Do you have a senior dog that happens to be developing arthritis or any number of hip and joint problems? If you do, then you have probably been advised by your vet to get them a dog ramp. But, the thing is even if you don’t have an elderly or injured pooch, it is always better to get one of these ramps installed at home, before they become necessary.
After all, jumping up and down from the couch, bed or counters can often aggravate several hip, joint and back problems that can lead to medical issues later on. This is especially true for small dogs, who more often than not, are the most susceptible ones to injury or muscle strain.
It is for this reason that you need to teach your pooch how to use these ramps as early on as possible for their own health benefits. But before we get into that, you first need to be able to choose the right ramp to bring home.
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How To Choose The Right Dog Ramp
There are several options to choose from in the market, but picking out the right one that is suitable not only for your dog but for your home can be tricky. So, when you are busy browsing around for one, there are a few considerations that you should always keep in mind.
- Does it have a non-slip surface?
- How much does it weigh?
- Is the length sufficient enough?
- Is it wide enough to accommodate big dogs breeds?
- Is it easily foldable?
- Is it durable enough?
- Does it have good positive reviews?
Once you have managed to pick the right ramp that ticks all these boxes, then you are ready to train your pup on how to use it!
Best Way To Train Your Dog to Use a Ramp
The first thing you will need to do is to set up the ramp near a bed or a couch. You should also try to make a training field out of it, by placing a few things around like pillows to block any other alternative routes. You will also need to gather up some tasty treats to use at the beginning of training.
Next, you need to sprinkle some of the treats and lead them up to the top of the ramp. But try not to stand next to the ramp for too long, it’s not good to hover around the process too much. Plus, it may end up placing unnecessary pressure on your pooch.
If you wait patiently, your dog will start to move towards the ramp of their own accord and enjoy the treats you’ve already laid out. But, remember that with each step they take, you need to make sure that you praise them. After a few minutes, they will likely walk halfway up the ramp by themselves.
But, if they do seem hesitant to proceed any further, then you can always head to the top of the ramp and wait for them there. On the other hand, if your pet doesn’t seem to be climbing up the ramp fast enough, it could be that they are fearful. After all, depending on the dog size, some may be afraid of heights!
In such cases, some pet parents may opt to use a leash in the training process, because their dogs may seem very hesitant. But, if you decide to use this method, just make sure that you only use it to provide gentle guidance, don’t force them. The best way is to just keep on encouraging them to proceed all the way to the top.
Once they arrive, feed them a handful of treats and give them tons of praise!