Choosing the Appropriate Pet Steps

So, you have decided that you’d like to purchase a set of pet steps for your dog. Envision the following picture: You’re psyched that the pet stairs you ordered online have finally arrived. Geez, the box is a lot smaller than you expected. You have to assemble the stairs, but you figure it’s a one-time price to pay for the steps. The instructions seem to be written in every language except English, and you certainly won’t make it through with the fragments you retained from high school Spanish. You’ve assembled bits of cheap plastic together—freehand—only to discover that the steps aren’t nearly sturdy enough for your dog, or that they’re too short to be used for your intended purpose (or any purpose at all!). Frankly, I can’t imagine anyone finding this scenario appealing at all. Not only do cheap dog steps result in added hassle and disappointment, but they’re a flat-out waste of money.

In order to avoid this situation from happening, you’ve got to educate yourself on what it takes to purchase the right set of stairs to meet your (and your dog’s) needs. We’re going to go over a few questions that you should ask yourself. Once you have the answers, you will know exactly what to look for when purchasing steps for your dog.

Question One: How heavy is your dog?

Your dog’s weight has a lot to do with choosing dog stairs because some steps have weight limitations. It’s best to simply narrow down your search starting by whether or not they can support your dog’s weight. Most stairs should have been tested to compensate for the amount of pressure a dog will exert onto the stairs when ascending and descending, so be sure to inquire if there isn’t a weight limitation posted on the box or the website, if you’re browsing online.

Question Two: How tall/long is your dog?

Height and length has a lot to do with how safe the steps will be for your dog, as these generally determine the overall size of your dog. Could you imagine the result of putting a Great Dane on steps intended for a Chihuahua? Catastrophic! Your dog could stumble or fall from the stairs resulting in a serious injury. Check the width of the steps (from back to front) to make sure that there’s plenty of room for your dog to step. You can’t really get an accurate measure of your dog’s stride, but the general rule is as follows:

Large Breed: 16” Steps or Larger
Medium Breed: 14” Steps
Small Breed: 12” or Smaller

What will your dog primarily use the steps for?

The height of the surface your dog needs to get to and from is a huge factor in obtaining the best stairs for your dog. If you want the stairs to aid your dog in getting in and out of your monster truck, then you might want to look into getting high pet steps. Whatever height your dog’s destination is, you need to get the measurement from floor to surface and try to find stairs with a height as close to that measurement as possible (without going over). Getting steps that are much too small or tall for his destination could result in injury.

At the end of the day, the purpose of pet stairs is to safely aid your pet in reaching a destination. If it takes an extra hour of your time to shop around for the perfect steps, it’s well worth the use your dog will receive from this item.

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