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Discussion Starter #1
11 year old Buddy is starting to struggle to hop in and out of the outside dog door. We have it set up high to keep critters out.

What would be better for a senior dog, a ramp or stairs up?

He does just fine the few steps to the house.
 

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i would do a ramp without a lot of angle. i also would use a harness
or sorts to support my dog when going up and down a ramp, steps
or general walking.
 

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It depends on his weight. I was just looking for something to get my golden into the car, he is a big boy and I can't lift him anymore:( None of the stairs covered his weight(unless your making them). I ended up with a ramp, that he won't use:crazy:
 

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I have a 13 year old dog (small dog) and he goes up and down stairs every day getting off our deck and they are getting to be a bit of a struggle. If your dog would use a ramp, it would be easier on his joints.
 

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Definitely ramp in my opinion. I'd mount it with hinges so I could fold it up against the door when not in use.

 

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I've had my dog ramp over 15 years, it's been used by many of the elderly/infirmed Hooligans during this time (and by me when my knee got injured). The young guys and the older ones without issues use the stairs/ramp, whichever is closer, but the ones with problems always have used the ramp. With this unscientific observation in mind, I suggest you build a ramp for your pup!!!
 

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A ramp will be easier on them, physically. My last elderly dog got to where he couldn't manage a stair near the end.

But, it was really tough getting him to use the ramp at first. I went through a few of them before I got one wide enough that he felt safe on it. I'm not a very proficient trainer, though, so that's probably partially my bad.
 

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I don't have a senior dog, but I do have some experience with ramps. I've found that there are two issues that may inhibit a dog from wanting to use a ramp:

  1. Traction
  2. Stability/flexibility (of the ramp)
The ramp MUST have excellent traction. I recommend non-skid self adhesive strips that you can buy at Lowes. They are kind of pricy, but they are VERY grippy.

The ramp must not flex or feel unstable under the dog. If using plywood, be sure to brace it with dimensional lumber, or metal.

...From there, it should not be difficult to get the dog to use it.
 

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Definitely ramp in my opinion. I'd mount it with hinges so I could fold it up against the door when not in use.

COOL Picture!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks so much for all the replies. I'm saving them to share with my husband when he gets home from work.
 

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i would do a ramp without a lot of angle. i also would use a harness
or sorts to support my dog when going up and down a ramp, steps
or general walking.
I would agree w/ this. Daisy once she got used to the ramp was ok but sometimes positioning was an issue and a harness that supports underneath the dog positioned in front of the back legs would have been helpful and would have steadied her which would have made her more secure. Wildos point re traction is really important our new ramo for the car doesnt have it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
This is for a dog door to the outside. For when we are not around, so a harness wouldn't be practical.

He doesn't seem to have a problem with the two steps we have on the front door or the two steps down to the computer room inside... It is just jumping in the dog door and have only noticed it seems to be getting harder for him first thing in the mornings and we wanted to make things a little easier for him. :)
 

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For my senior with spondylosis I built a long ramp and small landing up to my back door. The doggie door was set a bit high the since the landing is a few inches lower than the floor is on the inside. This made it difficult for him to go in or out since the step down was a few inches lower than the floor. I then built a small portable low rise ramp to set on the landing to make it easier for him to go through the doggie door. He only needed about 4 inches lift and I have to say it made all the difference in the world for him. Shadow has passed and he enjoyed the ramp for 3 years. The ramp is still functional and my other dogs love it!
 
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