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How to Make a Dog Ramp for a Deck

By Karie Lapham Fay | Updated September 26, 2017

Old friend image by Pushpangadan from Fotolia.com

Items you will need

  • 1/2-inch plywood

  • Tape measure

  • Circular saw

  • 2 6-inch boards

  • Nails or screws, as desired

  • 2 heavy-duty hinges (optional)

  • 2 heavy-duty slide bolts (optional)

  • Outdoor carpeting

  • Stain or desired finishing product

You love your companion animal and think of Fido as a member of the family. Like humans, dogs can suffer disabilities, or simply become too old to easily do the things they used to love to do. And it's a fact that when you are hanging out on your deck, you want your family together. To make it easier, spend a couple hours building a simple plywood dog ramp. Lean it in place and your dog will quickly grow accustomed to the new-found freedom, joining you on your deck or porch. Best of all, you can move the ramp elsewhere as needed.

Measure the distance between the ground and the deck floor. Use this measurement to determine the length of the ramp you will build -- the shorter the ramp, the steeper the slope.


Mark a sheet of 1/2-inch thick plywood to indicate how long and how wide you want your ramp to be. Use a circular saw to cut to size.

Cut 2 6-inch boards to measure the length of your ramp floor -- these will form sidewalls for your dog ramp, if you desire. (You can skip them completely, or use a wider board to create higher walls.)


Place the sidewall boards on the outside of the plywood. Allow the walls to drop slightly below the ramp floor -- perhaps a half-inch. This will keep the entire ramp floor from resting against the ground or deck. Nail or screw the sidewall to the ramp, spacing attachments every 6 to 8 inches.

Cover the top of the ramp with outdoor carpeting such as fake grass. Attach with adhesive or with short tacks or screws, penetrating from the top down to avoid injury to dog paws. This covering will prevent your pet from slipping and sliding in wet or icy conditions.

Flip your dog ramp over and apply a protective stain or finish. Dry according to product instructions.


Set the bottom on top of a flat, hard surface such as brick, concrete, or slate if possible. Anchor into place against the deck, if desired.

Photo Credits


Karie Fay earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology with a minor in law from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. After growing up in construction and with more than 30 years in the field, she believes a girl can swing a hammer with the best of them. She enjoys "green" or innovative solutions and unusual construction.