There are different stages in life where our pet dogs just can’t quite reach and climb as well as they need to. Your puppy might be too small to jump up into bed or into the car by themselves just yet. Then there are older dogs that develop joint problems and mobility issues. It isn’t always possible to carry or lift these pets, especially large dogs. Then there are the situations where even if your pet if fit and healthy, it is impossible to jump high enough. This is where a set of pet steps or some kind of dog ladder might be of use.
The following guide takes you through three important situations where your pet may need a little assistance with their mobility. They are as follows:
Each section will discuss some of the important features to look out for in each situation. This is followed by a series of products that could offer the solution you need. We will start with the doggie steps for bedtime.
Here are 7 top models of dog steps to help your dog climb into bed with ease
Not all dogs are allowed up on the bed. But, there are many pampered pooches that enjoy cuddles in their “parent’s” bed or have a spot where they can curl up at the foot of the bed. This is fine for larger, fitter dogs that can leap up in a single bound. Small dogs and puppies can struggle to make it on their own. The problem is even more frustrating when owners suddenly get a new, higher mattress or a high bed. Many dogs will need a helping hand onto the bed. This where a set of dog stairs can help.
These dog steps are a great solution for pets that cant reach the bed or the couch. The first thing to look at here is the dimensions of the product. These steps come in different sizes, and some may not be tall enough for your needs. Also check the width and number of stairs to make sure that the product is easy to use. From there, consider the materials in and within the stairs. Some are hard plastic with rubber grips. Others are blocks with soft covers and foam padding. Finally, look to see if the steps are collapsible or permanent additions to the room.
Dog Steps And Stairs
1. Zinus 4-Step Comfort Pet Stairs
These Zinus comfort steps come in a series of sizes depending on the height of the bed or couch. The large and extra large models have 4 steps rather than 3, so pet owners don’t have to worry about their dogs reaching too high with ease step up. At this point, it is important to issue a warning about some of the size ratings for some of these products. Here the term XL refers to the size of the steps, not the size of the dog that can use them. Therefore, this option is not sturdy enough for heavier breeds, as some owners found to their disappointment.
The largest of the size options, the XL, reaches a height of 28 inches. There is also a width of 21 inches, so it should offer plenty of room for medium sized dogs. The look of these steps is great as it should fit in with the décor of many rooms thanks to the neutral colored covering. An added bonus here is that this comfort cover is also machine washable, so it should be easy to clean in case of accidents and muddy paw prints. The steps are filled with a high density foam for extra padding for those joints.
2. PetSafe Solvit PupSTEP Plus Pet Stairs
The model above is built as a more permanent addition to the room, so pets can use it at their leisure. This option is a little different, and could be more appealing to those that lack the space in the home for such a large object. These collapsible dog steps still offer easy access to a high bed, but don’t have to stay out in the room. This this because there is a folding support at the back of the structure. This features means that it is easy to store the steps away under the bed, or in a cupboard. It also makes the steps more portable for trips away.
Some buyers may expect this product to be a little flimsy because of these folding frame. It certainly looks weaker than the boxy steps above. Despite the design, this is actually built to be durable and strong. There is the promise of a 200lb weight allowance so should accommodate many breeds. There is also a height of 25 inches and a width of 18 inches wide. Finally, there is a helpful non-slip coating on each of the four stairs – again in a nice neutral color. Overall, this should be pretty easy to use and last for a while.
3. PetSafe Solvit PupSTEP Wood Pet Stairs
As the name suggests, this PetSafe Solvit set of doggie stairs is very similar to the one above. In fact, as you will see later on in this guide, this Solvit range includes a series of interesting dog mobility items. The principle here is pretty much the same. There are four sturdy steps with rails on the sides and another folding support at the back for storage. It is the same purpose and also has the sense of ease of use.
