I recently purchased stairs for my senior dog, Princess Leia, to keep her from injuring herself while getting off the bed. There are different types of stairs for dogs, but I specifically opted for wooden stairs that could easily be modified.
I have seen stairs for dogs at multiple stores like Petco and Petsmart, but I ended up purchasing my stairs from Marshalls for $17. I thought this was a great price considering the product’s high quality and durability.
**Disclaimer: This product review is based on my personal opinion and experience as a dog owner. If necessary, contact your veterinarian for guidance on whether you should or shouldn’t use this product.**
Why I purchased stairs for my senior dog
Princess Leia just turned 9 this year and has started to show signs of aging. I’ve noticed she walks a little bit slower and sometimes has a hard time jumping on and off the bed. When I mentioned this to Leia’s vet, she recommended I teach Leia how to use doggie stairs.
Doggie stairs are designed to help your dog get on and off beds or couches with ease. Instead of your pet jumping off and applying a lot of pressure to their joints, they can slowly and safely walk up and down the stairs.
how to make doggie stairs safer
The wooden stairs I purchased came completely bare which meant they were slippery. To fix this problem, I used 2 products:
- Non-skid tape: The tape is normally used to keep rugs from moving around but it also works well to prevent wooden stairs from sliding across vinyl floors. All you have to do is cut a few strip and place them on the bottom of the stairs. Next, decide where you want your stairs and press the stairs into the floor to make sure the tape is secure. This tape is not permanent, so you can easily move the stairs if needed.
- Slip resistant tape: This tape is normally used in showers and tubs to prevent people from falling. I ended up putting a few strips of this tape on each step to help Leia grip the wood when she comes down the stairs.
These two products made it easier and safer for Leia to get up and down the doggie stairs without slipping. If you decide to get cushioned stairs, you can skip this modification.
Training your sr dog to use stairs
Leia is a quick learner and didn’t have much trouble figuring out how to use the stairs. Here are some of the methods I used to train Leia:
- The first thing I did was lure Leia up the stairs with treats. Leia LOVES food, so this was a fun game for her. I started slow and didn’t rush her.
- Once Leia made it onto the bed, I used another treat to lure her back down the stairs. Again, go slow and take your time. You don’t want to force your dog to use the stairs if they are afraid.
- Repeat this process over and over until you no longer need to use treats. Eventually, you can use a specific word like “stairs” to cue your dog when to get on and off the bed.
*CAUTION* I wouldn’t recommend wooden stairs for a high energy dog who likes to zoom on and off the bed as this could result in a tumbling accident. Leia is lazy, so I’m not worried about her getting too crazy.
Final thoughts on stairs for my sr dog
I’m so glad Leia knows how to use her doggie stairs. I feel better knowing she’s not jumping off the bed and putting unnecessary pressure on her joints. Whether you buy wooden or cushioned stairs, I think it’s a great option for dog owners to keep their dogs safe.