We’ve all heard the sound of our dogs pounding up and down the stairs, but should we be concerned about the impact that stairs could have on their health, and are stairs harmful to cavapoos?
Yes, stairs can be harmful to cavapoos. This is especially true when they are young puppies and also when they enter their senior years.
In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of dogs using stairs, as well as some tips for keeping them safe and comfortable while doing so.
- What Goes Up…
- … Must Come Down
- Investigating The Ups And Downs
- Carpet vs Wood
- Cavapoos That Are Scared of Stairs
- Puppies and Stairs
- Dogs That Are Prone to Stiffness
- Can Cavapoos Safely Climb Stairs?
- How Can I Make Stairs Easier For My Dog?
- What Are The Risks of Cavapoos Using Stairs?
- At What Age Can Puppies Safely Climb Stairs?
- What Should I Do if My Dog Falls Down the Stairs?
- Wrapping Up
What Goes Up…
Most dogs find it easy to go upstairs.
They may follow their owners, search for a favorite toy, or claim a spot on the bed.
However, it is important to consider the potential risks associated with stairs.
Factors such as weight, range of motion, and agility can affect a dog’s ability to climb stairs safely.
Additionally, ensuring proper visibility and control can help prevent accidents.
… Must Come Down
When dogs rush down the stairs, they are often in a hurry to get somewhere, triggered by the doorbell, the promise of dinner, or the suggestion of a walk.
However, this rush can lead to injuries such as sprains, bruises, fractures, broken bones, and even worse.
Dogs with injuries or weak knees are especially vulnerable to falling down the stairs and suffering from head injuries or other serious injuries.
For these reasons, it is important to ensure that your dog is safe when using the stairs and to take precautions to prevent any accidents from happening.
Investigating The Ups And Downs
Here is the low-down:
- Stairs can be challenging for dogs with joint issues, especially older dogs.
- Puppies may need extra caution when using stairs, as their joints are still developing and their bones have not fully grown yet.
- Dog stairs and ramps can be helpful modifications to make stairs safer for dogs.
- Following stair safety tips for dogs can help prevent accidents and injuries.
Monitor your dog’s behavior and health when using stairs and make necessary adjustments to ensure their safety and well-being.
Carpet vs Wood
When it comes to choosing between carpet and wood for your stairs, you need to consider your dog’s safety and comfort.
Carpeted stairs provide considerably more traction than bare wood stairs, making it easier for your dog to navigate them without slipping.
This applies to wooden floors as well, which can also be slippery for dogs, especially if they have long, untrimmed nails.
If you have bare wooden stairs, you can make life easier for your dog by carpeting them.
Pet-friendly non-slip stair treads are also available, which stick onto wooden stairs and give your dog extra traction as they go up and down.
This is what I did when my springer spaniel was very old and was having trouble going up and down the stairs.
It helped her tremendously.
You can get these strips on Amazon and they are really easy to install.
This can help prevent slips and falls, making it a safer option for your cavapoo.
Carpeted stairs can also have their drawbacks.
They can be more difficult to clean and maintain, and may not be as durable as wooden stairs.
The other thing is, if your dog has allergies, carpeted stairs may not be the best option as they can trap allergens.
Cavapoos That Are Scared of Stairs
Some dogs are scared of stairs, which is technically called ‘bathmophobia‘.
This fear can be caused by unfamiliarity or a bad experience on stairs.
Dogs who have grown up in a bungalow or single-story home may not be used to stairs, which can contribute to fear and uncertainty.
To help dogs overcome this fear, patience and positive reinforcement are key.
Rewarding them for coming near the stairs and helping them see that there’s nothing to be scared of can help build their confidence.
Be careful and do not force them to go up or down the stairs, as this can worsen their fear.
Puppies and Stairs
As a puppy, climbing stairs can be a daunting task.
While stairs represent a fun and exciting opportunity for exploration, they can also present hazards for young dogs.
Stairs can put excess strain on a puppy’s joints during the most formative phase of their life, in addition to presenting tripping and falling hazards.
It is recommended that puppies should be very closely supervised when they use the stairs.
If in doubt, ask your vet for advice and fit a stair gate at the bottom of the stairs.
If your puppy is of a portable size, sometimes the best solution is for you to simply carry them up the stairs.
Positive reinforcement training can be an effective way to teach young dogs how to navigate stairs safely.
Use positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats and praise, to encourage your puppy to climb the stairs.
Patience is key, and it is important to take things slowly and not rush the training process.
For a bit of extra joint and mobility support, you can give your puppy this supplement from Amazon: YuMOVE Joint Care for Young Dogs.
However, it is important to consult with your veterinarian before starting your puppy on any supplements or medications.
Dogs That Are Prone to Stiffness
As dogs age, they may experience stiffness in their joints, making it difficult for them to move around as easily as they used to.
This can be especially problematic when it comes to stairs, as going up and down can put extra pressure on their joints, particularly the hips.
One solution to help alleviate this issue is to use a stair gate to prevent your dog from accessing the stairs until you are around to supervise them.
