2 Things You Must Know About Dog Ramps and Pet Stairs

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2 things you must know about dog stairs and ramps

There are 2 things you must know about dog ramps and pet stairs and they are…

I’ve piqued your curiosity haven’t I? Excellent!

As someone who lives with senior dogs, and dogs so neglected they have no idea how to use stairs, I love these products and would never be without one or both. I try and take pictures as much as possible, but unfortunately have none to show you of them being used in my house.

So what are the 2 things you must know? What a difference they will make in the life of your dog (or cat), and how much easier things will be for you. How you ask? Keep reading as we talk about the benefits of stairs and ramps.

Benefits of dog stairs and ramps

  • Help arthritic dogs get on and off the couch or bed, and in and out of the car
  • Senior dogs who are slowing down and could use that extra bit of help
  • convertible pet stairs and rampStops your pet from putting undue pressure on joints when jumping, reducing wear and tear, preventing injury now to hopefully avoid problems later
  • Dogs too small or too young to jump can still have access to the spots they like
  • Perfect for pets recovering from an injury or surgery who have to take it easy
  • You no longer have to lift your big dog in and out of the car, or on and off of the couch
  • Back or joint problems may make it difficult for you to lift even a small dog, and now you won’t have to
  • Makes it easier to get into a bathtub at the groomers, or at home
  • Even if you have nothing preventing you from picking your dog up all the time, why should you have to? 
  • A ramp is perfect for a dog who doesn’t know how to use stairs, or has trouble using them

My experience using a ramp for my dog

We rescued a puppy mill dog named Saffy, who was used for breeding and kept in a chicken coop for 8 years. She had never seen stairs, and had no idea what to do with them. She would stumble down, then stumble up, then she hurt her leg.

Picking her up was an equal nightmare because she was still too scared to get close to anyone, and would stiffen in terror. No store bought ramp was suitable for our front entrance, so my husband built a ramp to replace the stairs.

We used a store bought folding ramp in the bedroom, so she could get onto the bed. Teaching her how to use it was a whole other story, suffice it to say it involved a couple of weeks of leaving trails of food all the way to the top. 

Those two ramps made an enormous difference in Saffy’s life, and ours.

Features to think about when choosing

  • Do you need something for indoors, outdoors, or both?
  • What will you be using it for – getting on and off the couch, in and out of the car?
  • folding pet rampHeight the stairs or ramp has to reach
  • Maximum weight it will support
  • Ease of assembly
  • Can it be folded and stored
  • How stable it is – something that wobbles may be difficult or unsafe for your pet to use
  • Non slip surface – having your pet slip, especially if used outdoors in wet weather or with muddy paws can cause injury
  • How steep the slope of the ramp is   
  • Width
  • Number of steps
  • Height and depth of each step
  • Type of material
  • Style
  • Budget

 

Note: some of the links below are affiliate links (links to my affiliate disclosure policy on another page), which means that we get a few pennies if you make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, to help support this blog and my rescue work (and we really, really appreciate it!)

Some of the popular ramps and stairs to choose from

Petstep Folding Pet Ramp

dog stairs and ramps

  • Portable 
  • Measures 70” x 17” open,  37” folded
  • Supports up to 500lbs
  • Perfect for vehicles, staircases, and furniture
  • Rubberized, nonslip walking surface, wet or dry

Pet Loader Light – 3, 4 or 5 step

Pet Loader Light

  • Easily folded, carried and stored
  • Low angle of ascent/descent and wide decks makes dog feel more secure
  • Users have found it sturdier than a ramp and easier to use
  • Dogs of 115lbs have used them with no problem

Solvit Deluxe Telescoping Pet Ramp

Solvit Deluxe Telescoping Pet Ramp

  • 20”W and extends from 48”-87”L
  • High traction walking surface
  • Dogs up to 150lbs have used it
  • Carry handle and safety latch to prevent accidental opening
  • 1 year warranty against defects

Pup Step Plus Pet Stairs

pup step plus pet stairs

  • 24” x 16” x 20”
  • Weighs 5lbs
  • Safety side rails
  • Small – medium size dogs
  • No assembly required except padding you peel and stick on the steps

Solvit 62332 UltraLite Bi-Fold Pet Ramp

Solvit 62332 UltraLite Bi-Fold Pet Ramp

  • 62”
  • Supports 200lbs
  • 13” wide walking surface
  • Simple folding design
  • 1-year warranty against defects

