Which dog stairs are best?
You might be the type of pet owner who wants your dog to have free access to your couch and bed. When your dog is a puppy, this is likely no problem: You just let them jump up onto the furniture. But if they’re advancing in years, exceptionally small or have a disability, they may need some help with this task. That’s where dog stairs and steps come into play.
Position pet steps next to a piece of furniture so your canine companion can get on and off as they please. Our top choice is the Topmart 3 Tier Foam Dog Ramp Steps because they are stable, easy to climb and work well for most dogs.
What to know before you buy dog stairs and steps
Dog stairs materials
You can find dog steps and stairs in a range of materials, so you’ll need to decide which is right for you and your dog.
Wooden pet steps are among the more attractive options, so they’re a good choice if you’ll have them set up full time in a high-traffic area of your home, but they’re heavy and can be pricey.
Plastic steps are lightweight and more affordable. They’re often easy to move around, so they’re great if you want to use them in various parts of your home.
Foam dog stairs are also lightweight and tend to offer good traction. However, they compress when dogs stand on them and nervous pooches might be put off by this.
For more details on materials, check out the pet stairs buying guide at BestReviews.
Dog stairs height
Consider the height of the individual steps and make sure that they’re not too tall for your dog to conquer. Dogs with limited mobility — especially small breed dogs — may struggle with the height of some steps. If in doubt, try your pet out with climbing steps at home or out in the neighborhood to find out how much height they can take on.
Dog stairs size
The wider your set of dog stairs or steps are, the more stable the base will be. This will make them feel more secure for dogs to climb. Wide pet steps are especially beneficial for large dogs who might not want to climb narrower sets of stairs. Even if the steps are technically wide enough for them to get up, they might not feel stable enough. A concern with wide dog stairs is that they take up more room, so measure the area where you will put the steps.
What to look for in quality dog stairs and steps
Foldable dog stairs
Some pet stairs are more portable than others. The lighter the steps, the easier they are to pick up and move around. Portability is key when you want to use the same steps in different rooms of your home or to help your dog get into the back of your car. Some dog stairs and steps are even foldable, which is great for use in cars or at home when you don’t want to have steps set up all the time.
Dog stairs with grips
Dog stairs and steps should have a textured area on each step to help with traction. If the stairs don’t provide enough grip, your dog could slip and get hurt.
Dog stairs that aren’t steep
The incline of a set of pet stairs shouldn’t be too steep or your dog may struggle to get up and down. It also should not be too shallow, or the bottom of the stairs will stick out a long way from the top and they’ll take up much more room.
How much you can expect to spend on dog stairs and steps
The most affordable dog stairs and steps start at around $50, while heavy-duty high-end options can cost as much as $250.
Dog stairs and steps FAQ
Are steps or ramps better for dogs?
A. Some people state that ramps are easier to navigate than steps for dogs suffering from joint pain, while others point out that ramps put pressure on their joints while they climb them. Training your dog with arthritis or joint problems to use either steps or ramps is better than expecting them to jump on and off raised surfaces, so you should opt for whichever your dog is happy to use.
Can any dog use steps or stairs?
A. Yes, in theory, any dog should be able to use steps or stairs as long as your chosen steps are suitable for the dog in question. When buying steps for small dogs, make sure the height of each step isn’t too much for them. When buying for large dogs, choose steps that are wide enough to seem stable and have a great enough weight limit to safely hold your canine companion.
What are the best dog stairs and steps to buy?
Top dog steps
What you need to know: Partway between steps and a ramp, these are ideal for dogs who struggle with the depth of standard steps.
What you’ll love: The steps are wide and feel stable. Each step is longer and therefore easier to climb slowly. These have a machine washable cover, too.
What you should consider: Some dogs find the incline too steep.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top dog stairs for the money
What you need to know: These affordable steps fold down easily and are perfect for households without the space to have steps set up full time.
What you’ll love: These are made from lightweight yet durable plastic. There is a textured area on each step for grip. They come in two size options and they are easy to fold.
What you should consider: The steps are too high for very small dogs.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: These pet steps double as an ottoman with storage space inside — which is great for compact homes.
What you’ll love: You can fold the steps into the base to save space when not in use. These are an ideal height for most sofas. There is a weight limit of up to 50 pounds.
What you should consider: A handful of buyers report missing pieces.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.