Dogs are human’s best friends and we all know how much they like to hang out by our side, whether on the couch, in the bed or taking a ride in the car. But for some dogs, it can be a challenging task to easily and safely reach the spots that make them happiest.
If you have a senior dog, a dog with arthritis or other hip and joint issues, you may consider getting dog stairs, steps or a ramp, so your furry friend will no longer have to struggle to jump on the bed, the sofa or to get into the car. Depending on your dog’s size, it may be difficult for you to constantly lift and carry them, but pet stairs, steps or ramps can make life easier for some small dogs as well as breeds with long bodies and short legs, like Corgis, for instance.
However, even the healthiest dogs are susceptible to spinal or joint injuries due to jumping. You can choose dog stairs or ramps to lower the risk of this kind of injury by absorbing much of the impact shock and by reducing your pet’s need to jump up or down from furniture, bed, sofas, or else. If you are not sure what’s the right choice for your dog’s needs, here are a few tips that may help you make a decision.
Are Stairs or a Ramp Better for Dogs?
If you are in the market for dog steps, stairs or ramps, make sure you know the differences between them, so you can choose the option that fits your dog or your home better. Stairs, steps and ramps give dogs the boost they need to protect joint health and stay comfortable as they age. They can reduce joint problems, promote healing and support the healthy and happy bond dogs have with their owners.
Dog Stairs and Steps
Stairs are portable and can be moved around, from the sofa to the bed or the car and take up less floor space than ramps. You can get pet stairs if your pooch has the agility and balance to use standard household stairs, but make sure to consider the following factors to select the right product for your dog’s needs.
Make sure the stairs you choose fit your available space and are high enough to help your pooch climb onto the sofa or bed, or get into the car. Before making a purchase, measure the area where you plan to place the stairs, so you can make the right choice.
Height and Depth and Number of Steps
Dog stairs come in several different sizes and heights to fit every breed and a few steps, usually from 2 to 4. Also, keep in mind that dogs can manoeuvre deep and roomy steps easier.
Note the rise or height of each step and make sure they are a similar size to regular indoor or outdoor stairs.
Make sure you choose stairs that have an anti-skid surface. It can help your dog’s paws to grip the surface, which will prevent them from slipping off the stairs. Pet stairs are usually made out of foam or plastic. Plastic is lightweight and easy to clean, while the foam is soft and gentle on aging pet’s joints.
The stairs you choose must support your dog’s weight to ensure your dog’s safety when using them. You can check the manufacturer’s recommendation for the maximum weight the stairs can hold and see if it’s appropriate for your dog.
If your dog has never climbed a set of stairs and has a tough time understanding how to use them properly, then you have two options. The first one is to teach your furry friend how to use stairs, which is always a good idea, while the second one is to get a dog ramp.
Ramps are designed for both indoor and outdoor use, so make sure to determine when and where your dog will use them. The wider the ramp, the easier it will be for your dog to balance while climbing it. Ramps are a great choice for older dogs and dogs with joint problems.
In the end, the main advantage of dog steps and stairs over ramps is that they are cheaper and more mobile. You can place them almost anywhere you need and you can store them easily when not in use. Some are meant to be left out all the time, while others can be folded and stored underneath the sofa or bed. Dog ramps, on the other hand, are bigger and more expensive, but sturdier, and can be a better option for dogs with arthritis.
Whether you choose stairs or a ramp, endure the aid provides adequate traction, so there will be no undue strain as your dog is going up and down. When placing the stairs or the ramp, make sure the top is flushed with the piece of furniture or the car floor.