Dog stairs and steps may just be the thing you need to keep your pup’s life happy and fulfilled – and if you could ask them what they need to be happy, they’d probably say all they need is you. Unfortunately, just because our dog wants to be everywhere we are doesn’t necessarily mean the world is designed for their 4-legged body. With a good set of dog steps and stairs, though, you can let them hang with you even more.
Our vet advisor, Dr. Chyrle Bonk, looked at all types of dog steps and stairs to determine which is the best option for you and your dog, looking at factors like size, weight capacity, ease of use, and more. She chose the Pet Studio Pine Frame Dog RampSteps for their robust design, ability to convert from ramp to stairs, and more. Read how she chose the top 5.
When you’re making sure your how much exercise my dog needs that may involve little road trips – and that means you’ll also want to make sure he’s secure while you’re out, too. For the Houdini pups who love to run off, you’ll want to make sure you’re also investing in a harness for dogs that escape.
Our Vet’s Top 5 Dog Stairs and Steps
Here are our top picks. Compare the ratings and features of different models to find the right one for you.
|Editor’s Picks||Model||Rating||Material||How Many Steps||Weight Capacity|
|Best Overall||Pet Studio Pine Frame Dog RampSteps||Wood||2 or 3||130 lbs|
|Best Budget||Best Choice Products Foldable Adjustable, Non-Slip Wide Wooden Pet Stairs||Wood||4||85 lbs|
|Best for Bed||Pet Gear Chocolate Easy Step III||HDPE Plastic||3||150 lbs|
|Best for Car||Silly Millie Folding Portable Dog Steps||Plastic||2||300 lbs|
|Best Ramp||Pawnotch Adjustable Pet Ramp||Wood||0||200 lbs|
*Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 and based on reviews, feedback, and opinions of actual customers
In This Article
Who Should Buy Dog Stairs and Steps
- Small dog parents – When your little one wants to be everywhere you are, it’s hard for him to get left behind so often. When you don’t mind (and encourage) him trailing you everywhere you go, then having a well-placed set of stairs or two in your home just makes sense. This is helpful when he wants to get up in the middle of the night to get a drink and you don’t have to help him in and out of bed with you (you can get an elevated dog bed with stairs to help with this as well), or even if he likes sitting in a higher place so he can see better. You don’t want to have to carry him everywhere and the steps can help you both.
- Large dog parents – Just because you have a dog who can reach great heights doesn’t mean you will want them to strain themselves doing so. Large breed dogs are more prone to hip dysplasia than smaller dogs due to their hereditary.1 Excessive growth rate may contribute to the problem but even before you see the signs of struggle, giving them an opportunity to climb a ramp or stairs rather than jump and risk injury
- Aging or arthritic dogs – If you struggle to jump as you get older, just imagine your dog’s poor aching joints as he has to leap more than his own height to get in and out of a car or your orthopedic waterproof dog bed. He wants to be with you and by making accommodations, you’ll allow him to do so for longer.
- Frequent travelers – If you don’t let your dog on the furniture, but still drive with them often, then you’ll still benefit from the steps that are compatible with your vehicle.
Who Should Not Buy Dog Stairs and Steps
- Dogs with stricter jumping rules – If your dog isn’t allowed on the furniture, then you won’t need any special equipment to help him get there, of course! When you’re strict with the new couch or covet your bed space, there’s no reason you have to encourage bad behavior by purchasing a set of steps.
- In-town dogs – When you (and therefore your dog) walk everywhere, there’s no point in a car-assist for your dog, like steps. Bear in mind, you may benefit from one for occasional use if you need to take them further away and that you’ll be able to find compact designs, as well. But some centrally-located pups just won’t need to ever use extra stairs.
Research Tips (From a Veterinarian)
Whether you have an elderly or small pup or just want to prevent injuries from jumping, the right set of dog stairs is the way to go. Stairs are great to help dogs that need a little help get up to heights like the bed, couch, or car safely. But before you go stacking up some books, look at what a good set of stairs can do for your dog and consider the following:
- How high you need to go – The height that you’re trying to reach will determine the number of stairs, the height of the stairs, and the incline. Higher heights are going to require more stairs, taller stairs, or a steeper incline. Higher stairs tend to be more unstable as well. So, you’ll want to choose a set of stairs that will safely reach the height you’re reaching for without risking toppling over.
