Building a Step For Our Dog

Does anyone have easy to follow plans to build steps for "Buddy" to use to get to the top of the bed and down again? We don't know how old he is or what injuries he might have had before we got him. He limps sometimes (maybe arthritis?). Our vet couldn't find anything wrong. I don't want him hurting himself by jumping down from the bed.

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Thanks,
Great Granny VI from Moorpark, CA

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March 15, 20060 found this helpful

I don't have plans, but bet you could find some on the internet. IN THE MEANTIME - use an ottoman, or a dining room chair pushed up against the bed. You could put it sideways at the foot of the bed, and show him how to get on and off more easily. You might want to put something 'non-slip' on it, maybe some of that under the rug padding - just tape it underneath? He could be straining muscles or ligaments - just imagine yourself jumping down from a bed that was 2 or 3 times your height (say 15 to 20 feet tall), and you get the idea. Good for you for noticing that he needs help! Anne

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March 15, 20060 found this helpful

I would suggest finding some good sturdy cardboard boxes in various sizes and duct tape them together to make "steps". Then I would hot glue some carpet or blanket scraps to the tops ("treads") of the steps. If you wanted the whole thing to look better, you could cover it with contact paper, giftwrap, or paint the cartons before putting the carpet or blanket pieces on.

I think I would be inclined to tie the steps to the side or end-rail of the bed (depending on where you put it), so that it won't feel wobbly to him, or tip. You could just poke a couple of holes in the box closest to the bedrail and run a rope through them.

I have also seen commercial ramps for the same purpose. If you have some scrap lumber or an old shelf, you could cover it with a carpet scrap (or staple on an old rag rug) and wedge the end between the mattress and box spring. (He would still have that "step" from the ramp to the mattress, though.) If he uses it, you might want to staple a long piece of sturdy fabric (like the leg from jeans) to the end of the board, and then put it between the mattress and box spring so the board won't fall down.

Either way, I would think stability is the key. If he thinks he might fall, he may be too frightened to use it. If it feels sturdy, he is more likely to use it.

Bless you for adopting him! (By the way....we had a neighbor dog in my childhood who limped with no discernable cause. Once in a while, he would forget which leg to limp with and limp with the other! Good old Fritzi!)

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March 16, 20060 found this helpful

HI we use cushions form an older couch and cut some down to make steps that are "giviable" so that when our dogs jump on them to get down they don't hit a hard surface. If you do build one from wood or something hard, you should pad it with foam before covering it!

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March 16, 20060 found this helpful

I don't know if your area has a Target store but they sell "doggy steps". Good luck!

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March 16, 20060 found this helpful

I use a plastic two-step stool I purchased from either K-Mart or Walmart. Trouble with that is my dog Webster won't use it to jump down from our high bed. I sure do like the idea of the soft cushions cut down. Mitzi

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March 16, 20060 found this helpful

Regarding the limp, our precious lady had a limp also and we found what worked for her is joint rebuilder it is only 6.83 at Wal-Mart 1 pill a day

which she chews lasts for 2 months.

We also use an ottoman by the bed..........

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March 16, 20060 found this helpful

If you receive catalogs such as Harriet Carter, they usually have a pet step for around $15.

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March 18, 20060 found this helpful

Thanks everyone for all the good advice.

ThriftyFuners are great people. GG Vi

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August 11, 20090 found this helpful

I have a 9 yr old dachsie that has trouble getting up on the bed and the couch. So I built ramps for her. One for each place. I took 2x4 pieces of lumber and cut them to a length to make enough of a slope that would be comfortable for her. I made them 2 boards wide (8 inches wide). Then I took the leftover pieces and cut them to fit under it to make braces for it.

Once I got it all built and sturdy, I took some thick quilt batting and stapled that onto it, and then covered it with scrap carpeting and screwed that in place.

Now she has no trouble getting up and down off the bed or the couch.

I didn't put the measurements because I made it specifically to fit her---a standard dachshund. If you build them you should measure and build specifically to suit your dog.

But it didn't cost me much at all to build both ramps and I was able to do them both in one day.

If you're not comfortable with a chain saw and don't have anyone to do the cutting for you, you could buy some spindles at Home Depot or Lowe's and use those for bracing instead.

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August 11, 20090 found this helpful

Someone suggested using cardboard boxes. VERY BAD IDEA! The cardboard wouldn't last long at all and sooner or later would collapse under her. She could very easily hurt herself with that.

But, a similar suggestion would be to get some various sized plastic bins with lids. Pack them tight with whatever (out of season clothes, or whatever you can find) so that the lids don't collapse. Then get some rubber backed mats---bathroom mats work great---and lay them across the tops of the bins. It would take some coaxing but she'd learn to use it.

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August 11, 20090 found this helpful

As far as the Doggy Steps go. I've actually seen very few dogs that "fit" the steps! I bought some and they got put back in the box and up on a shelf! They might work for chihuahuas but not many more breeds could use them.

The steps are not deep enough for most breeds of dogs (not just Dachshunds either, I've seen other dogs try and they couldn't use them either) to feel comfortable on. As far as I'm concerned those Doggy Steps would be great for a child but they are worthless for dogs!

Oh but the joint stuff one lady mentioned? It's fantastic! It's called Pro-Pet Glucosamine Advanced Joint Care and it's in the Pet department at Wal Mart. My dog weighs about 35 lbs and I give her 2 pills every morning. They are chewable and she eats them right up. I've noticed a huge difference in her! She's even making the leap up onto the couch again. She hasn't done that in about 4 years now! And coming up and down the steps now is a breeze for her where she had been struggling with them. The stuff is fantastic!

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