Dogs - they wag their tail when they’re excited and jump on you when they miss you.
Who wouldn’t swoon with such affectionate creatures?
However, just like us humans, our furry friends also experience mobility difficulties when they grow old, go through injuries that can render part of their bodies function-less and undergo surgery that requires tons of rest, thereafter.
Doggo used to be able to jump their way onto the couch or the bed, however, he might seem to struggle a little bit. And this is where you and I, as caring and responsible dog owners, need to step in and lend a helping hand to our buddies in order to make their lives easier than they are now.
Help your dog best friend get on the couch, bed or car easier and with less jumping with the help of the best dog stairs and ramps.
Why Do Pet Owners Need Stairs or Ramps for Their Dogs?
There are numerous reasons as to why pet owners need to buy their buddies a stair or a ramp. These include:
When it comes to hip and joint problems, buying the best dog stairs and ramps are always a good idea. A study has revealed that climbing steep surface places or jumping causes a lot of stress on the joints of your canine buddy because they are not designed to sustain it like humans do.
Furthermore, a study also found that climbing and jumping increases the risk of arthritis. Active dogs that spend a lot of time jumping are more likely to experience agility issues, joint pain, and develop arthritis later in their lives.
Dog Stairs VS. Dog Ramps
Each situation and every pet is different, thus there is no simple and basic solution for selecting either dog stairs or dog ramps. Because there are so many different choices of dog stairs and ramps available, you will need to consider several different factors.
Dog Stairs: Everything You Need To Know
The most common option chosen for dogs that are physically capable of handling “human” stairs and are familiar with is pet stairs. However, if you have a puppy that has never climbed a set of stairs and are having a hard time understanding how to use them, then you can either teach him how to use the stairs (highly recommended) or choose a dog ramp instead.
In general, there are 2 different designs of a dog stairs. A mobile and easy to move stair yet not sturdy and a more mobile type that resembles a ladder.
Choosing the right type of a dog stairs
Dog stairs come in various heights and sizes in order to fit every breed (height of each step and overall height) and a number of steps which is usually 2-4 steps.
1. Choosing the right size
It is quite important that you know what size of dog stairs will be the perfect fit for your furry friend or you would end up making it harder, physically, on hi, to climb those stairs than simply jumping onto a bed or into a car.
Accurately measure your dog and all your furniture, vehicles and other heightened surfaces. Then, do your research on finding out the exact measurement of dog stairs that you are setting your eyes on.Accurately measure your dog and all your furniture, vehicles and other heightened surfaces. Then, do your research on finding out the exact measurement of dog stairs that you are setting your eyes on.
Here is a quick video to teach you how to measure your dog and ho to pick the best type of dog stairs.
2. Bottom grip
Look for a dog stair with a rubberized bottom for stability and grip whenever your dogs climb up and down. This should prevent any accidental imbalance and falls.
3. Materials used
For small breeds of dogs, foam stairs are a good option. However, for larger breeds of dogs that are really heavyweight, you should look for a dog stair made of metal, wood or plastic for durability.
4. Width of steps
The stair’s width is another factor that is commonly overlooked by most dog owners. For a dog that is less than 20lbs, a 12inches width is good enough, while for a larger dog that weighs more than 30 lbs, a good 16 inches or more is advised. This shall provide good safety and stability for your furry friend as they go up and down the stairs.
5. Depth of steps
Dogs prefer roomy and deep steps since it is easier for them to maneuver and climb up and down. And some dogs are simply afraid of narrow steps.
6. Overall height of dog stairs
Choosing the right height of dog stairs is also a factor you need to consider. This should prevent your dog from tripping that could cause an injury. Also, it could save you the trouble caused by sudden jumping on your beds onto the bed while you are sleeping.
Pros and Cons of Using Dog Stairs
One of the best advantages of dog stairs is that they often take less space when in use. Dog stairs can be placed alongside a chair or a bed and are ideals for limited and tight spaces. If you have a middle-aged or young doggo, stairs offer a good way to safely move up and down from various furnishing in almost every area of an apartment or a house without taking too much space. Dog stairs can also be used outside your home and can be used next to doors, vehicles, and decks.