However, it is important to note the differences with this model over the plastic option. On the plus side, this variation looks a lot nicer with the walnut colored wood, rather than the bland beige plastic. This might not mean a lot to the dog, but it could help to sell the product to pet parents that aren’t sure on the concept just yet. The main differences here, however, are the dimensions and weight allowance. This model is 20 inches high, 16 inches wide and 24 inches long. It also has a weight allowance of 150lb. Therefore, heavier dogs on high beds might not be able to use this option as easily as the plastic one.
4. Best Pet Supplies Foam Pet Stairs/Steps
These dog steps take a similar approach to the Zinus model with the fabric covering and padding. There is the sense that this was made for both the owner and the pet. From the owners point of view, this is one of the better looking sets of dog steps around. This aesthetic appeal comes down to a choice of colors and patterns on the material. The grey corduroy might add some grip and interest for those using this as a set of cat steps, rather than dog steps. The paw print is good fun for avid pet owners. The leopard print might be a little extreme Again, the cover is removable and machine washable.
Like many of the other options here, these steps also come in different heights. The interesting difference is in the scale of the range. There is a smaller 3 step option that reaches up to 13.5’’, then there is the taller 4 step model that goes to 18’’ and finally the 5 step model with a height of 22.5’’. Each option contains premium foam and should be light enough to move around.
5. Dallas Manufacturing Co. Home Décor Pet Steps
With this model with have another solid option with a nice look. This product comes in two sizes – either 3 steps or 4 steps. The 4 step model reaches a lot higher than some options, at 26’’, but isn’t as wide at just 14.75’’. This could be a problem for some dogs. Again, it is the use of materials that makes this set of stairs a little more interesting than some of the others that are on the market.
There are three key elements here. The first is the use of a light, yet dense cardboard material for the structure of the steps. The honeycomb shape within the product gives it a sturdy shape and weight allowance of 150lbs, but keeps the weight down to under 6 pounds. Then there is the material cover. This soft, machine washable cover comes in a choice of two two-tone color options – brown and tan or two shades of grey. Finally, there is the anti-slip material. This time the material is on the bottom of the stairs to stop them from moving around.
6. Petsfit Wooden 3 Step Pet Stairs
There are two things that immediately stand out with this model. The first its that this looks like a nice addition to the furniture, unlike some of the folding stairs in this guide. There is a nice use of wood and rails in a deep, dark brown color. Then there is the accent of the little material on each of the three steps. Home owners can keep this out and not worry about it looking too out of place. The second thing that stands out here is that this looks like it is best used as cat steps rather than dog steps. This is because of the dimensions and that odd hiding space through the middle.
This set of three stairs is said to be ideal for dogs with short legs and long bodies – which also means cats. It has wide steps with enough depth for an easy journey to the top. They are 17 inches wide and reach a height of 22 inches. This is shorter than some stairs here. In fact, the sales photos focus on dogs climbing on couches more than onto beds.
7. Pet Gear Stramp Stair and Ramp Combination
The last option in this section of indoor aids for beds and couches is a bit of a curved ball. Many dog owners will prefer the idea of stairs because that seems like the logical approach when climbing onto the furniture. However, some dogs with odd body shapes can struggle on these stairs. Some models are too deep for short legs, or have too many steps for the dog’s natural stride. This ramp should allow dogs to go at their own pace a little more. It has a comfortable incline and a small step at the top for extra stability.
The ramp is 28 inches long and reaches a height of 16 inches. Again, this height isn’t going to help with much more than the couch. There is a carpet tread on the ramp to provide grip, although some feel that it is a little too smooth. This caused some buyers to make some modifications. This material cover is removable as needed, so can also be washed. There are also rubber grips on the bottom to keep the ramp in place on hardwood floors. Another interesting feature is the idea that this snaps together for easy assembly.
Here are 5 of the best products in pet ramps to help your dog get into the vehicle
Next we come to a set of products designed to help dogs in and out of the car. Our pets love to come along on family adventures and young, athletic dogs usually have no problem at all when it comes to jumping into the back of a car. But, there are some that will struggle. Arthritic dogs will need a helping hand to climb aboard. Smaller dogs may struggle with taller trucks and SUV vehicles. This is where a dedicated dog ramp can really help.
