Having a dog comes with many joys. A best friend, a loyal partner, a friendly face. No matter the size, dogs can bring us unconditional love. And when it comes to owning a dog, owners can generally agree on one thing: their health.
Taking care of your pet’s health is extremely important. Not only for the pet itself but also for the owner. While providing your dog a ramp over stairs may seem like an insignificant change, it may actually be a determining factor in their health.
Why Should I Purchase A Ramp?
First of all, let’s touch on why having a ramp, or even stairs, is beneficial for your dog. Jumping on and off furniture, whether that’s a bed, a couch, or a chair, is extremely straining on your dog’s joints and spine. Think about it. While transferring from an elevated surface to the floor, your dog is placing all of their body weight either on their front or back legs. Now, think about how much pressure that is putting on their joints.
You may be thinking “my dog is young and active, there’s no way jumping from a bed is causing that much damage.” No matter how young or old your dog is, how active they are, or their size, every dog can experience joint deterioration. Older dogs are just prone to more pain. As for the spine, shifting weight from one side of the body to the other creates quick shifts that cause stress for the back. Over time, this stress can cause major pain for your dog, even if they feel no pain at that moment.
What Makes A Ramp Better Than Stairs?
Now, let’s talk about the benefits of a ramp over stairs. While stairs are a better option than jumping, the best choice is a ramp. Stairs provide more of a break for your dog’s joints, but they are still experiencing strain as they walk down each step. Of course, the taller the step, the more strain your dog will undergo.
With a ramp, your dog will be walking down a straight path, without having to shift their weight all too much. They will still be traveling at an angle, but a ramp eliminates the sudden body weight on their front or back legs.
While it is important for any type of dog to use a ramp, the importance also depends on the size and age of your pup. If you have a miniature breed, steps may not even work for your dog. Their legs may be too short to reach each step. If your dog is older, it may be experiencing other debilitating diseases, such as arthritis. In that case, your dog may not even be able to jump if they tried. Your dog may be recovering from surgery or an injury. They wouldn’t be able to jump or use stairs in that case either.
What To Look For When Purchasing A Ramp
There are several reasons why your dog would benefit from using a ramp, and above all, mitigating how often they jump. So let’s take a look at the features to look for when searching for a ramp.
First off, you will want to purchase a ramp that matches the height of whatever surface your dog will be climbing to. Beds are typically higher up than couches, so make sure that the ramp leads your dog all the way up.
Second, you’ll want to get a ramp that has grips or is anti-skid. This will prevent your dog from slipping as they travel from point A to point B. If the ramp does not have grips, your dog runs the risk of falling off the ramp and possibly injuring themselves worse.
Finally, if size and space are a concern, you may want to look at ramps that are lightweight and easy to travel with. For example, a ramp that is foldable.
One final thing to mention when it comes to purchasing a ramp for your dog: price. It may seem inconvenient to buy a ramp when your dog can jump for free. However, as mentioned before, your dog’s joints and spine will be building up the strain. This strain may eventually lead to issues down the road that only surgery can fix. And as we all must know by now, surgery is expensive. Some procedures can even cost up to $7,000. So you do the math. $7,000 later? Or $60 now?
So now you know the difference between stairs and ramps, and why dog ramps are a better option than dog stairs. If all the information above doesn’t convince you, just take a look at your dog. Yes, look at the cutest thing you’ve ever seen straight in the face. Now, imagine them hardly being able to walk. Go get that ramp.
Written by Erin Stanley