Steps fold down for easy storage and travel. Owners like having barriers on sides of steps for safety. Construction of stairs is sturdier than it may look.
Steps sometimes slide a little on hardwood floors with larger pets. Stairs wiggle a little when stepped on, which some dogs don't like.
Pet owners say foam steps provide plenty of traction. Different height options provide convenience. 3, 4, or 5 steps. Shape holds up well over plenty of traffic from pets.
May be too steep and narrow for some pets to use. Some customers felt product lacked enough stability for larger pets to feel comfortable.
Washable cover allows steps to continue looking great. Customers love performance level with low price point. Handle on back of steps enhances portability feature.
Corrugated cardboard design may not hold its shape over the long run. Product is almost too light, causing some stability issues for larger animals.
Soft steps allow pets to gain traction easily. Owners report great success with small dogs using these steps. Dogs figure out how to use these steps quickly.
Steps will slide on hard floors without use of area rug. Total step height comes up short for some tall beds.
Able to machine wash cover on steps that's easy to remove. Pet owners say soft steps provide traction for animals that slip on other types of steps.
Some reports of difficulty assembling the steps. Carpeted cover slides a bit, which some pets don't like.
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You love your four-legged friend and would never want to watch her struggle, so if a set of pet stairs could help her get to raised spots that she can’t easily reach, it’s well worth the small investment.
But what should you be looking for when selecting pet stairs to find the best set? Buying a product you don’t know much about is tough and can require a lot of research, especially with all the different types of pet stairs on the market.
Luckily, at BestReviews, we do the hard work of shopping for you with our top recommendations and information-filled shopping guides. For everything you need to know about buying pet stairs, just keeping reading.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you might want to buy a set of pet stairs for your furry companion.
If your pet has an injury that prevents him from jumping or your vet has advised that jumping could make the injury worse, pet stairs are a good solution.
Pet stairs allow small dogs who can’t get up on the couch or your bed by themselves the freedom to get up and down at will.
Larger dogs who can’t get into the car easily, due to age or injury, but are too heavy to lift in and out, can benefit from pet stairs.
You can find some pet stairs that fold down when not in use, which is ideal for storage or taking your pet stairs on the go.
It’s possible to find adjustable pet stairs that can be set to different heights or used in various configurations.
Wood pet stairs
Wood pet stairs are solid and stable, and they tend to be very durable. They also have a classic look that goes with a lot of decorative styles. However, your dog may find it hard to grip wood stairs if they don’t offer a sufficient non-slip area on each step.
Foam pet stairs
Foam pet stairs are extremely lightweight, so they’re easy to move from one place to another. They also tend to offer good traction. The trouble is that foam pet stairs have a lot of give to them, which could upset your pet’s balance as he climbs. This is more of an issue for medium to large dogs, however, as cats and small dogs are light enough that they won’t sink into the foam as much.
Corrugated cardboard pet stairs
You can find some pet stairs that are made of stiff, reinforced corrugated cardboard with a fabric covering. Although corrugated cardboard can be very strong, it isn’t the most durable option for pet stairs, and these stairs may not stand the test of time, especially with regular use by heavier pets.
Plastic pet stairs
Plastic is another solid, stable choice that won’t upset your pet’s balance. Like wood, it doesn’t inherently provide much grip, so plastic pet stairs should have textured areas on each step to provide traction. Plastic pet stairs aren’t the most aesthetic option, however, so they’re not the best choice if you want to set up the stairs in your living room or another room where you regularly entertain.
Strength and support
Best Pet Supplies Foam Pet Stairs are durable and strong enough to support pets up to 150 pounds. You can choose from three-, four-, or five-step configurations, with each option available in standard or wide, so you’re sure to find the right set of stairs for your furry friend. These foam pet stairs offer a good grip for no-slip climbing, too.
Your pet should be able to get a good grip on the stairs, otherwise she could slip off and injure herself. Pet stairs with a fabric cover offer a good amount of grip, but textured fabrics are better than smoother ones. Wood or plastic pet stairs need to have traction on each stair to provide grip. This might be an area of textured plastic, carpet, or textured rubber on the top of each step.
For pet stairs, consider the height of the individual steps to make sure this height is appropriate for your pet. As a rule, smaller pets require shorter stairs, and larger pets require taller stairs. If the steps are the wrong height, either too tall or too short, your pet may find it difficult to climb them.
The overall height of the set of pet stairs is also important. The height you require depends on where your pet needs to climb. Couches are usually a bit lower than beds, so you may need a shorter set of stairs for the sofa and a higher set for the bed. If in doubt, measure the height of where you plan to place the pet stairs, and compare it to the overall height of the stairs.
Some pet stairs are fairly narrow and only suit cats and small dogs. Other pet stairs are wider, designed with the needs of medium and large dogs in mind. If you have pets of varying sizes, you’ll need to choose pet stairs that are wide enough for the biggest member of your furry family to use.
You can find pet stairs with a fairly steep incline, as well as those with a more gentle slope. Pets with arthritis or other joint issues generally do better with a gentle incline, which won’t put as much pressure on their joints.
Basic pet stairs start at around $25 to $30. At this price point, you’ll generally find corrugated cardboard stairs and lower-quality foam stairs. For $50 to $100, you’ll find plenty of carpeted pet stairs of good quality. At the high end, large, sturdy pet stairs that are made from wood with carpeting for traction can cost as much as $200 to $300.
Some pet stairs come with covers that you can remove and wash.
Consider the durability of your chosen pet stairs. The larger your pet, the more durable you’ll need your pet stairs to be.
Decide whether you want portable pet stairs. If you’ll be moving your pet stairs around the house to use in different spots, a lightweight set is preferable.
Think about the type of floor you’ll be placing your pet stairs on. If you’re putting your pet stairs on a hard floor, make sure the stairs have a non-slip base, otherwise they can slide around when your pet climbs them, which isn’t safe.
Q. Are pet stairs safe for my four-legged friend to use?
A. As long as you choose appropriate stairs for your pet, they should be completely safe to use. However, you must be cautious with pets who have any ailments that could affect their ability to walk up steps without falling. If your pet suffers from hip dysplasia or other medical conditions that affect how she walks and balances, make sure you choose the right kind of pet stairs to fit her needs. They should be extra wide, have plenty of grip, and have lower, deeper steps with a more gentle incline. The pet stairs should also be made of a solid, sturdy material, like wood or plastic, rather than foam, which will shift as your pet puts her weight on it and may throw her off balance.
Q. Do pet stairs have a maximum weight limit?
A. Yes, all pet stairs have a maximum weight limit, so pay attention to this limit before buying, especially if you have a large dog. That said, many pet stairs have extremely generous weight limits – often 150 to 200 pounds – so it’s rare that you’ll need to worry about exceeding it. If there’s a chance that multiple pets might use the steps at the same time, make sure you factor in their combined weight.
Q. Can I buy pet stairs to help me load my dog into the car?
A. Cats are easy to load into the car in cat carriers, but dogs can be a different story. If you have an elderly dog who’s too large to pick up, getting him into your car can be tough. Pet stairs are an excellent solution to give him a helping hand. While you can use standard pet stairs, you also have to get him out of the car at your destination and then back in again to head home. Look for pet stairs specifically designed for car use that fold up to easily take on the go.
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