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Stairs or Ramps? Choosing the Right One for Your Dog

Mobility can be an issue for some of our canine companions. You don’t expect that to be a problem, but that can be the case for some pets.

In an earlier article, we went in depth on which dogs need ramps and stairs to improve their mobility the most. This time around, we’re going to focus on finding the right ramp or set of stairs for your pet. We’ll also talk about training them to use their new mobility aids.

No pet owner wants to see their dog struggling to move. Help them out by reading through the tips in this article.

Does Your Pet Dog Need a Ramp or a Set of Stairs?

The first thing you need to do is to figure out if your dog needs a ramp or a set of stairs.

Ramps are the safer bet because just about all dogs can use them. Small dogs can use them with no issue.

A larger dog can also use a ramp easily. They won’t be tripped up by the steps even as they move back and forth.

The real downside to using ramps is that they are often heavy and take up a lot of space. If those are going to be issues for your household, you may have to stick to the stairs.

What to Look for in a Dog Ramp

Let’s assume that you opted to get a new ramp for your dog. How exactly can you tell if a ramp on sale will be an ideal purchase? Well, there are certain things you should look for.

First off, the ramp should have an anti-skid surface. Without it, your dog may slip and fall while using the ramp.

You should also look for a ramp that suits your dog and your household. It should be tall enough to reach from one spot to the next, but also wide enough to accommodate your dog’s body. Take measurements if needed so you can purchase the right piece of equipment.

What to Look for in Stairs for Your Dog

Look for an anti-skid surface again if you want to buy stairs for your pet dog. This time around though, you should also pay attention to the design of the steps.

It would be ideal to purchase a pet staircase that resembles your home’s staircase. That way, your pet can get used to it faster.

Also pay attention to how deep the steps are. Generally, the steps should be about a foot deep. Deep steps are easier for dogs to walk on.

Don’t forget about the size of the staircase as well. Once again, you can measure your dog to determine how big the staircase needs to be.

Training Your Dog to Use the Ramp and/or Stairs

Your dog probably won’t use the new ramp or staircase immediately. It’s up to you to teach them that their new climbing aids are safe.

Teaching your dog to use the staircase should be simple enough. Use treats to lead your dog up and down the stairs until those movements become second nature to them.

After a while, you can stop using the treats. Switch to using a verbal cue and offering praise instead.

Ramp training will be a bit more difficult. The Grey Muzzle recommends setting the ramp on a flat surface first. Guide your dog over the flat ramp so they can get used to how it feels.

From there, you can gradually raise the ramp and use treats to get your pet to walk on it. Remember to practice both climbing and descending the ramp. Change to verbal cues and praise later on to continue the ramp training.

Securing the right mobility aid can greatly improve your pet dog’s quality of life. Teaching them to use it properly will be even more beneficial. Hopefully, the tips we’ve included here will be helpful enough to you and your pet dog.

Getting your pet to use their new ramp or stairs can prove to be a challenge at first. We at TAILored Pet Services can provide some assistance as you continue to train them. Reach out to us at 425-923-7791 if you’re interested in our services.

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