Pet Ramps vs Pet Stairs: Which is Best For Your Dog?

Pet ramps vs pet stairs

Owning a dog is a huge responsibility and it’s something that usually requires an extra level of care to do it right.

Many dogs rely on the assistance of a pet ramp or pet stairs to help them get where they need to be, and if you’re in the market for one of these products you might be struggling to choose which is best.

Both pet ramps and pet stairs were designed to help your dog, or other pet, move comfortably into the car or around inside of the house.

However, they have some differences that usually makes one a smarter choice. We’re here to weight up what each of them offers so you can decide whether a pet ramp or pet stairs is the way to go for your dog.

Why Do You Need Pet Ramps and Stairs?

having a dog ramp

Just like humans, dogs sometimes require assistance doing things that they might not have needed before, and sometimes we need a helping hand as well.

These are a few reasons why you might be considering investing in one of these pet support systems for your dog and wondering which is the better approach.

  • Dogs recovering from recent surgery who now have mobility issues;
  • Conditions like hip dysplasia, arthritis, or general immobility due to old age;
  • Smaller breeds of dogs or young puppies who have trouble getting into taller spaces;
  • Dogs experiencing joint issues;
  • A large vehicle or accessibility issues at home that require assistance for your dog to reach;
  • Owner with physical limitations who can’t lift their dog any longer;

What Is a Pet Ramp?

A pet ramp is a simple construction of a slanted solid surface that you can use to join two areas and help them connect.

These ramps are usually foldable and adjustable so that they save space, and you can pull them out and extend them as needed.

Choosing one of these means finding one that suits your dog’s physical requirements and height, as well as make sure the surface has a grip that will allow your pet to walk comfortably on top.

What Are Pet Stairs?

Pet Stairs For Car

Pet stairs are a set of stairs that your dog uses to climb in and out of spaces.

They come in varying lengths to suit whatever you’re trying to reach and there are both portable and permanent options. 

Pet stairs are usually smaller than regular household stairs so that your dog is able to make their way up and down and so you can easily transport it.

However, you’ll also have to consider the width and depth of the steps to suit your dog and their size so they can comfortably use them.

How They Compare in Support

The most important feature we need to consider for our dogs is whether a ramp or stairs will be able to provide them with adequate support.

Usually, we’re using these accessibility products because our dog has struggled to do things the normal way, so they have to be able to provide that support.

A pet ramp is a lot stronger in the support it offers because it means your dog only has to walk up or down a ramp.

Compared to stairs which can still cause some issues for a dog with mobility issues due to their physical requirements, a ramp is slightly sloped and usually covered in a surface that makes them comfortable but with a grip.

If a dog has never walked up or down stairs before you could struggle to get them to use pet stairs, otherwise they might take to them easily.

Dogs generally don’t trust surfaces that they don’t know, and you could have a hard time even getting them onto the first step if they’ve never tried it before.

Although ramps are usually easier to convince them to use because they’re walking on a single surface, you’ll still want to practice with your dog before you actually have to rely on it.

How They Compare in Practicality

dog using a dog ramp

Both pet ramps and pet stairs come in practical designs that allow them to be packed away and stored in your car without taking up any space.

You can unfold them or slide them out when they need to be used, and then pack them up once you’re done, so both are pretty practical in this regard.

One area where the dog ramp does better is weight, with lightweight materials used for these devices usually more capable of holding heavier weights than in their stair counterpart.

For larger breeds, ramps offer more support without the bulk that stairs have, so anyone with a dog over 100lbs would be better off using a ramp.

Both options come in varying weight ranges, so whichever one you choose you, it has to meet your dog specifically.

One of the biggest problems that people have with these devices is not purchasing the ramp or stairs to suit their dog’s weight and size, which can potentially lead to injury or improper use.

The Final Say

When it comes to a winner between pet ramps and pet stairs, the ramp seems to be the better option when dogs are concerned.

You’ll have a much better chance of getting your dog to comfortably use them, they’re capable of holding more weight, and they are better suited to pets that have special physical requirements.

Whether it’s getting your dog into the car for a trip to the park or helping them up onto their favorite sofa at home, it can do them a lot of good investing in a support system like this. J

Just as we humans require assistance from time to time, so do our four-legged friends, so anything we can do to make life better for them is worth taking seriously.