Also, high-quality dog stairs are cheaper due to less material used and have cheaper quality builds, so they are perfect for dog owners on a tight budget.
However, dog stairs do have some disadvantages. First, when everything is set up, locked and secured, most dog stairs are not sturdy and reliable as dog ramps.
Secondly, dog stairs are not always better for arthritic dogs. With dog stairs, jumping up and down from elevated surfaces can be easier, however, climbing a dog stair still require some efforts and add a bit of stress on your dog’s joints.
Lastly, some doggos prefer ramps over step since they do not seem to trust small and iffy, narrow looking set of dog stairs. However, this is a case of what your dog likes and does not like. Some dogs would climb up a dog stair, no problem, while others seem to fear the sight of it.
Dog Ramps: Everything You Need to Know
While there are many options for dog ramps to choose from, the primary mistakes that most owners of senior dogs make is that they forget to consider their old dog’s agility issues or current health conditions.
Most pet owners agree that dog ramps are the easiest and simplest solution for pets that have become disabled or arthritic with age. Dog ramps are also recommended for dogs that are used to homes with single floor and have never mastered using the stairs. Also, dog ramps should be considered for doggos that are recovering from an injury and could benefit from a straight walk up rather than lifting their legs over stairs.
Considerations when choosing a proper ramp length
The higher the reach, then the longer the ramp needs to be, obviously. The dog ramp’s length directly impacts on how inclined it will be or how steep the slope for your dog. Dog ramps are specifically intended for both outdoor and indoor used.
Usually, a dog ramp is considered tall if it is over 2 feet high and low dog ramps are generally around 1.5 feet high or lower.V
The wider the dog ramp, the easier it will be for your canine buddy to maneuver and balance while climbing it. Typical dog ramps are between 1-1.5 feet.
Owners with small dog breeds should opt for dog ramps
Why? It is because smaller breed dogs are small and too short for indoor pet steps. Also, the dangers of a small doggo that need to climb or jump up to the next stair are quite high. It essentially negates the whole purpose of a dog stair. One tumble from a 6 inches height can cause a bad injury to such fragile pups.
Features you need to look for when buying a dog ramp
These features that you need to watch out for when buying for a dog ramp is not only for your pet but also for your home and for yourself.
- 1It can be easily stored, anywhere
A dog ramp should not take too much space in a car or at home when not in use. Most ramps are usually foldable, however, you need to confirm that it is actually the case. Surely you do not want to be stuck with a large dog ramp that can’t be folded.
- 2It is small enough and lightweight
How easily you are able to handle a dog ramp is another important characteristic of a good dog ramp. Of course, you want something that is small and light enough so that you can put it together easily and quickly whenever you need to. Dog ramps do not have to be miniature, however, the lighter and smaller you can get, the better and easier it will be for you.
- 3It is sturdy and reliable
Aside from being lightweight, strength and sturdiness should also be looked for the best dog ramp. You should be able to judge a good dog ramp through its weight capacity.
- 4A perfect surface
Most dog owners forget about the importance of grip when it comes to dog ramps. Choosing a ramp with a good surface prevents your dog to slip while climbing up and down the ramp.
- 5Any safety precautions
Lastly, you need to check how safe a dog ramp can be. Rear and front stabilizers on-ramps are the first things you need to check before buying a dog ramp. Also, there are non-skid feet which ensures the ramp’s stability when your dog is climbing. For more safety, you can choose a ramp with side railings that provide stability and prevent falls.
Dog Stairs vs. Dog Ramps: Which One Should You Pick?
Generally, either one can usually work for most dog-related everyday life activities.
Dog stairs offer more mobility and are a lot cheaper than dog ramps. You can place them almost anywhere and you will not have too much trouble storing them.
However, dog stairs cannot challenge the sturdiness of dog ramps. Also, dog stairs are not suitable for old doggos and those with arthritic problems as well as young dogs that scram at the moment they see weird-looking stairs.
The Best Dog Stairs and Ramps 2018
I know you care a lot about your furry best friend. So do I. And that is why I have listed the top 5 best dog stairs and ramps in the market today.
