are safety straps that add to the safety and security of the ramp. One strap is for attaching the ramp with a secure point on the boat. Then there are two straps for attaching them to the rungs of the ladder.  You can easily fasten all the straps with buckles.

Stable and comfortable

The ramp has ridges that give good grip to your dog when he climbs on it after a swim. The ridges are not too big hence they are safe and comfortable even for small dogs with slender legs. But the ridges are big enough to give a comfortable grip to a large dog’s paws or claws. Any size dog can comfortably stand on the ramp without fear of slipping or getting its paws stuck in the spacing.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Since the ramp is light weight it is quite easy to carry. The ramp is not exactly comfortable for old dogs or dogs that have knee pain. It does not help them climb on the boat rather they will have to jump from it to get on to the boat.
It fits any boat that has a swim ladder If the dog ramp is attached to the swim ladder then people on the boat won’t be able to use it
The platform is big enough for large dogs You cannot use the ramp anywhere else except the boat
Can be secured tightly without any fear of the ramp falling in the water
It can be installed quickly
The ramp helps your dog to easily come on to the boat without your help
Since the ramp is foldable, it will not require much storage space and you can easily keep it under a seat.

Additional Features and product specifications

  • The ramp has a weight bearing capacity of up to 200 lbs.
  • Following are the product dimensions:Length – 24.5”Width – 17.5”
  • It is for use by pets only. Children are not allowed.
  • The ramp is not compatible with pontoon boats.
  • The boat side should be more than 15” tall in order to use this product.
  • The product does not come with stainless steel hardware hence you cannot use it in salt water.

What other buyers are saying

Most buyers of load a pup ramp are happy with its performance. They were happy that they no longer have to haul up their dogs by their harness. Buyers who were overly concerned about the safety straps have put in extra straps for added security. Some customers did not like the fact that ramp occupies the whole swim ladder and makes it unusable for others. Hence they have found a workaround for it by letting the ramp dangle by one of its safety straps when it is not in use.

Final Verdict

The load a pup ramp provides an ideal landing space for dogs of all sizes. Older dogs will still find it difficult to climb the boat from the ramp as it a horizontal landing ramp and not an elevated walking ramp.

Paws Aboard 5300 PoolPup Steps Small

Paws Aboard 5300 PoolPup Steps Small provides an easy exit for dogs from the swimming pool. This stepper is recommended for use with in ground and above ground pools but some customers have been using it for their boats too. This boat ladder for dogs works well on boats if the water level stays up.


Let us have a look at its features in detail:


One of the most important features of this dog step is that provides a very safe and convenient way for your dog to exit the pool. It is especially useful for older dogs that find it difficult to climb back from the water. The steps are easy to climb and prevent any injury to the dog’s joints or knees. The steps are also very useful for young dogs that are learning to swim and might panic if they are not able to get out of water quickly. The stepper builds their confidence as they know that there is an easy way out of the pool.

Additionally the steps have strips that are slip proof that prevent any slipping or falling of your dog. This dog ramp does not have any holes in them for your small dog’s slender paws to get stuck in.


This ABS plastic dog boat ramp is UV resistant as well as chlorine resistant. This plastic product has stainless steel parts too and hence it is entirely corrosion proof.

Though the product comes with plastic screws, you can replace them with metal ones for more long lasting use.

You will need to just wash it with fresh water after use. Just ensure that there is no dirt remaining on the product at the time of packing and storing it.

Ease of installation

Installing the dog step requires drilling holes and will take a little more time than other products reviewed here, but the installation procedure is quite simple. The installation manual provides very straightforward instructions which are easy to follow.

You can even remove it easily by just removing a couple of pins. The installation will not harm vinyl liners.

Some floating can occur in pools that have bubbles in the water. This will cause the dog step to float away from the pool wall. But it does not affect the performance of the product.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
The dog step is durable and long lasting The plastic screws do not hold the product well and tend to loosen up after some time. Hence, replacing them with metal screws will make the product more durable and long lasting.
It is easy to install and remove The maximum weight bearing capacity is 150 lbs and hence it is not suitable for large and heavy dogs
It provides a safe and convenient way for dogs to get out of pool
You can use it with in ground and above ground pools as well as with boats.
The step provides enough space for the dog to maintain its balance

Additional Features and product specifications

  • The dog step is for dogs in the weight range of 4 to 150 lbs.
  • Following are the steps dimensions:

Width – 18”, Height – 10.5”

Step depth is 1st step – 14.5”, 2nd step – 8.5”

  • The product comes fully assembled and takes few minutes for installation.

