Does Your Dog Need Dog Stairs or a Ramp?

dog stairs header

If you have a senior dog, a dog with arthritis, or with other mobility issues, it may be time for dog stairs or a ramp. In fact, stairs and ramps can also make life easier for some very small dogs or breeds with short legs and long bodies, like Dachshunds and Corgis. Your beloved canine pal shouldn't have to struggle to get up on the sofa or bed or into the car. And, depending on his size, it may be difficult for you to constantly lift and carry him. Fortunately, there are dog stairs and ramps suitable for any dog and any location. Follow these helpful guidelines to choose the right product for your dog's needs.

Should I get stairs or a ramp for my dog?

Stairs are a good choice for dogs that have the agility and balance to use standard household stairs. Many are portable and can be moved from sofa to bed to car. They also tend to take up less floor space than ramps.

If your dog is having trouble maneuvering the stairs in your house or if you live on one level and he's unused to climbing any stairs, consider a dog ramp. You'll want a ramp that has a gentle incline and is high enough to reach furniture or your vehicle.

How do I choose the best stairs for my dog?

• Look at the rise, or the height of each step. It should be similar to the rise of regular indoor and outdoor steps.

• It's easier for dogs to maneuver deep steps, so look for products that have a step depth of 10-to-12 inches.

• Be sure the stairs have an anti-skid surface. Your dog's paws must be able to grip the surface, so that he doesn't slip off.

• Make sure the stairs are high enough for your needs and will support your dog's weight.

What should I look for in a dog ramp?

• As with stairs, make sure the ramp reaches high enough for your dog to get onto furniture or into the car.

• If space is an issue, choose a lightweight ramp or one that folds up. This makes storage easier.

• The ramp should have an anti-skid surface, so your dog can maneuver on it securely.

Whether you choose stairs or a ramp, you may have to teach your dog to use them. Use positive reinforcement and rewards to train your dog. Your goal is to help him feel confident on this new apparatus. So confident, in fact, that he'll use it even if you're not around.

Our Top 10 Picks for Dog Stairs and Ramps

Lightweight Coated Dog Stairs

lightweight dog stairs

The high-density foam construction of these stairs makes them durable and lightweight, so they can be placed wherever you need them. They have wide landings, gentle angles, and slightly rounded steps that are easy for your dog to maneuver.

Lightweight Fabric-Covered Dog Stairs

fabric covered stairs

These stairs have all of the features of the foam dog stairs, plus they're covered in good-looking, upholstery-grade material.

Solvit PupSTEP

Surprisingly sturdy, considering they're made of plastic, these dog stairs have the added benefit of folding for storage. This model is made for large dogs and supports up to 200 pounds.

Easy Step Bed Stair

Specifically designed for small and medium dogs, the steps are so deep that a small or toy dog can get his entire body on each step. These stairs also have a lower rise, which is gentle on little legs. The modules easily snap together, and the L-shaped layout takes up less floor space.

2-Step Stairs

The wide steps are suitable for medium-sized and even large dogs, up to 200 pounds. Rubber grips keep steps firmly in place, and the carpet stair treads are removable and machine washable.

PuppyStairs 2-Piece Dog Ramp

This high-density foam ramp gives your dog a landing area that may make it easier for him to move from furniture to ramp. The removable cover is washable, too.

Telescoping Aluminum Collapsible Dog Ramp

With a textured surface and stable rubber feet, this is a good choice to help your dog in and out of almost any vehicle. It's easy to open and collapses for space-saving storage.

Ultra Light Bi-fold Dog Ramp

This economical alternative has rugged plastic construction and a non-skid surface. It folds for storage, and its lightweight construction makes it easy to use.

Junior Smart Ramp

If your dog can barely manage a high outdoor landing or a jump onto the sofa, this small ramp is just the thing. It's lightweight, with traction tread material and slightly raised sides to make your dog feel more secure.

Pet Studio Pine Frame Dog RampSteps

This innovative product converts from steps to a ramp, so as steps get more difficult for your dog you won't have to buy another product. The carpet-covered surface is easy to maneuver, and the good-looking wooden frame is a nice bonus.

Life with a Senior Dog

As your dog ages his needs will start to change. Download this e-book to learn what to expect and get helpful tips on caring for your senior dog.

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