There are lots of companies that offer a form of folding dog ramp that should help users load their pets into the car with ease. It is important to look at the features of this ramp to see how easy it is to use, and how portable it is when not in use. Also, look at the dimensions and weight allowance. Is the frame strong enough for large dogs? There are also telescoping pet ramps too for a different approach. Check the mechanisms and reach on these models. In both cases, look at the materials used and the grip.
1. Gen7Pets Natural Step Ramp for Pets
This folding ramp is one that will stand out from all the other products in this section because of the surface. Most ramps have a rubber grip or some form of traction surface that we see in all kinds of man-made objects. This product breaks that mould by using a poly grass for a good grip and softer material. The idea here is that this looks like something nice and natural that dogs will like the feel of. Results could vary here. Some may use this immediately because of the familiar grass, others may be confused at the fake feel or the angle.
Either way, this is still a portable model with great potential. It folds out as a ramp to 72’’, with a fairly wide 16’’ walking path. Then, when the dog is in the car, it folds in the middle with a secure latch and automatic locking system. There is a soft grip handle on the side make it easy to carry to this and take it in and out of the car. It also weights just 17lbs, yet has a maximum weight allowance of 250 lbs.
2. PetSafe Solvit UltraLite Bi-Fold Pet Ramp
For our next product, we are back to the PetSafe Solvit range. This time we have their attempt at creating the ideal folding ramp. This is lightweight product, at 10lb, and folds in the middle for easy transportation and storage. The ramp folds out to a total length of 62 inches, has a 16 inch width and a 150lb weight allowance. There is also a high traction surface on the ramp that is said to be similar to that found on truck beds and skateboards.
However, there is a slight issue with this model when we compare it side by side with the natural option from Gen7Pets. This ramp doesn’t look as comfort able or appealing as the grass model. It might take some dogs a little more time to get used to the feel of the ramp. Still, this is definitely just as portable. This option also has a safety release latch to lock the two ends together into a compact unit. The carry handle is a little less obvious, but there are indentations in the side to help users get a good grip. Total length is 62 inches with a 16 inch width.
3. PetSafe Solvit Deluxe Telescoping Pet Ramp
Continuing with the PetSafe Solvit range again, they do have an alternative model that is perhaps better suited to large dogs. This option is a telescoping ramp, rather than a folding one. This means that it can extend, as needed, to change the incline on the ramp and adjust to different vehicles. This should make this model a little more versatile than other options. It adjusts from 39’’ to 72’’. There is also the use of raised rails and the same grip material as the model above. This should help dogs feel a little more secure as they climb into the car.
The other important difference between this option and the model above is the use of materials. This telescoping ramp has a strong aluminum build for greater security. This material doesn’t add to much to the weight of the product either, as it weighs in at just 13lbs. This means that it should still be relatively portable and easy to carry. This tougher build means that the company have also increased the weight capacity to an impressive 400lbs. This is quite the jump from 150lb, and perhaps far more than most dog owners actually need.
4. Titan 28 - 61 Telescoping Collapsible Pet Ramp
This titan model has a similar premise with the telescoping approach. At its shortest, this ramp is just 28 inches, but it can extend out to 61 as needed. This makes it quite versatile for different trucks and other vehicles. There is also the promise of simple one-hand opening on this model. This will be easier for some users than others and may require some practice.
There is an industrial look to this option with the thick aluminum rails, the rigid plastic coating on the steps and the thick rubber feet. There is a little quirk in the bone print running along the tread, just in case buyers didn’t realize that this was intended for pets. This use of materials gives users great hope that it will serve its purpose for large dogs and help them for many years to come. However, the odd thing about the specification is that while this looks strong and more industrial than some other ramps in this guide, there is only an 180lbs weight capacity. This lower allowance could be down to the three sections and the construction of the telescoping mechanism, rather than the materials.
5. Goplus Pet Ramp Portable Aluminum Folding Paw Safe Dog Ladder Incline
This model looks a little more heavy duty than some of the other designs in this section on the best pet ramps for your car. That is because it has an aluminum construction and a decent looking grip to the surface. Unlike the telescoping model above, this one seems a little more structural sound, and this seems to be the case with the weight allowance. There is the promise of a 250lb weight capacity here, which allows for much larger dogs than other products in this guide.
