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How to choose the right dog steps

Posted by: Tim Berrisford  Date: 01/04/2014   Category: Expert Advice

Dog steps are often associated with older dogs who struggle to move easily, but they can be just as useful for puppies or little dogs whose size holds them back. Climbing into car boots for walks in the country or even getting into the armchair for a snooze can be really difficult but having the right set of dog steps will make life easier, both for you and your dog.

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Breed

Smaller breeds are naturally held back from high spaces because their legs simply aren’t long enough to reach. There are some that are agile enough to jump onto beds or into cars – Terriers in particular can be particularly good at getting themselves into places they probably shouldn’t be able to.
If you want to invest in a set of steps, you need to bear in mind the size of your dog. Some smaller dogs have long legs and can manage steeper steps, but if you have a little Chihuahua, he’s going to struggle even with steps, so a ramp may be more logical.

Tread size

It’s not necessarily the first thing you think of, but the tread size of your dog is an important factor to consider when choosing the right dog steps. There are some that have a bigger surface area than others and you don’t want to get some that are too shallow. Bigger breeds like German Shepherds and Rottweilers have very large paws and if the steps aren’t big enough, they may stumble or miss a step.

Multiple dogs

If you have more than one dog of a different breed, you may find that investing in more than one set of steps is the most logical option. Smaller dogs may find big steps are too much for them, while big dogs could trip over smaller stairs.

You may be able to find a middle ground and get some steps that are suitable for most breeds but a ramp is likely to be the best universal option. The ramps are also a better long-term option for when your dog gets older. Rather than having to buy steps when they’re younger and then buying a ramp as well, you have something that will offer a variety of different solutions.

Steps vs ramps

A ramp can be a better option for some dogs, particularly if they struggle with walking in general. When arthritis starts to set in, the idea of walking up steps may be agony for your beloved pup, so a ramp could ease the pain a little. The slope means he can take the walk gently, at his own pace and not worry about missing a step and falling.

If you’re looking for something that is more of a climbing aid for a healthier dog that just cannot reach certain places ordinarily, steps are going to be a more logical choice. They will also get your dog doing that little bit more movement so could help to keep them mobile.

Areas for use

Having a set of steps or a ramp in the boot of the car is a wise choice for many dog owners. You don’t want to drive out to the seaside or the woods, only to find that you’ve got to lift your dog out of the car because he can’t make the jump safely. The last thing you want is for him to risk it and harm himself in the process.

Steps can be particularly useful as soon as you bring your puppy home, while they are still growing. Their naturally inquisitive, hyperactive nature can make them fearless and they may attempt to jump from beds or sofas, even if the distance is too high. Giving them steps to assist them while they grow means they won’t take unnecessary risks and it could prevent them from sustaining injuries.
Your dog is likely to be one of your best friends; they have such a strong impact on our lives. As a result, we often cherish them and only want the best for them. Take the time to find the right solution for your dog’s individual circumstances so that he has the most comfortable and easy option, whatever his needs.