Dogster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

5 DIY Dog Water Ramps You Can Make Today (With Pictures)

Written by: Chelsea Mortensen

Last Updated on April 14, 2024 by Dogster Team

Dog in a pool_Anthony Duran_Unsplash

5 DIY Dog Water Ramps You Can Make Today (With Pictures)

There are few things dogs love more than celebrating summer with a splash! Whether you’re swimming in a lake, pond, or pool, many dogs love to join you in your adventures.

However, dogs can’t pull themselves out of the water as easily as humans, and pool and dock ramps can get expensive. Here are five easy ways to DIY a water ramp for your canine friends.

Dogster_Website dividers_v1_Jan 18 2024-01-TEST

The 5 DIY Dog Water Ramps

1. DIY Rubber Mat Dock/Boat Ramp by Halifax Dogventures

DIY Rubber Mat Dock Boat Ramp
Image By: Halifax Dogventures
Materials: Pool noodles, plastic floor mats, zip ties, carabiners, rope
Tools: Knife or scissors
Difficulty: Easy

If you want a basic floating ramp that can attach easily to a dock or boat, this tutorial has you covered. The step-by-step pictures are easy to follow, and the detailed instructions on the best pool noodle placement will help you to put together a floating ramp that can easily be attached to a railing via rope and carabiners. This ramp is a great project for DIYers of any skill level and doesn’t require any special tools or skills. It also includes a short video clip of the ramp in action, showing how a medium-to-large dog can easily get out of the water.

2. Wooden Floating Dock Ramp by Eric Hurst

Materials: 2x4s, plywood, outdoor carpeting, empty gas cans, scrap wood, pool noodle, metal rings
Tools: Drill, saw, staple gun
Difficulty: Moderate

If you want a more robust but still portable ramp, consider breaking out your woodworking skills to follow this tutorial. Although it’s not for absolute beginners, the simple design is easy to grasp. The advantage that this style of ramp has over others is that even the largest dogs can use it with some modification. This style of ramp has a floating wooden base and adjustable buoyancy containers made out of plastic gas cans so that you can fill it with just enough water to keep the ramp stable while still lifting your dog easily.

3. Rubber Mat Pool Ramp by

Materials: Rope, rubber mat, zip ties
Tools: Scissors or knife
Difficulty: Easy

If you’ve got a smaller dog, this take on the rubber mat and pool noodle ramp is even easier! Using just a single long mat that bends out of the water, this is perfect for home pools where dogs and wildlife might accidentally fall in unsupervised. It will take less than an hour to make and be easy to adjust as needed for your dog. However, some dogs may need help getting used to this ramp.

4. Above-Ground Pool Dog Ramp and Deck by Jenily11

Materials: Scrap wood, metal plate, screws, hinges, shelving brackets, yoga mat, paint
Tools: Drill, sandpaper, saw, staple gun, paintbrushes
Difficulty: Hard

If you’ve got an above-ground pool, giving your dogs safe access can be tricky. This video walks you through building a structure with a ramp going up to the pool, a small “deck” and a ramp that goes down into the water. This is a little bit trickier, partly because the tutorial is fairly loose, but expert DIYers will find it a good starting point. We loved the idea of using a yoga mat to cover the part of the ramp that’s underwater for a non-slip surface!

5. Doggie Standing Shelf/Step for Pool by Tonka The Malamute

Materials: Tote bin, weights, zip ties
Tools: Drill, scissors
Difficulty: Easy

If you’ve got a pool and a larger dog, a standing shelf or step is a good alternative to a pool ramp. This shelf is made from a big tote bin that is not quite as tall as the water level of the pool. Because of its height, your dog can stand on the shelf to take a break and lounge in the water or use the shelf as a step to get in and out of the pool. This is a genius solution that’s perfect for dogs who are big enough to swamp pool noodles or would prefer a sturdier step instead of a floating ramp.

Dogster_Website dividers_v1_Jan 18 2024-03

Last Thoughts

With so many different solutions to help dogs get in and out of the water, there’s no need to go to the store! Dog ramps are a great DIY project, and this list has ideas for every situation and at every skill level. Whether you need a permanent ramp for your home pool, a portable solution for your boat, or something in between, we hope these ideas will get you started.

Featured Image By: Anthony Duran, Unsplash

PangoVet Image Speak With A Vet Online

Get Dogster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
Dogster Editors Choice Badge
Shopping Cart


© Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.