What other buyers are saying

Most buyers are satisfied with the product as long as they either change screws at regular intervals or replace the plastic screws with the metal ones. But once installed the dog step works wonderfully for small and medium sized dogs. Owners of large dogs were disappointed as the product could not hold their pet’s weight and gave away.

Final Verdict

The dog step provides a safe way for most dogs to come out of water comfortably and independently.

Skamper Ramp Super Skamper Ramp

Skamper Ramp Super Skamper Ramp provides a very visible escape route to animals that accidently fall into the pools. You can use it as a dog boat ramp or install it on docks. Though installing on the boat will require some tweaking with the installation mechanism, once it is done it will prove very helpful to your dog. You can use the ramp for small as well as large dogs.

Let us have a look at its features in detail:

High Visibility

The white color of the ramp makes it highly visible for animals that are looking for an escape route in the water. Though it is helpful for old or injured dogs, it is equally good for young dogs too because when an animal panics then he is unable to find routes of exit easily. The white color will attract even an animal that is in distress and provide enough support to help him get out of the water.

Ease of installation

The whole installation process is very easy and quick. It does not require any screwing of nuts, bolts or strips. You will just need to snap together all the parts by aligning their locking features. In order to fasten it to the pool or deck you will require screws specific to your pool or deck type. Those you can get from your local hardware store. After fastening a clip to the deck or pool side you will need to tie one end of the rope (given along with the product) to the clip and another end to the ramp hole.

While installing on boats you can turn it into a boat ladder for dogs by either tying the rope ends to a stern cleat or to the swim ladder. You will get more detailed instructions on the Skamper Ramp site.

Long lasting

The polyethylene material of the ramp has a high weight to strength ratio which means that despite being light weight it can carry high loads. Hence even though it flexes when large dogs mount on it, the ramp does not break. Since the material is chemical resistant, UV-resistant and weather resistant it can last many years.

The product is also low on maintenance and it only requires you to check on the tightness of the rope from time to time.


You can use the ramp for pools, fixed and floating docks, boats, indoor ramps and even in water troughs.  Motels and hotels can also use it as a drowning prevention measure.

Though mostly used for large and heavy animals people have improvised the set up and used it comfortably for their small pets. By weaving a rope through the holes of the ramp you can ensure that the thin legs of a small animal (possum, frog or cat) will not get stuck in the holes of the ramp. This way even small animal can use it to climb out of water.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
It is easy to assemble and you can even flip it back in when not in use. It is not a good option for large dogs as the ramp sags under their weight
The ramp is durable and long lasting. Some users have been using it for more than 5 years without any complaint. The holes for gripping are large and make it difficult for small animals to use it. You will have to improvise so that their thin legs do not get stuck.
The ramp is quite safe and secure and does not move after you secure it tightly with a rope.
Since the ramp is light weight it is easy to carry and transport.
If you remove the extension panel of the ramp then it will not require much storage space.

Additional Features and product specifications

  • There is one year warranty on the product.
  • When the ramp is not in use then you can flip it back in.
  • It is a 100% recyclable product.
  • The material of the ramp is UV and chemical resistant and hence the ramp will not yellow over time.
  • The product comes with complete and clear installation instructions.
  • Product dimensions are 27X6X14 inches.

What other buyers are saying

Overall, buyers are satisfied with the product though most of them had to weave a rope in the holes to give more traction to the ramp. Without the rope weaving the ramp is quite slippery. People have put the ramp to various uses like for their pools or boats and hence find it value for money.

Though the ramp has a weight carrying capacity of 200 lbs, customers having large dogs find the ramp bulging down under the weight of their animals. The ramp seems to be more suitable for small and medium dogs and not for large dogs.

Final Verdict

Skamper ramp provides enough support for different size animals to easily climb out of water to safe grounds.


Hopefully our list of dog boat ramps and boat ladders will help you make the right buying decision that will result in more frequent and enjoyable boat trips with your furry friend. Dogs love outdoor activities, here is another great guide on how to go for a bike ride with your dog.