Does your dog need a dog ramp or dog stairs? It’s important that all dogs, especially younger ones have a safe method of getting in and out of certain areas of the house or vehicles. You may be thinking that your dog is fine and that it jumps in and out of places fine all the time, but this isn’t always the case. Studies from professional pet physical therapists like Susan Davis have concluded that repetitive vertical leaps and jumps can lead to some dogs having long-term injuries and trauma. This is where dog ramps and dog stairs come into play to help support and assist your dog and cause less stress on its body.
Research has shown that constant jumping from high vantage points can lead to damaging a dog’s ligaments, joints, and spine. Injuries like these can pile up on a dog and lead to it acquiring arthritis, or at the very least increasing its chances. This is much more noticeable in small to medium-sized dogs that always have to jump up or down certain areas to get to their destination. Injuries like these can easily be avoided by purchasing a dog ramp or dog stairs. However, the two items are slightly different in what they do, so you still need to decide: does your dog need a dog ramp or dog stairs?
Dog stairs are more common than ramps but offer similar assistance in assuring a dog strains less energy on its joints and muscles. The concept of dogs walking up and downstairs is about the same as humans using them. Stairs help us get from one point to another by taking small steps instead of one giant leap that would damage our body. The same concept is applied to dogs as it helps them get from one point to another in small steps instead of one big jump.
Dog ramps on the other hand function with the same purpose of allowing a dog to reach a short distance safely, but in a slightly different way. Instead of individual stairs, the ramp allows the dog to walk and its own pace at a tiled up or down angle. This angle allows the dog to walk normally instead of taking exaggerated leaps to reach a destination. Ramps are considered easier for the dog to use because there is less risk of falling in between individual steps that stairs have to offer.
One major advantage that stairs have on their dog ramp counterparts is that dog stairs are almost always cheaper than ramps. Dog ramp pricing can start from about $60 and go all the way up into the $120 price range for the highest quality ramps. Dog stairs on the other hand have a starting price at a much more forgiving $30 and almost never seem themselves going past $70. Saving up to $50 or more would be a good incentive for most people to choose to buy dog stairs over a dog ramp.
A few features that they have in common is that they are both easily adjustable and can be moved by the owner at will. This allows them to be placed in many different locations in a short amount of time. Many pet owners also move their stairs and ramps from their vehicles to their house and vice versa. The versatility in both items being adjustable means they can be set for different heights and distances. A dog will need a ramp to be a different length when going up from a few feet in the house as opposed to coming down from a car seat.
Dog ramps and stairs are essentials to dogs that are already injured and old in age. Older dogs have a much harder time getting around and doing the things they used to in their younger years. Jumping from large and sometimes even short distances takes a much bigger toll on dogs as they age and are less mobile. If they do end up getting hurt, the surgery to help repair and fix the damage could cost up to around $7,000 depending on how extreme the injury is and the amount of intensive care it will require to get them back to where they were.
In conclusion, there are many different factors that go into choosing to buy a dog stair or a dog ramp for your dog. If you’re on a tight budget but still want to help support your dog in the long run, then buying dog stairs is probably the right choice for you. If you want the best possible option to save a dog’s ligaments from being damaged and preventing arthritis, then a dog ramp would be better for your dog. Overall most dogs will be fine with the benefit from stairs, but a dog ramp offers the best result to prevent injuries.
Written by Michael Stewart