26 February, 2010
As dogs get older and face issues such as arthritis and joint weakness, owners need to be aware that their dog is at risk of injury when they are jumping down from furniture such as couches or beds. In addition, it is important to understand that climbing onto these same areas will become more difficult for dogs as they get into their later years.
Dog steps can be just the answer as they allow older dogs to climb without straining their joints and descend without the need to jump. We had the opportunity to do a side-by-side review of two popular dog steps currently on the market.
Doggy Steps from the As Seen on TV brand and Pet Gear's Soft Steps. There are noticeable differences between the two products starting with price. The As Seen on TV Doggy Steps are approximately $35 CDN compared to Pet Gear's which run around $75 CDN. The expression 'you get what you pay for' was running through my head as I could not help but notice how flimsy the Doggy Steps were next to the sturdy Pet Gear dog stairs.
The Doggy Steps can handle dogs up to 70 lbs, but I would feel a bit safer if only small lightweight dogs used these stairs as the lack of stability was worrisome. The Pet Gear product with its wider steps has a maximum weight capacity of 150 lbs, something I personally put to the test :) The size of the steps was also very different between the two products.
The Doggy Steps measure 18"Lx14"Wx12"H while the Pet Gear dog steps come in much taller and wider at 22.5"L x 16"W x 16"H. Both products have an underneath rubber that allows the dog steps to grip even the most slippery floors such as hardwood or tile.
In terms of colour selection, the Doggy Steps only come in the creme colour while the Pet Gear dog steps come in Blue, Burgundy, Coffee and Leopard. Overall, there is a dog and a situation to suit both products so each owner needs to make the decision according to their dog's needs and the physical surroundings.
Small dogs can certainly benefit from the Doggy Steps which are especially useful when budget and room size are an issue. The Pet Gear steps are definitely of a higher quality and therefore the better choice for heavier, bigger dogs or small dogs that like to fit their whole body on each step as they climb.
The most important thing to decide is whether it is time to give your dog an easier way to climb onto and down from couches and beds to help keep them safe from injury, while continuing to give them access to some of their favourite places around the house. Have you used dog steps for your senior dog? If so we'd love to hear about your experience.