When you think of pet ramps, you might imagine a pampered socialite coaxing her teacup poodle up a ramp while a white-gloved butler patiently holds open the rear door of a stretch limo. While pet ramps might seem like an indulgence, to the elderly pet owner or the creaky-kneed Great Dane, they're a lifesaver.
For pets that are too large to be lifted into the car, too elderly to jump on their own, or too tiny to spring into that tall SUV, pet ramps are essential accessories. Ramps also save pet owners the backbreaking work of having to lift reluctant animals into the car. There are several varieties, including folding ramps, telescoping ramps and fixed ramps. Look for one that's lightweight and convenient to store, but sturdy enough to bear the weight of your pet. A good pet ramp will have a nonskid surface and is easy to clean. Another great pet accessibility accessory is a seat extender, "backseat bridge" or pet hammock, which give large animals more room to stretch out. A hammock can also double as a seat cover.
Once your pet is in the car, it's important to keep him from rocketing around while you drive. Next, we look at pet seat belts and restraints.