Easy Step Extra Wide Pet Stairs

Pet Gear Easy Step II Extra Wide Pet Stairs, 2-step

  • 22″L x 20″W x 16″H
  • Carpet tread removes easily and is machine washable
  • Rubber grippers on bottom keep step secure and in place
  • Snaps together very easily

Free Standing Pet Gear Pet Ramp

Free Standing Pet Gear Pet Ramp

  • Easy fold for compact storage
  • For pets up to 200lbs
  • Rubberized bottom grips for secure placement
  • Raised edges help prevent slipping off the side
  • Carpet tread for traction, removable for easy cleaning

Brinkmann Deluxe Pet Steps

Brinkmann Deluxe Pet Steps - 3 Steps

  • Supports weight of 200 lbs
  • Each step padded for extra comfort
  • Non-skid bottom helps keep steps in place
  • Includes handle on the back for easy movement
  • Cover is removable and machine washable

Pet Studio Pine Frame Dog RampSteps

Pet Studio Pine Frame Dog RampSteps

  • Easily converts from steps to a ramp
  • Supports pets up to 130lbs
  • Covered with soft, non-slip, easy-clean carpeting
  • Folds flat for storage and carry handle

2 Things You Must Know About dog ramps and pet stairs  – conclusion

I’m comforted by the increasing number of ways there are to keep senior dogs living a good quality of life. Now that you have discovered the 2 things you must know about dog ramps and pet stairs, things will be a lot easier for your dogs and for you.


2 Things You Must Know About Dog Ramps and Pet Stairs
Hindy Pearson
Helping people care for their senior dogs
I am a certified dog trainer and pet care consultant, specialising in working with rescue dogs and first time pet parents. I foster and adopt senior and special needs dogs, and advocate for shelter adoption of all animals, particularly older dogs and cats. I am currently working on a spay/neuter program in Spain.

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One thought on “2 Things You Must Know About Dog Ramps and Pet Stairs

  1. My pet Lucy has been using the ramp for 6 years. She is 8 year old now. She just started to refuse to go up the ramp. Two days ago. She did get out of the house and was in the back yard after that she refuses to go up ramp. She goes down the ramp but won’t go up the ramp anymore. I try to us treats and she refuses to go up the ramp into the house. What could be wrong. Is she afraid to go up. Or does she have a medical condition. Is it arthritis, a bug bite .
    Any suggestions would help me. I will take her to the vet. For a check out.

    1. Hi and thanks for writing in about Lucy. Dog ramps are fantastic aren’t they!! When a dog suddenly is afraid or reluctant to do something he’s always done, it’s usually because something frightened him at the time. Of course it’s possible your dog may have arthritis, and I always recommend a vet check when there is a change in behaviour, but as her unwillingness to walk up the ramp happened when she got out of the house, something must have spooked her. When you found she had gotten out of the house were you perhaps a bit cross with her? Perhaps you raised your voice out of concern, but she got scared by the change in tone. If that happened while she was going back into the house, that could absolutely account for her not going up, but still happily walking down.

      She now has some negative associations with walking up the ramp, so trying desensitization techniques can help.

      You say you’ve used treats but I don’t know what kind or how often or even how you’ve used them, so here is what I recommend you try.

      Use really delicious treats she loves but never or rarely gets. Boiled chicken, hot dogs, turkey, a bit of cheese… Start from scratch as though you’re training her how to walk up a ramp. Is there a point at which she won’t get closer to the ramp? If there is start before you reach that point, get her to sit and give her a treat. Take a tiny step closer, then give her another treat. Take this very slowly because if you advance too quickly she may get scared and you’ll get set back.

      You’ll want to have her get closer and closer to the ramp, using those delicious treats.

      Once she’s at the foot of the ramp and she’s still comfortable you can –

      Hold a treat far enough up the ramp that she has to put one paw on it, give her the treat then let her get off, or put the treat at the bottom of the ramp, let her eat it then let her get off. Only when she’s comfortable can you put a second treat higher up, then a third. You’d like to be able to place a trail of treats to the top, without her being nervous.

      If at any time she seems hesitant, stop what you’re doing and go back to the point she was okay.

      You don’t want to talk and molly coddle her during this training, because that just reinforces her fear. Be sure to take it slowly, do only very short sessions if you have to, even if that means a few seconds at a time, a few times a day.

      Let me know if this helps. Good luck with Lucy.

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