The Dog Steps

Since we put this picture on the web we have had quite a few requests asking about how the steps were made. I had lost the "plans" for the steps that were posted to the golden list quite a while ago by Elizabeth Tolson (thanks Elizabeth!) so had to go from memory - and lots of improvising - to build these!

Note: 10/14/03 - Eureka! Someone just let me know where the original idea for the steps came from! It was a lady by the name of Lisa Auen who designed and created them for her senior dog! Thanks Lisa! Your plans have helped lots of dogs and their humans.

We had tried a dog ramp but the dogs hated it and flatly refused to use it. Since I drive a Suburban getting the senior dogs into the vehicle requires lifting them up. We have several goldens that weigh close to 100 pounds so lifting them is back-breaking at best!

They all use these steps without a problem both getting into and out of the vehicle. While the steps are bulky, they are very lightweight and fit into the Suburban without a problem. I still need to make a cover for them but as you see, we are using them as is right now.

Here's how we made our steps:

First thing you need to do is decide how high the steps have to be. In my case I needed them to be between 16" and 20" high. I also wanted them to be deep enough so a large dog could easily stand on them (as you see in the picture Tiffany is standing on the first step. She weighs 70 pounds). Making the steps around 16" deep worked well.

I went to Home Depot and purchased six 2' x 4' x 2" thick Styrofoam insulation panels. Believe they were about $5 each. We left the width of the panels as is (2 foot). The panels need to be cut so that you have 4 panels that are 33" long, and 4 panels that are 16" long. That's assuming you want the steps to be the same height as mine. You can modify the height to suit your needs. Each step winds up being 8" high which is quite easy for our most senior and arthritic dogs to handle. They wind up having the two steps plus one step up into the vehicle.

I purchased a spray adhesive at a local auto supply store which I used to glue the panels together. I put heavy things on top of the steps and let them dry overnight.

If you decide to make the steps please let me know how your dog (or dogs) enjoyed them!

Helen T. Redlus

People are always asking what to use to cover these steps. Well Karla and Bob Forney sent me the picture at left (and one below) of how their dog steps look finished with brown Astro-turf. Pretty darn nifty.

Here's Karla and Bob's year old rescue golden Dillon using the steps to get up on HIS bed!

Thanks Karla and Bob for sending the photos and allowing us to put them on the web.