Best Pick #1: Solvit PupSTEP Plus Pet Stairs
Solvit PupSTEP Plus Pet Stairs is one of the best-selling dog stair products on Amazon and is really the first choice for most doggo owners. Why? Well, the first reason is that it is manufactured by Solvit which is a reliable manufacturer of gears for pets. And it is quite affordable
Good for large dogs, this dog stair can support dogs that weight up to 120 lb. This is due to the heavy material that is used and its sturdy structure. Solvit also has an XL dog stair version which is one of the heaviest pet step ladders however, it is much lighter than most dog steps with a similar capacity.
It is made of high resilience plastic that allows it to be durable and dense without weighing it down. The stair’s jump is 7” deep and 15” wide and the height of the riser is 6.25” which is an easy climb for your dogs. It has a foldable lower bracket and does not require any reassembly making it easier to transport and store. Fully assembled with rubber knots and tapestries attached to the scissors, these dog stairs are ready to use upon delivery.
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Best Pick #2: Pet Gear Easy step 2 Pet Stairs
This Dog Stairs from Pet Gear is quite easy to assemble and has a high-quality and durable set of dog steps that allow a greater amount of mobility for your dog. At the bottom, it has a feature of having rubber stoppers which helps keep the steps from sliding even if your energetic doggo decides to take a running leap onto them. Even if you have hardwood floors, scratching is not something you should worry about.
The stairs have an overall height of 22.5” which is the size of almost standard beds. Also, the steps have a bit of incline that allows them to reach the peak more quickly than steps with a flat set. It also has deeper and wider stair landings for both small and large dogs.
If you are looking for a pair of steps that can withstand dogs of up to 150 lbs to get on and off the couch or bed whatever issues they may have, with Pet Gear Easy Step II Dog Stairs, you’re in good paws.
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Best Pick #3: PetSTEP Folding Pet Ramp
The Folding Pet Ramp from PetSTEP provides a rubberized, sturdy dog ramps suitable SUVs and cars as well as pool or boat ramp to help your scaredy doggo in and out of the water. This 18.5 lbs and 70” long ramp are made of advanced fiberglass and plastic material for durability.
It has a walking surface that is soft and made with non-slip rubbers in order to prevent your ailing dogs from slipping. It has no carpet that traps moisture nor sandpaper which irritate your dog’s paws. This folding ramp has a universal non-grip that fits all edges and vehicles.
Being a foldable pet ramp, it provides easier portability and storage with molded ergonomic handles on both side and opens and closes in just a second. With advanced composite plastic construction, this ramp can hold up to 500 lbs. Lastly, it can be cleaned with water and soap and does not corrode or rust.
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Best Pick #4: Majestic Pet Portable Pet Stairs
Of course, we need to make sure that there is dog stair suitable for your miniature mutt and would capture your heart. This dog stairs from Majestic Pet is perfect for smaller breeds of dogs and features 4 short steps instead of the standard 3 steps. This should make navigation easier for your smallest member of the family.
Wherever you might put this dog stair can provide you small doggo with a little extra height in order to help them up and down. These dog stairs are covered with a polyester cover that comes in different colors. Not only that, this dog stairs fit in the “cute” look to match the cute mutt of your life.
For easy cleaning, the slipcover is removable and a waterproof base just in case your “terrifying” munchkin decides to mark the stairs as his own, personal territory. If you are a “cute-size” dog owner, then this dog stairs is perfect for you plus an absolute bargain.
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Best Pick #5: Solvit PupSTEP Wood Pet Stairs
With an elegant-looking wood construction plus a rich walnut stain, this wood dog stairs from PupSTEP is guaranteed to be durable and can support up to 150 lb. Perfect for medium to small sized dogs, the step spacing and size is easy and comfortable for your doggos to climb up and down.
This dog stairs can be folded down for easy and convenient storage and movement. It has built-in safety rails that offer your furry friend the extra confidence to climb up and down without the fear of falling or tripping.
Lastly, the dog stairs are delivered to your fully assembled, therefore eliminating the need for you to hire experts to assemble and fix it that could add another expense on your part plus the inconvenience it would cause.
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Whatever dog stairs or ramps you choose, your doggo’s safety should be your top priority. Especially if he starts to grow a little weak and his age starts to catch up. Buying dog stairs or ramps is a great way to help your canine friend climb beds, couch, cars and other high places with ease.