Ramps can also be a helpful tool for dogs who have difficulty walking up steps.
Ready-made ramps are available for purchase, or you can find DIY solutions online.
If your dog is showing signs of stiffness, you may also want to consider adding a joint supplement to their diet.
Just like the puppy supplement, Amazon has one that is geared towards senior dogs.
YuMOVE Senior Dog Tablets is a high-strength formula that has been clinically proven to work in just six weeks.
This supplement can be especially helpful for dogs with medical issues such as arthritis or mobility issues.
Can Cavapoos Safely Climb Stairs?
The answer is not straightforward and depends on various factors, such as the dog’s age, and health condition.
Here are some things to think about:
- Climbing up and down stairs can be beneficial for healthy dogs. It can help them maintain their muscle strength and cardiovascular health.
- However, stairs can be harmful to dogs with certain health conditions. For example, older dogs with joint problems or arthritis may find it difficult and painful to climb stairs. Similarly, puppies may not have developed the necessary coordination and muscle strength to climb stairs safely.
- Proper training and supervision can help dogs climb stairs safely. It is essential to teach your dog to navigate stairs correctly and avoid running up or down the stairs. You can also make stairs easier for your dog by adding a non-slip surface or installing a ramp.
How Can I Make Stairs Easier For My Dog?
If your cavapoo has trouble navigating stairs, there are a few things you can do to make it easier for them.
Here are some tips to make stairs easier for your dog:
- Add traction: Carpeting or non-slip stair treads can make it easier for your dog to walk up and down stairs. This will provide more grip and prevent slipping, which can be especially helpful for older dogs or those with joint issues.
- Improve visibility: Better lighting is an extremely simple way to improve visibility and let your dog’s natural cautiousness kick in. This can help prevent falls and other issues.
- Take it slow: If your dog is new to stairs or has trouble with them, take it slow and let them go at their own pace. Encourage them with treats and praise, but don’t force them to go up or down if they’re not comfortable.
- Consider a ramp: If your dog struggles with stairs, consider getting a ramp to help them get up and down. This can be especially helpful for larger cavapoos or dogs with mobility issues.
By following these tips, you can make stairs easier and safer for your pooch.
Remember to always monitor your dog and consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns about their mobility or joint health.
What Are The Risks of Cavapoos Using Stairs?
While stairs are not inherently bad for dogs, there are some risks associated with dogs using stairs.
Here are some potential risks to consider:
- Joint problems: Dogs with joint problems, such as arthritis, may find it difficult and painful to climb stairs. This is especially true for older dogs, as their joints may have deteriorated over time.
- Injuries: Dogs can slip and fall on stairs just like humans can. This can result in anything from minor bruises to serious injuries, such as broken bones or spinal injuries. This risk is especially high for small-breed puppies who may lose their footing.
- Overexertion: Climbing stairs can be a strenuous activity for dogs, especially if they are not used to it. Overexertion can lead to exhaustion, dehydration, and other health issues.
- Behavioral issues: Some dogs may develop a fear of stairs, which can make it difficult for them to use them. This can lead to behavioral issues, such as anxiety or aggression.
Not all dogs will experience these risks.
But, be aware of them and take steps to minimize them when possible.
For example, if your dog has joint problems, you may want to limit their use of stairs or provide them with a ramp instead.
Additionally, providing adequate training and supervision can help reduce the risk of injuries and behavioral issues.
At What Age Can Puppies Safely Climb Stairs?
According to my research, most puppies can start climbing stairs when they are around 12 weeks old.
Something to consider is that all puppies need limited activity as their joints grow.
Therefore, it is recommended to carry puppies up and down stairs until they are old enough to do so safely.
When teaching your puppy how to climb stairs, it is important to do so gradually and safely.
Some puppies may be afraid of stairs, especially if they have had a negative experience in the past.
By training your puppy to climb stairs safely, you can avoid slips, trips, and falls, making the experience of climbing stairs much safer for them.
Always supervise your puppy when they are climbing stairs and make sure to teach them how to do so safely.
What Should I Do if My Dog Falls Down the Stairs?
If your dog falls down the stairs, your first step should be to check if they are injured.
Even if they seem fine, dogs are not always perceptive to pain and may not realize they are hurt until later.
If your dog is injured, veterinary care is recommended.
Help! My Dog Fell Off the Side of the Stairs!
If your dog falls off the side of the stairs, it can be a serious injury.
Dogs can suffer from spinal injuries or head trauma, which can be life-threatening.
It is important to prevent this scenario from happening by installing side rails on your stairs.
This happened to my friend’s dog. She fell off the side of the stairs right at the top.
She landed on her head and the injury was so severe that she had to be euthanized.
Don’t let this happen to your dog.
Navigating stairs can be challenging for some dogs, especially the young or those with joint issues.
As dog owners, it’s essential to understand our pets’ needs and adjust their environment accordingly.
Whether it’s adding traction to stairs, using pet gates, or opting for ramps, these changes ensure our dogs’ safety and comfort.
Through attentive care and training, we can provide a safe and happy environment for our cavapoos.