Older Dogs and stairs

So, we’ve reached the age with my sisters ‘newer’ dog that she is getting to the age where stairs are starting to be an issue.

I was wondering, is it just hard wood stairs that dogs don’t like, and they go down easier on carpet? and do ramps actually work? they are $100’s each.

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Got a 10 year old dog here that does okay with hardwood stairs. Stairs have always presented a small issue, though, because of her size (not anything like her age or mobility or anything like that).

Hardwood can pose an issue with dogs that grow a bunch of fur on their paws. If it gets too long, they are basically wearing ice skates.

Making a ramp would be arguably cheaper than buying something online (unless the tools to do so aren’t handy; then it gets more expensive).

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My dog refuses to use stairs or a ramp (we have a one-story house but a high bed). No matter what we try, she just won’t do it. I have to pick her up and put her on the bed- and she weighs 60 pounds. We’ve tried various hard and soft stairs and ramps and she won’t use any of them.

So all I can say is I hope your sister’s dog is not as stubborn as mine.


How big is the dog? Hardwood can be hard for a large older dog because their weight makes them more prone to slipping. After our first dog tore his CCL (dog version of the ACL), we put wall to wall carpet in the living room to give him better footing. I suspect carpeting the stairs in some way might help with the footing but if the dog has joint pain it won’t help with that.

Like @FlyingSquid’s dog, that dog also hated ramps. We eventually got him to use a ramp to get into the car, so he wasn’t as stubborn, but if we had a second story I can’t image what sort of ramp we’d need for that. If it’s just a couple steps up to the front door a ramp may work.


If the dog only needs to use the stairs a couple of times a day, she might consider using a sling to assist him – it takes some of the weight off the dog’s joints. We used one when our dog was recovering from knee surgery. You can buy one, or you can just improve one out of an old sheet or something.


pretty big. not a lap dog, but not a big golden either. in between at about 60 pounds or so and as tall as my 4 year old nephew. She’s a labradoodle.

I saw one of those harness things…not sure how she’d like it, but could be worth a try.

If you really want to spoil your dog I’m sure they make canine chair attachments.

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