Can Your Dog Safely Walk Up Stairs?
This is a general question with different answers depending on the dog and the type of stairs.
We, humans, have countless different types of stairs we use, and some dogs will have a much harder time ‘climbing’ these stairs than others.
An adult human thinks of a standard set of carpeted stairs, the type most would have in the standard home, as something we ‘walk’ up.
These carpeted stairs are normally soft and created for the human leg in mind, enabling us to simply ‘step’ up them.
Escalating a set of stairs is very natural for us, but not always natural for a dog.
Whereas we simply ‘step’ up these stairs, dogs do something much closer to actual climbing.
Exited dogs sometimes try to run up these stairs, which can easily create a slippery hazard in the case of outside decks.
This can be especially hazardous during the winter if your deck is built on a second level.
Normally dogs won’t slip and fall (four legs provide extra traction), as long as these stairs aren’t wet and there is a railing on each side.
They can bang their legs against the steps, however, which can cause injury.
Older dogs tend to endure joint issues caused by eroding tissue (i.e. arthritis), which can make climbing, not ‘walking up’, stairs very uncomfortable.
Senior dogs may have issues with depth perception, limited mobility, or balance issues. Lighting up the stairs with indoor night light, or providing an outdoor porch light will improve visibility for navigating the steps.
Carry Your Dog
If you have any misgivings about allowing your dog or puppy to climb or descend the stairs, simply pick them up and carry them instead. If you cant physically carry your dog, be sure that everything he needs is on the main floor of your home and theres no need to use stairs at all.