The materials should be strong to be durable, but they are also fairly lightweight. This model weights just 16.5 lbs, which isn’t much more than some of other products. Again, this is a folding doggie ramp for the car or SUV. Therefore, it should be portable enough for use in many different situations. The makers talk about the use of the built-in handle for ease of use. However, it isn’t quite as convenient as some of the more significant handle attachments. Be aware that the size is measured in feet this time, with a choice of 7 ft, 6ft and 8ft models.
Here are 3 of the most beneficial doggie ladders for boat owners
The last set of products to look at here are platforms to help your dog enjoy a day out on the lake. The phrase dog ladder might conjure up the wrong idea about these products. What we mean is a system that boat owners can use on the ladders of their boats to allow pets to climb into the vessel. This is a great idea if you have pets that like to swim, but can’t climb back into the boat. A good dog ladder, or set of marine doggie stairs, is also helpful when bringing dogs into boats from the pontoon. Some brands refer to them as pet loaders, which sounds a little uncaring and industrial.
There are some important features to look for when searching for the bet of these dog platforms for boats. The first thing to consider here is the size of the platform that the dog will use to climb onto the boat from the water. It has to be stable enough for the breed of dog. Stability and security also come from the materials and grip. Some products have better tread and protection than others. Finally, look at the fixtures and the way the ladder attaches to the boat. Can you fold it up after use?
Boat Ladders for Dogs
1. Pet Loader XL
This is not the best name around, but its a pretty clear what the aim is here. This is a pet loader purely for use in marine conditions. This product offers a set of dog steps with an adjustable frame for use near the water. There is a small starting platform that sits on the pontoon or on the surface of the water. From there, dogs can climb the three steps up to the boat. Each step has a rubber matting for a good grip in these wet conditions. This is great for those animals a little less confident around water.
The idea here is that users can attach this product to the boat and then flip it up when it is no longer in use. There is also the chance to detach it completely for storage. The shape also means that it is a great entry point from the point to the water. This means boat owners can head out on the lake and let their pet climb onto the bottom platform ready for a swim. They can use it independently without their owners help – something that may never have been possible before.
2. Great Day Load-A-Pup 14x20in Pet-Loading Platform
This option is a bit different. This is a single platform that attaches to the ladder of the boat – with the presumption that there is one always in use on the vessel. The promise here is that users can hook to this up to the rung of the ladder to provide a secure, lower platform between the boat and the water. The fixtures are simply enough and the light weight means that the platform shouldn’t be too heavy to deal with.
The platform is made from a lightweight aluminum. This metal surface has ridges across it to add with the traction. But, there is perhaps not as much traction is dogs would get from a rubber mat.
The platform on this model measures 14’’ by 20’’, so should have enough room for most medium and small dogs. It is a great little aid for those teaching a puppy to swim out on the lake. Yet, some buyers would like the option of a wider model for a little more peace of mind for bigger dogs. Once the trip is over, the platform folds flat against the ladder so it is neatly out the way.
3. Dog Boat Boarding Ladder
This final model in this guide to top dog mobility aids takes a similar approach with a platform that attaches to the ladder. The main similarity with this product is the idea of the attachable pontoon system that folds up when not in use. This idea is convenient and a hit with dogs and their owners because they require little training. There is also a strong aluminum material in this frame for a reliable build and light weight. This means that it should be easy enough to install on the boat and won’t cause too many problems.
The main difference with this option is the material of the platform itself. Here the designers took the interesting approach of using a mesh instead of a solid metal platform. There are a few benefits to this. First of all, it lightens the product further and makes it even easier to install. Secondly, there is some give and grip on the mesh that should help dogs climb up out of the water a little more easily. Thirdly, the mesh is submersible, which means that the platform is better able to handle any waves. Therefore, this model has great potential when heading out a little further into rougher water.