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Old 01-13-2013, 02:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks for all of your suggestions and if you have any others, please let me know. I thought about trying anti-skid tape first to see if that helps because she almost seems to lose her footing as the steps seem kind of slippery.

I am attaching a picture of my deck steps currently. I don't think I can make the ramp zigzag without taking off the handrails.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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why can't you zig-zag and have handrails? you can have
handrails and siding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilovealldogs View Post
Thanks for all of your suggestions and if you have any others, please let me know. I thought about trying anti-skid tape first to see if that helps because she almost seems to lose her footing as the steps seem kind of slippery.

I am attaching a picture of my deck steps currently. I don't think I can make the ramp zigzag without taking off the handrails.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:35 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Ok, is the dog only going to be using the ramp when you are outside with them? IF so (and you want to get creative), you could build a dog elevator (the last one goes right into the house!:





To be more basic - this one looks simple enough:

dog ramp for decks

I personally would cover it with and indoor-outdoor carpeting to give the dog better grip.
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:29 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Ilovealldogs- that's quite a few stairs... I'm guessing your deck is about 55" off the ground. I would not suggest any ramp steeper than what a dog would see in a dog agility course. A dogwalk plank is 12' long, 4' high, and is 19.47 degrees. Assuming your deck is 55" off the ground, and that you wanted to maintain the 19.47 degree angle, you'd want a plank 165" long. I'd buy a 14' long 2x12. You can get this at Lowes for probably about $18.

Also- this is a long plank and will have some bounce to it when the dog is on it. For that reason, I'd stabilize the board- either by building a couple "trestles" to hold it up from three or four spots, or I'd brace the board itself as I did for my dogwalk planks using a piece of unistrut bolted to the bottom of the board.


You can use gate hinges to secure the plank to your deck.

I would also say that for a senior who's having a hard time with stairs, just a 2x12 will NOT be sufficiently safe. You'll want to add some railings of some sort so that the dog's unsteady feet don't fall off the side of the board. I'd think that some patio lattice would probably be sufficient, and if you painted it wouldn't be such an eye sore. Of course, as cost increases, so can prettiness...

I would apply a sand grit texturing to the plank, exactly like I did for my dogwalk. You can see full instructions of the easy process here. And lest you think that the sand isn't sufficiently gritty, here's my girl running across it in the snow...
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:37 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Willy, thanks for the information. It was very helpful! The deck is five feet off the ground. I was thinking of using 16 foot boards and using two 2x8s side by side and putting short railings on the side. Do you think 16 feet will be too steep?
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:58 PM   #16 (permalink)
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That creates an angle of 18.21 degrees, which is less than a dog would see in an agility trial for the dogwalk (meaning, it's really not too steep of an angle).

2x8s laid flat are doing to have a LOT of flex over a 16' span. Going this route would give you a 14.5" wide walking surface, which is pretty generous. But the flex that this assembly would have would rule it out in my opinion. I think I'd do something more along the lines of this:

2x8s on edge, with a 3/4" plywood top- 14" wide (or however wide you want). The 2x8s on edge also give you some place to secure railing.

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Old 01-15-2013, 04:09 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilovealldogs View Post
The deck is five feet off the ground.
BTW- perhaps a little off topic, but at 60" high and eight steps (7 actual rises) your stairs should have a rise of 8.57". That's a pretty tall step! I have some stairs in my training room that have an 8" rise, and it's certainly not something my dog can sprint down easily... No wonder your dog has some issues with it.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:53 AM   #18 (permalink)
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They are about 7.5" tall/high (each step, I mean).
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:36 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Ramp update!

So, I finally got the ramp done. You may wonder why I used slides, but all the material I used was free (with the exception of the green slide), so I figured I'd try to save a few bucks. I applied sandpaper-like tape to all of it and walked her up and down it. Needless to say, she fell! She was walking as if there were no tape at all and she looked like she had zero traction. I really didn't think the incline was too steep as I went out 17 feet with this (and it's 5 feet high). I really think that her hindquarters are just entirely too weak. Lately, for baths she even has to sit down.

Any suggestions?
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:19 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I'm not sure, but the green slide looks like it has a larger/steeper drop. I would build a ramp like the one Wildo posted with a simple guard rail added, not lattice, its not strong enough. The lumber needed to make the ramp would probably cost less than the slide (if you purchased the slide new) I bought a similar slide for my kids and it was around 250-ish. The strength, stability, and straight slope (as opposed to the wave slide) will probably help her feel secure going up and down.
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