- Height of stairs and incline – The height of each stair is going to determine how easy the stairs are to use. Taller stairs are going to require a higher step up which may be difficult for older or smaller dogs. A steeper incline may also cause some difficulty and may border on unsafe for some dogs. Select a stair height that your dog can easily manage with an incline that isn’t too steep yet not so low that it takes up too much space in your home.
- Hard or soft – Wooden or metal stairs are very durable and sturdy, but they can also be very heavy. Foam stairs, on the other hand, are very easily moved around but they may be too squishy for larger dogs to use. If you’re looking for a portable option, foam stairs may be easier to move around, but if you have a larger dog, wooden or metal stairs are going to hold up better.
- Grip – There’s nothing worse than slippery steps, so choose a set of stairs with some traction. Carpet or other fabric is commonly used. Slick wooden surfaces should be avoided to prevent injury. Give bonus points to any set of stairs with removable and washable carpet or fabric coverings.
- Stairs vs. ramps – A common question you may run into is whether stairs or a ramp are better for your dog. The simple answer is it depends. Some dogs may be afraid of stairs, so of course, a ramp will work better for them. Ramps will also work better for arthritic dogs that have trouble lifting their legs high enough to use stairs. On the other hand, steps can often be folded down and ramps can take up a lot of space or be hard to maneuver. If you don’t have a lot of room or don’t want to lug a long ramp out of the car each time, stairs may be a better option if your dog can safely use them.
- Your space – Measure how high you need the stairs to be. Measure from the floor to the top of your bed, couch, car, etc, to determine how tall the stairs need to be. Then look at the size and health condition of your dog. Larger dogs should have a heavier weight stair and arthritic dogs will need a shorter stair height or ramp. You’ll also want to look at the space you have to put the stairs in. Some stairs are wider to make them more stable, but that means they’ll take up more room. If you have a small space, you may consider a lightweight, portable set of stairs that you can move out of the way when not in use.
- Your dog’s ability – Talk to your veterinarian to determine if your dog is healthy enough and has the mobility for stairs first. If your pup has arthritis or other orthopedic issues, they may suggest a ramp instead. Your vet may also recommend a safe and proper stair height for smaller dogs.
- Your friends and family – You may also consult friends or family that have used dog stairs and even test out their models if possible. Otherwise, online reviews will tell you a lot about the durability, weight, and ease of use of a particular dog stair product.
How Much Do They Cost?
Dog stairs are similar to any other furniture in your home – they have a wide range of cost based on size, material, design, and durability. If your bullmastiff needs robust steps that will get him into your large truck, that’ll naturally be a vastly different cost than a Yorkie that needs the assistance to get into bed with you. However, when you take out the outliers of extremes, the chances are you can expect to spend between $80-200 on a good set of steps.
Our Methodology: Why Trust Pet News Daily
As a veterinarian, I’ve seen a lot of problems with dogs’ hips that can be mitigated or helped by having a robust set of steps or stairs. Between my discussions with other veterinarians and pet owners, I’ve seen plenty of evidence to support this, and combined with my own experience, I know just what features you’ll need and which you’ll love. – Dr. Chyrle Bonk, DVM
The Best Dog Stairs and Steps: Full Reviews
The Pet Studio Pine Frame Dog RampSteps features all the best features in dog stairs. The solid wood design and 130-pound weight capacity means that, unless you have a giant breed your dog can use this ramp. (And really, if your giant breed dog wants on the couch, he simply needs to sit.) This folds compactly and is easily stored under your bed or in a closet and the carpet prevents any slipping.
And as if the steps themselves weren’t a solid enough investment, the risk of your dog not trusting steps is all the more mitigated by their ability to convert into a ramp. That way your pup won’t need to worry about his step at all and you’ll appreciate that you can offer your pup options based on his comfort.
