Pool and Boat Dog Ramp Questions and Answers

Dog ramp for pontoon boat

by Harp


I have a pontoon boat. Will the boat ramp adapt to a pontoon boat, how is it attached, will it not sink too far with the weight of the dog and make it too steep, are there any guarantees? Thanks


Thank you for your questions, Harp. At this point,
we have not tried the folding dog ramp with a pontoon boat so no guarantees. However, if you look on the Dog Ramp Plans page, a couple of gentlemen have used the ramp successfully with other types of boats. The recommendation appears to be to lengthen the ramp to 8 feet rather than 6, which they said was easy to do.

If you are concerned about the ramp slipping, you could add screw hooks and snaps to easily attach it to the boat.

We have a 180-day refund offer on the plans if they do not work for you. We have not had any requests for refunds to date (over 300 purchased).

Dog Ladder Ideas Needed

by Jessica 
(Modesto, CA USA)


I am trying to find a way to build or alter a ladder so that my dog can climb back into an inflatable kayak if out in deep water. I have found lots of options for decks, boats, and existing ladders but they would not work (mounting wise) on an inflatable and they are all very expensive. I’m thinking along the lines of fiberglass or PVC platforms and foldable. Any suggestions would be fabulous!! Thanks, Jessica


If you know how to work with expanding foam and add a fiberglass layer to make it waterproof, you may be able to craft a landing platform that floats. Connect this with a short ladder made of similar materials by an aluminum sliding hinge that you can set at the angle you wish, lock in place, and then unlock to fold. You may also need a platform area that sits under the water at the base of the ladder for your dog to get a foothold. To the top platform, add a flap of canvas or other tough material topped by netting to protect the kayak’s surface and give your dog traction when climbing in.

Anyone else have other ideas? Feel free to share them in the Comments section.

Dog Safety Pool/Float/Ramp/Island

by Tammy 
(Western New York)


Hi! I need a quick answer to my most pressing query. I have a 10 lb Westie, one years old, who insists on jumping up onto the side of our blowup pool and jumping in!!! I am stumped as to how to put a ramp on the side of the pool for her to escape. The only ones I’ve seen designed are for hard sided pools and they would pop my ring. 

The pool is about 3.5 feet tall. It’s the biggest one they make softsided. I’m thinking maybe it would be better to provide a raft or island for her to crawl on. I have a regular floaty raft but she can’t get herself up out of the water enough to climb on. I usually don’t leave her long, but she is in a fenced yard so I don’t have to be there every minute…until now! She’s obsessed with swimming in our pool. I even just spent $30 on her own pool which she loves…but still wants to go in the “big girl pool” too! Sigh.

Any ideas? I’m thinking something made with pop bottles? Maybe a snow fence grid hanging off for climbing…hmmm…think, think, think. It’s gonna be 100 here in Western NY today…the pressure! I know where Bella’s heading! Thanks for the input!!!


Tammy – thanks for the lovely photo – what a cute little bundle of mischief! 

Some things come to mind: Make styrofoam steps – you’d probably have to glue them to the bottom of the pool. You could also drape outdoor carpet over the rim to give her extra grip and make sure she couldn’t puncture the pool rim. Or perhaps a carpet strip that goes all the way down into the bottom of the pool would be enough for her to climb her way out and it would protect the sides. Again, you would probably have to glue it in place – like the kind used to patch vinyl.

Another would be to fence off your larger pool since she has her own…  

Note: When we lived in Sacramento, California, where it can get to 114 degrees, but doesn’t get quite as humid as New York, we dug our own pool and cushioned it with used carpet (checked for staples and other sharp items first) and recycled tar paper topped with a swimming pool liner. It had sloped earthen sides and was 3-4 feet deep. Great for the kids and us, and inexpensive, but we did fence it off from our dogs (big) since their fur would have clogged the filter too much and they would have torn up the liner.

Do you any other ideas that you can think of or that have worked for you? Please add your comments.

Dog Ramp for Above Ground Pool

by Susan 


Hi! I would like to know if any of the dog ramp plans you offer are suitable to use for a 52 inch above ground pool?
I have two big dogs and I would love for them to be able to cool off during these hot summers here in Texas.
Thank you in advance for your answer! 


Hi Susan, we appreciate the question! The folding dog ramp plans could work for getting your dogs to the rim of the pool if you made them 8 feet long instead of 6 feet (as some people have done) since this creates a less steep angle. 

However, you would likely need to build some kind of platform unless the pool already has a wide rim (this could possibly be attached to the folding ramp with hinges, and the inside ramp with hooks). For inside the pool, an 8-foot long fixed ramp such as our simple plywood ramp would work better. You would need to cover it with fiberglass to waterproof it and may need to glue rubber strips on top of the lathe so the dogs don’t slip.

Hope this helps. If you come up with something that works, please write back/send photos if possible so that other visitors can benefit.

If any of our readers have other ideas, simply comment below.

Floating Dog Ramp Design Wanted

by Michel 
(Fort Worth, Tx)


Wanting to make a floating dog ramp for the back of my boat so the dogs can swim and get back in the boat easily. Found some online, but rather expensive.


We do not have a homemade design at present. One visitor who asked us this question a year ago said they might have come up with something made of PVC pipe but unfortunately did not email back with more details. I am thinking they may have added styrofoam for buoyancy.

How about other site visitors out there – anyone have ideas or an actual pool/lake ramp you have made that works with your dog? Please add your comments.

Inground swimming pool ramp for dog or cat

by Linda 
(Metairie, LA)


I have a small dog and 4 cats. We have an in-ground pool that only has ladders to get out of the pool. I’ve been looking at pool ramps but they are very expensive. Do you have any suggestions for building one? The ramp would only have to support around 20-25 lbs. Thanks for any help.


You may want to try a long plywood board with crosswise pieces of lathe about every 6 inches. Cover it thoroughly with fiberglass resin or several layers of polyurethane so that the wood will not rot when immersed in water. 

Home Depot also has plastic lumber in 2 by 6 foot or 2 by 10 foot sections. Consider gluing rubber strips across that or a rubber mat (perhaps from a junkyard for vehicles) to provide a surface that offers some grip.

P.S. If you find an idea that works, please let us know and we will add it to this question.

Updated info 2012:
You can make a dog pool ramp out of a lawn chair. Check out the DIY Dog Pool Ramp