Stairs for Dogs

Has anyone had to purchase stairs for their senior dog to get up onto the couch or bed? Daisy's arthritis is really starting to get out of control. We plan to speak with the vet about it when we take her in for her visit. She's been taking GlycoFlex for years, but it's really not cutting it so much anymore.

I started looking online for a set up steps to make it easier for her to get up onto the bed. There are so many types, style and sizes it's overwhelming. Wood, foam, plastic etc. I'm not even sure that she won't be afraid to use them. When she had her ACL repaired years ago, we borrowed a pet ramp from a friend to make it easier for her to go down the front steps and do her business, but she was afraid to use it.

Any experiences you can share would be appreciated.


I wanted to get a set for my dog to, just so she can look out the window. They are so expensive. I'm interested in what people have to say to.


Had a 3 step plastic with rug on the steps for traction...dog never touched them. Couldn't coax him up with treats, couldnt even guide him up with a leash.He was afraid of them and actually started going around to the other side of the bed to jump up on it.

I'm sure there are as many results as their are dogs, but for me, waste of money. Dog new when he could no longer get in bed and settled well into sleeping in a bed on the floor at the side of bed.


Our first lab weighed about 80 pounds when he started to need steps to get on a bed.
We tried ramps and a carpeted soft set of stairs (meaning he sank into them and they wobbled). He would not use either. Finally bought a wood 3 step from Orvis which he readily used and it is very sturdy and durable. I think he also liked that the spacing and style was the same as our staircase so he knew how to use steps. He also had the ACL surgery and I wish we had the stairs for that recovery period! It has been about 10 years since we put him down, but we still have the steps and have used them on ocasion in lieu of a step ladder for ourselves. Two current dogs are reaching their senior years, so the steps will be used again. Highly recommend the money for durable sturdy steps. Anything that wobbles could scare your dog.

Tough to watch them age, but it’s great you want to make it easier!!


I bought several ramps for my GSDs; both suffered from DM toward the end of their lives. Neither one was comfortable with the ramps, but it was a necessity for vet trips. I couldn't get them into my SUV without it.

My dogs were 90 and 100 pounds respectively, and I just couldn't carry them myself.

Courtney1
September 12th

Get the foam ones. Sometimes you can find them in Home Goods cheaper. I have 2 sets in my house for my little dogs so they can get on the beds & they love them. Had the others & they were afraid of them. Good luck!!


I was fortunate that I was strong enough and my dogs were all not too heavy so that I was able to both pick them up and bring them down off the bed (to avoid the shock on the joints from landing) as well as to carry them up and down the deck stairs when they needed to go out and were just too weak, and I saw the pitiful look in their eyes because you knew they wanted so badly to "do it themselves", but couldn't. It's heartbreaking.

If some of these products are available in some of the larger pet stores would it be possible to bring Daisy there and "try some out" to see which of them she seems most comfortable with? If she won't go up them, then they're still not used, but if she does, then like trying out mattresses, that's the one you likely will want to take home, so they've made a sale and the gratitude of the customers, You, Horatio and Daisy!

Best of luck - I hope you find a set she's able to use comfortably and safely!


It goes completely against a dog's natural tendencies to climb stairs. That's what makes search and rescue dogs so truly amazing. My uncle, when he was alive, was a dog trainer. He'd use stairs in his training techniques because it's so unnatural for a dog and it makes the dog give over its own will, to the training.

Maybe best at this time in their lives to invest the money in a super super comfy bed on the floor. Best of luck.


Calico, if stairs arent her cup of tea, maybe try a ramp instead?
https://www.wayfair.com/pet/pdp/archie-oscar-belinda-bedside-70-pet-ramp-aosc1137.html
Also, all joint supplements aren’t created equal. Glycoflex is good but for more advanced arthritis, you may want to consider a different product. Look into Glyde by Parnell and Phycox Max by Dechra (they even have a hypoallergenic formula ending in “HA” if you need that). There are others on the market of course, but I really like these.


Thanks for the info 3wb, we will look into Glyde. I doubt the ramp will work, as my OP stated, we tried that after her leg surgery and no dice.

RonJohn - Daisy already has two comfy floor beds, one on each floor of the house. She snoozes in both of them and also loves to snooze on the couch.

Phil - Good idea to take her to the store. I will see if we can swing it. She has a tendency to get frightened by other dogs. Hopefully we can get her there at a time when there aren't many others at the store.


Calico: I have a 10 pound dog. She uses the plastic steps to get up on the bed. She can't jump that high. They got pretty dirty and my husband got foam steps that a friend was no longer using. We replaced the plastic steps with the foam. She didn't like them. She was sinking into the foam and wouldn't use them. We cleaned the plastic steps and put them back and she is going up and down. Never used the wood ones. Good luck.

Love to Sing Love to Sing
September 13th

In stead of buying new, maybe you can save a bunch by buying from craigslist?

I did a quick search and came up with two for sale for $20 or under

https://newjersey.craigslist.org/search/sss?sort=rel&query=pet+stairs


Thanks Darrin, that's a good idea. I will have to wait until we try our pet store experiment though.


The pet store trial may not give accurate results. Personally climbing to the top of the stairs for no reason wouldn't work on my dog.....but if it was a way for him to get onto the bed, he would be all in.


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