- Convertible to ramp
- 2 or 3 stair option
- Solid and beautiful wood design
- Carpet isn’t removable
- Does not fold flat
Your favorite thing about the Best Choice Products Foldable Adjustable, Non-Slip Wide Wooden Pet Stairs may be its low-cost, but that’s far from the only thing worth praise. The carpet flows from one step to the next so that your dog won’t slip on his up and down jaunt and the sticky leg pads will prevent slipping and scuffing on even the most slippery floors. You can adjust the height from 16.1″ to 19.1″ so you can use it for anything from a an outdoor dog bed to a dog couch or even a car.
The MDF and solid wood design ensures there is no give on these steps and that means even your big dog will appreciate them, but the weight capacity is only 85 pounds, so bear that in mind. You’ll also have the option for a taller set of stairs that feature four steps rather than three.
- Foldable for storage
- Adjustable height
- 3 or 4 step options
- Carpet isn’t removable
- 85lb weight limit
The Pet Gear Chocolate Easy Step III is a perfect option if you’re looking for a way to help your dog get in and out of bed each night. The normal bed height is around 25 inches and these stairs top out at that exact measurement. You’ll be able to slide them up against the foot of your bed, or along the side and access suddenly becomes a worry-free occurrence. Even clean-up is a cinch with these; the nonslip carpet on each step is removable and can be simply tossed into the washer.
These stairs also include rubber grips on the bottom to prevent them from sliding across your hardwood floors as your pet uses them and each step is six inches, making them the ideal step for your dog. Assembly is just a few snaps of putting the sides together and in less than 5 minutes, they’re ready to use.
- Perfect bed height
- 2 color options
- Removable tread is machine washable
- 16″ may be too narrow for large dogs
- Does not fold or flatten
The beauty of the Silly Millie Folding Portable Dog Steps is multifaceted. Not only will you be able to use these steps for your dog to gain easy access to your car, but you’ll also be able to use this step stool just about anywhere. It folds so compactly, though, that you may just leave it under the seat, stored completely out of the way. It holds up to 300-lbs so you won’t have any trouble standing on it yourself to reach the top of your car to load your cargo carrier.
At over 21″ wide, even your large breed dog will be comfortable climbing up it, and with the convenient carrying handle, it’s the epitome of portability. Take it with you as you travel and your pup will appreciate those bye-byes even better.
- One hand open and close design
- Lightweight design, 5.75 lbs
- Waterproof; easy to clean
- Lightweight means dogs may not like the give
- Handle sometimes sticks with folding/unfolding
The Pawnotch Adjustable Pet Ramp is a sturdy ramp that will give your pup an alternative to steps or stairs that he may appreciate. If he’s getting older and it’s time to make some accommodations for his sore joints, this ramp can certainly help him maintain his independence and mobility. And anything that prolongs your dog’s quality of life is a big win. The nonslip carpet will make sure that as he uses it he is safe.
It won’t slip on hardwood or tile, either – its feet feature nonskid rubber pads that also prevent any scratching should it get scooted. – Not that it will move much, the durable and hearty design of solid wood leaves this ramp weighing in at 18 pounds. You can store it flat when it’s not in use, but because of the heft, you probably won’t transport it too regularly.
- 14″ – 24″ Adjustable
- Non-slip carpet
- 6 height adjustments
- Paw traction is not removable
- Heavy – 18 lbs
Frequently Asked Questions
If the reason for dog stairs and steps is exercise related and you’re particularly concerned about your dog’s weight, we have a series of resources on that topic as well that you might find helpful. Our puppy size calculator can let you know how big your dog is likely to be, our list of human foods dogs can’t eat can help you figure out what’s safe to feed your dog, our dog sizes by weight chart can help you identify different inflection points in your dog’s growth, and our collection of breed-specific growth charts can help you get a better sense of the average goldendoodle weight, average great dane weight, average golden retriever weight, average chihuahua weight, or average labrador weight.
Pet News Daily uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.