Does your dog hesitate before jumping onto the couch or bed?
Does he plead for help as he contemplates jumping? Does he hesitate to jump down? It may be time to buy stairs for your dog. It’s a good investment for your pet’s health and your piece of mind. Just think of what vet visits cost if your dog hurts his back as he tries to jump, or makes his arthritis worse as he lands hard on his front legs. Think of the lost quality time together, cuddling on the couch.
As Cassie, my springer spaniel, aged and became more arthritic, I have purchased multiple sets of steps for her, first for our bed, then years later for each couch. I own several brands, so I have learned a few things about dog stairs.
Before you buy Dog Stairs
Will your dog use them or is he too afraid? Cassie was an agility dog and was very used to climbing things, so she had no hesitation with using the stairs once I guided her up and down them with a treat a few times. Chipper, my cocker, refuses to use them.
- Make sure the stairs are sturdy. This is critical. Not only for your dogs, but kids love to step on them.
- The first one that I purchased (on the right) is one unit and is very sturdy. A small adult could walk on them. Unfortunately, this model doesn’t appear to be available any longer.
- The dark brown one on the left has fallen apart numerous times and we have had to drill additional screws in fix them. The stairs flip up to create storage space, which is probably why it is the weakest of the models shown.
- The two-step mode is much sturdier than it initially appeared. This one is low cost and widely available. I recommend this one, at least in the two-step model.
- Determine the height needed. Two steps will often work for couches and chairs since the last step is onto the furniture. My bed is quite high and it required the three-step model.
The do-it-yourself method of making a ramp out of some 2x4s and an old door with carpeting nailed onto it for traction, was very big and bulky. I made this for Kaylee and it took up a large portion of my bedroom. The stairs are much more compact and look a lot nicer.
Don’t think your dog is lazy and just doesn’t want to jump. It probably hurts him to do so. Better to be proactive to prevent injury than to make your pet suffer.