How To Choose Dog Steps For Your Pet

When a dog becomes injured or begins struggling to reach the furniture or jump into the car due to age, it can be upsetting for pet owners. We always strive to provide a loving, supportive environment for our dogs, and one of the best ways to support an old or injured pet is with dog steps.

Knowing which style and build of dog steps to choose from can be challenging, especially with the wide range of models available on today's market. Consider different materials, sizes, and finishes to find the safest, most efficient staircase to aid your dog.

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Choosing the Right Material

Dog stepscan be made from various materials, with two of the most common being wood or high-density foam. They both have their advantages and shortcomings. Ultimately, the right choice depends on your dog's size and weight, the layout of your home, and your specific needs.

● Wood Steps

Wooden pet stairs
Wooden pet stairs

Wooden steps are one of the most durable materials you can choose for your dog steps and typically last longer than high-density foam. However, the wooden finish on the stairs is easily scratched by a dog's nails and can also be damaged if it gets wet.

Your dog's size and weight are also vital to consider when thinking about the material of your steps. A larger dog will benefit from sturdy, wooden steps. For big dog breeds that weigh upwards of 100 lbs., it's a good idea to select hardwood steps to support theirweight. If you have a smaller dog, then a softwood staircase like pine is suitable.

Wooden steps can also add an upscale touch to your decor by selecting a finish that coordinates with your interior design scheme.

● High-Density Foam Steps

Foam pet stairs
Foam pet stairs

High-density foam is another fantastic option for base material for your dog steps. Lightweight and robust, this material is easy to move, so you can change the stairs' location in your house and give your dog easy access to more areas.

This is a better choice for smaller dogs because high-density foam can't support as much weight as a wooden base. Double-check the load capacity of any staircase before purchase to make sure it's safe for your dog.

High-density foam is not as long-lasting as wooden frames and will wear down or become unstable if it is mistreated. Check it frequently for stability to ensure the stairs don't start rocking due to becoming worn down. Replace them as soon as you notice any insecurities.

● Carpeted Steps

Carpeted pet stairs
Carpeted pet stairs

You will still need to select a wood or high-density foam base, but it's worth considering carpet for an exterior finish. Suitable for high energetic dogs, the carpet protects the frame of the stairs from scratches or wear, and the carpet can help stop your pet from slipping.

If you can find a carpeted finish that you can remove and machine wash, this is the ideal way to keep your dog steps looking clean and smelling fresh.

2 step pet stairs
2 step pet stairs

One Size Does Not Fit All

Since dogs are not all the same size, there are several factors to consider when selecting the stairs your dog needs, including how many steps, the depth of the stairs, ease of storage, and portability.

Dogs find it challenging to navigate narrow stairs and sometimes are afraid to try them. To make the staircase the most comfortable for your dog, try to find one with 6" to 8" high steps that are 10" to 12" deep. Ensure you are triple checking the staircase measurements to be sure your dog won't find the stairs harder to climb than it would be for him to just jump onto the furniture or into the car.

Choosing Safe Dog Steps

Prioritizing your dog's health is essential to you, and that's why you should shop dog staircase products from a reliable manufacturer. Staircases appropriately tested to support your dog's weight are easy to find if you carefully read product descriptions.

It's also possible to find staircases that collapse for easy storage when they're not in use. While this can be incredibly useful and makes it easy to clean your room when the dog isn't using the product, it also means you must set up the staircase correctly each time so it doesn't collapse while your furry friend is on it.

Carefully read all included instructions on safe setup procedures. If you notice the staircase is becoming unstable after several months of being put up and taken back down, seek a repair or a replacement.

Pet ramp
Pet ramp

Stairs vs. Ramps

When you're deciding which stairs to buy for your dog, a selection of ramps might also pop up in your research. The choice between a ramp and stairs is worth considering, especially if you live in a single-level home or apartment and your senior dog has never had to climb stairs before. This could be a challenge to teach him in his old age, and in that case, he may find a ramp more comfortable.

A ramp is also a good choice if your dog is already having difficulty navigating any stairs that are already in your home. If your dog is confident in climbing stairs already and doesn't appear to have trouble with them, stairs are the best choice because they take up less space in your house. Ramps are longer to reach the same height at a safe angle and are not as aesthetically pleasing or functional as a staircase, which could double as a storage unit or collapse for easy organization.

Carpeted pet stairs
Wooden dog stairs
Foam pet steps
Pet stairs
Dog ramp

The Best Dog Steps For Your Home

Designing your space to be pet friendly doesn't have to mean compromising your style. There are dog steps available in all colors, finishes, and sizes, so you can select a piece that complements your decor.

To maintain the aesthetic appeal of your space, try to find a staircase that matches the flooring or furniture of the room you'll be keeping it in. If your bedroom floor is hardwood, seek a staircase with a similar color stain and wood grain. A closely colored carpet finish on the stairs will make a subtle addition to the space for a carpeted room.

Taking care of a senior pet or a dog who's recently had surgery or been injured can be a big task, and at times might feel overwhelming. Nobody likes to see their beloved animal suffer, and that's why making your dog's life easier by providing a staircase to easily access all spaces is such a valuable addition to your home.

Jessica started out as an interior photographer, but her love of pretty settings took her to the field of interior design, where she can combine two of her greatest passions, creating and then capturing the beauty of homes.