As an old dog or post-op pup, getting up to high places isn't easy. And small and long-bodied breeds don't have it much easier. That snuggle-bound couch jump can quickly result in injuries. And the wear-and-tear of repeated bed hops can do a number on a dog's joints.
Dog stairs are a great way to give your pet access to areas of your car, home, or even office — especially if they have health concerns. Make no mistake: dog steps aren't just some unnecessary contraption for over-indulged pets.
They allow your pet to live comfortably and reduce injuries. Plus, they minimize damage to your home or furniture. But how do you know if you truly need pet stairs? Is it really time to invest in some soft foam stairs for your furry friend? Here are 7 ways to tell if it's time to invest in some dog stairs.
Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and surprisingly enough, smaller dogs just seem to be able to navigate a world built for bigger creatures. However, smaller dogs have to put out a lot of effort to accomplish feats that are much easier for larger breeds. Dog stairs give them a much-needed hand.
The American Kennel Club recommends dog stairs and dog ramps for smaller dogs — especially those with stubby legs and long bodies. Smaller dogs aren't the only ones who might need some help. Pet steps can make it easier for larger breeds such as mastiffs, St. Bernards, and Great Danes. These breeds have to be a little more careful. The bigger they are, the harder they'll fall. Large joints often give in a little sooner than small joints. And larger breeds suffer more from repeated wear-and-tear on their bones, joints, and limbs. Stairs are a great way to allow them easy access without knocking things over or injuring themselves in the process. Sure! Your big pooch can make that jump. But they probably shouldn't.
As pets get older, they begin to slow down, lose some of their vitality, and find it more difficult to maneuver around. Pet stairs and pet ramps can give older dogs access to areas, especially if they have lost strength in their legs and have gained weight over the years. Older dogs and certain breeds are especially susceptible to spinal cord damage from falls. Giving them access to places that were much easier for them to get to gives them confidence in navigating their surroundings. This makes them happier and healthier. What's not to love?
Just like us, dogs may experience a wide range of health and medical concerns. Hip dysplasia, obesity, arthritis, and even amputation will bring sudden changes to your dog's behavioral patterns. They may refuse to jump due to pain. Or they may struggle to climb up furniture in an unnatural way. Dogs recovering from surgery, for instance, may re-injure an area unnecessarily without a dog ramp or pet stairs.
In fact, there's a good chance your vet will recommend dog stairs after surgery. Most vets also recommend stairs for geriatric dogs or those with long-term health issues.
As we all get older, our eyesight begins to get worse. And your dog is no exception to this sad fact of life. With diminished eyesight comes more difficulty in judging things like distance and depth perception. Cataracts, nearsightedness, and other visual impairments can make it difficult for your dog to access areas of your house the way they once did. Pet stairs can help your pup find its way onto furniture. After all, snuggles are still an important part of life!
One of the ways you might be able to tell if you need a set of pet stairs is when your furniture starts getting really scratched up from your dog trying to pull themselves up onto the couch or the bed. This might happen for any number of reasons. Sometimes a taller bed or couch might require a little more effort. And injured or old dogs may use their nails as leverage to climb up furniture. Running and jumping can also put a lot of wear on your bedding, slipcovers, or fabric as well. A set of high-quality bed stairs helps eliminate this problem. Investing in a sturdy pet couch cover can also work wonders.
As with a change in height or size in your furniture, other changes to their surroundings might require some adaptations to make life easier for your pet. A common change that might require dog stairs would be going from high-traction surfaces such as carpeting to hardwood or tile flooring. You might find that your dog has to build up more speed or get a run at hopping up on areas that were much easier to get access to in the past. This can cause other problems, such as your dog digging into floors and scratching them, or even health concerns such as pulled ACL and other physical damage for the extra effort — which can lead to expensive surgeries and uncomfortable recovery times.
If you want to train your dog to avoid jumping on any furniture due to this change, consider investing in a luxury dog bed. It will prevent them from jumping on tile or hardwood. Plus, it keeps them warm, snug, and comfy.
The personal needs of your dog aren't the only things to consider. You may have health issues to contend with. Lifting your dog onto the couch may be dangerous or impossible for you. And trying to lift the dog into the car may seem impossible. Don't overexert yourself! And injured you isn't good for you or your pup.
Dog stairs help you load Fido into the car safely, and they prevent you from straining any unnecessary ligaments. Don't forget a cushiony cover for your backseat. It will keep your pup comfy and prevent him or her from tearing up your seats.
At Animals Matter, we understand that your dog is one of the most important parts of your life. Our four-legged friends bring us joy, companionship, and unconditional love — which is why we are dedicated to helping return that affection by giving our dogs better lives. Pet stairs and dog ramps are a great way to give a helping hand to your best friend. Our older friends, smaller pups, and health troubled dogs need love too! And we believe they deserve a little extra pampering. Don't you? Contact us to learn about our incredible pet-centric products.
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12 min read
With all the available pet stair and pet ramp choices, we hope this information has helped you choose the best option for your furry friend. The health and safety of your pets are always our top priority here at Animals Matter.
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