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We have moved and need to accommodate our welsh collie's toilet and outside needs. At the moment we need to take him up and down some steps at both the front and rear of the house. He is 19 years old, largely blind, and arthritic in hind legs and spine, so he needs some help to manage this.

He is used to a dog flap, but the house we are in now is quite high off the ground at the rear, where we would wish to put the dog flap. My partner is not very handy, and although we talked about constructing a ramp, I think my dog will have passed away before that happens. We agreed we will need a ramp with sides so he will not fall off due to his blindness. Right now when we walk him down the steps to give him the confidence to get down (although we sometimes carry him, 23kg), he feels the edge of the steps with his front paw to know where to step. He is old, but still smart.

Has anyone tried 'stacking' 2 commercially available dog ramps end to end to make a long ramp? Some appear to be suitable, if we just made a 'bridge' platform to secure them on.

Can some ramps be secured? I have looked at both the Solvit Ultralite Bi Fold Dog Ramp (seems short) and Easipet Dog Ramp - both have sides. I could really use some advice if anyone has tried this.

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  • sometimes referred to as welsh sheepdog
    – user339
    Nov 6 '13 at 14:08
  • 2
    What's the height you need to reach?
    – Joanne C
    Nov 6 '13 at 14:11
  • related, but certainly no dup pets.stackexchange.com/questions/256/…
    – user6796
    Nov 6 '13 at 14:11
  • ok :) for some reason some people think Corgi when I say welsh collie - maybe I should get in the habit of saying 'sheepdog' instead
    – user339
    Nov 6 '13 at 14:11
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    Instead of stacking them end to end try building a solid way point in the middle. This will give the ramps the stability your dog will want to feel secure and make it easier to maintain.
    – user9
    Nov 6 '13 at 15:00
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I haven't had to do this with a dog, but I did have to do something similar for a 21 year old cat to get up to our bed. We staged it out with a ramp, a level surface, and a second ramp and it worked well for her. She could see, so sides weren't a consideration.

So, the way I see it, there's two things to consider:

  1. The angle of the ramp. This is really going to be affected by the stairs here, so measure that angle, but ideally you'd want to be 30 degrees or less (I would suggest 25 degrees such an old fellow would be better, but maybe not doable). Your height is 135 cm and so the math says your ramp length should be at least 270 cm for a 30 degree angle. If you can do the smaller angle and go longer, even better.

  2. Can you tie the ramps together some way? The underside of the Easipet Dog Ramps are ridged out and so with some drills and supporting wood, you should be able to very tightly couple one end to another. That, at least, seems feasible given the picture.

However, I think you would find such a ramp really, really, easy to build if they pre-cut the planks. Might be worth checking into, a few minutes with a hammer and some deck ties may save you a lot of money and be more flexible.

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SOLVIT vs EASIPET

Having looked at images for both the Solvit and Easipet, I can tentatively conclude that they are the same product sold through different distributors.

STEPS ALTERNATIVE

I was building my own ramp for my dachshunds, who are prone to back problems, so I understand your concern / need for a ramp. Rather than a ramp, which you state will overlay existing stairs, have you considered doubling up on the steps that you have?

Create a mid-step between each preexisting step by securing either rectangular bricks or a heavy, long, wooden block in the nook of each step. This creates more, smaller, dog-sized steps, simulating what a ramp might get you. Granted, depending how deep your steps are, this may increase the steepness of the incline, but an overlaid ramp would do so as well without angling it properly.

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