“ Brand: Manufactured for Good Ideas / Type: Steps to assist elderly dogs „
Three Steps To Heaven!
I have a lovely little Shih Tzu dog called Molly who is now over a decade in years. She is fit and healthy and has no medical issues, except for being a little bit stiff when she wakes up from her sleep. My daughter, who is a vet, told me to try to minimise the number of times that I allow her to jump on and off items of furniture, as this places stress on the joints which bear the impact of these leaps!
Molly loves to jump on my bed in the morning to wake me up, and also enjoys a snooze on my chairs in the lounge during the day. She, therefore does these leaps with regularity, and of course if she is asleep and the postman arrives it is even worse, as she places no thought on her landing position as she is intent on reaching the mail before I do!
So I set about looking for something which I could use to make climbing on and off items less of a challenge for her. I wanted to move quickly on my purchase, before her arthritis worsened and the condition lead onto an inability to perform her favourite jumps and had a negative affect on her lifestyle.
Amazon was the place I looked first, and here I discovered two possible steps for use to bridge the gap between floor and bed/settee/car. I wanted something which looked attractive, and there was only one which fitted this criteria and that was a product called "Deluxe Doggy Steps." These retail for just under £25 and are supplied in flat pack form. You have to construct them, and when made they provide three steps which allow the dog to comfortably reach any of his or her normal items of furniture.
Ordering was easy and the steps arrived within days, and postage was free. The parcel even included a free gift, in my case I was treated to a wind up torch, which I have actually found very useful! I have included some photographs over on Ciao, where this review also appears, which illustrate how easy it was to construct the steps. I was very pleased about this as I am not technically minded, and was able to complete this task within minutes. The steps do not require any tools to build, and when made have a removable sheepskin style cover, which not only looks lovely but also goes into the washing machine. The steps look great, even without the cover, as they have paw prints on them!
The steps measure 46 by 36 by 31cms and are extremely lightweight, only weighing 1.27kgs. This I have found to be a bonus as I move them around the house according to the time of day. I have found this height to be perfect for Molly to use when trying to ascend to our bed, though if you have a high bedstead then I think these may not be suitable. I measured up carefully before I purchased these to ensure that they were going to be safe, as of course a high jump from the last step could be very dangerous.
Molly was very sceptical about these at first. Shih Tzus are notoriously stubborn, and even more so at her age, and she began to bypass them trying to ascend onto her favourite chair from an angle in order to avoid using them! I had to spend a long time with her putting her paws onto the bottom step to show her what to do, and it took several weeks of perseverance before she finally just decided to walk up them, and now uses them regularly without thinking. At first she was rather awkward in her stepping, and I began to wonder if I should have looked further to buy an alternative. There was another make of step which only had two steps, and these were higher and wider, but aesthetically they were not to my taste, especially as I needed them in the lounge and bedroom. Eventually, however, the smaller steps were not a problem for Molly, who has become accustomed to the depth and knows exactly where to put her paws.
Now some dog experts will say you should avoid letting animals onto furniture and beds - and I am sure they are right! However, it makes me smile to hear my vet daughter talking to me on the phone, with her golden retriever lying on the settee next to her! I'm sure she doesn't tell her clients to do that! Having said that these steps are not for big breeds like hers, they are intended for small dogs so would be perfect for breeds including King Charles Spaniels, Yorkies, and Westies etc. I think they would also be perfect for elderly and infirm cats too.
I think another advantage of these steps would be if an owner was themselves disabled in some way, as it avoids the bending and picking up needed if their small dog was also advancing in years.
I have been so impressed with these steps. They are inexpensive, well made, lightweight, easy to assemble, and moreover they are aesthetically pleasing to the eye. The cover removes with ease for washing and you can freshen it up as often as you like with a dip in the washing machine. Being so lightweight you can move them around very easily, even taking them outside to the car if your dog has difficulty climbing in an out. They are perfect for any dog that is advancing in their years and wishes to reach their home comforts more safely.
This review is also published on Ciao under my user name there Violet1278.