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I am planning to build a dog ramp from the floor to the bed; I have small dachshunds who insist on being on the bed (older dogs, prior owners, and they keep us warm at night). Dachshunds are prone to back problems; they shouldn't be jumping and their stair usage should be minimized. We keep them in the bedroom when they are alone.

The bed top is 2.5 feet off the floor. I plan to build the ramp with wood and use a carpet lining on the actual ramp part of it; alternate ideas include using mild sandpaper or a towel folded every few inches for gripping.

I am building the ramp outward, not along the side of the bed. I don't want the ramp to intrude too far into the room, but I know that a 45-degree angle or higher is much too steep.

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    That they're dachshunds is probably good info since they'll have small legs even when compared to other breeds of small dogs. – John Cavan Oct 9 '13 at 15:17
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We have a Chihuahua cross breed that is probably around the same size as a Dachshund that manages to climb up into a cubby house via the ramp. I've just measured the angle as 30 degrees and I get the impression from seeing him that if much steeper he'd find it difficult. That ramp is constructed from semi-circular pine wood.

For a height of 2.5 feet that would extend 4.3 feet out from the bed and require 5 feet of material. Depending on the construction of the bed maybe you could take a look at making it fairly light weight and use hooks so that it's nice and easy to stow away when not required.

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While PeterJ's answer completes the question, for everyone's information, I gave up my amateur attempts to build my own ramp, and instead shelled out the dough for a 3-Step Pine Frame Dog RampSteps. Historical observation shows it generally sells for around $150 (I applied a $50 credit).

The ramp works great in ramp mode, it's not intrusive, and it easily folds up (and has a hidden handle on the back) so I can store it if needed and, most importantly, my dogs adapted to it easily. Step mode is super effective as well, but it doesn't work for my needs. While the ramp misses the top of the bed by a couple inches of soft mattress, my two dogs don't seem to mind.

This is a stock photo of the item:

stock photo of RampStep

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