One of the main claims older dog owners make is that they suffer from joint diseases, such as arthritis and pain in the spine and hips. In addition to this category of dogs, the most likely to develop this type of disease is large and giant breed dogs. One way to prevent dogs from suffering from these pains is to avoid excessive physical exercise. And, if you live in a two-story house where dogs can roam freely, how should you manage these large-breed animals or those with comorbidities and help them climb the stairs? Check out important information and tips in this article.
Can Big Dogs Go Up And Down Stairs?
Yes, dogs of any breed can climb stairs as long as they are healthy adults. That is, they do not have any problems with their spine, paws, and joints. However, puppies are not recommended to climb stairs due to their skeleton not being fully formed. The pressure caused by the impact can result in severe and irreversible damage. For elderly dogs, it is also not recommended because as dog’s age, they lose part of their mobility with joint wear, making the simple task of climbing stairs impossible and painful. But, generally, if your dog is healthy and doesn’t show discomfort, he can go up and down stairs.
In addition to mobility problems or old age, did you know that dogs can also develop a phobia of stairs and a fear of heights? Which can make the process of going up and down more delicate, with severe risks of accidents. The fear of the unknown usually happens when dogs are still puppies because they are small and can be afraid to go up or down stairs. In addition, because they are anxious and less attentive, they can fall down the stairs in an attempt to climb them, and some traumas, such as a small drop, can also cause phobias. Be smart. The place recognition step for the dog is essential, and cursing the dog when he tries to go upstairs can lead him to associate the stairs with something negative, generating fear when he arrives near her. But if you don’t want him to walk up the stairs unsupervised, just put pet gates on the stairs, so you avoid accidents and keep the puppy safe. If putting physical barriers on the stairs isn’t an option, you can train him not to go up the stairs without the correct command. In these cases, it is essential to teach it to be patient. Little by little, it will learn to respect the stair.
However, sometimes we need to take our dogs to places that have stairs. When they are small, picking them up and going upstairs is an effortless task. But this task can be much more complicated when the dog is big.
How Do I Get My Large Dog Upstairs?
First, evaluate if your dog should stay upstairs, as you can make him comfortable on the ground floor. After all, carrying a large dog is not an easy task. It will require a particular skill. For this, leave a comfortable bed with water available. If your dog has a problem such as blindness, leave him in an environment where he will not get hurt, so you will be safe leaving him alone.
If you take your dog upstairs, place treats on the steps as favorable reinforcement. This way, you will encourage him to go up step by step. Repeat the procedure a few times until the dog understands that it is safe to climb stairs. In cases of dogs that have comorbidities or are very old, follow these tips:
- Wrap your arms around the dog: make sure you wrap both the hind and front limbs. It will increase the safety of transport.
- Lift the dog to the height of its stomach. This height will facilitate balance and will avoid accidents.
- Practice on the level ground several times until you feel safe and your dog is used to it;
- Go up step by step slowly, reaching the second floor, bend your knees and gently place the dog on the floor.
To go down the process is easier since you will have gravity as an ally. Just be careful to see the steps!
How Can I Carry My Large Dog?
Looking at these tips sounds easy. But be careful little. Stay tuned for setbacks and accidents. To be on the safe side, follow these tips:
- Don’t carry your dog incorrectly: never take him on the collar, by the back of the neck, or under the arms. It can cause severe risks to your dog and you.
- Just go up with it only when necessary: don’t go up and down all the time with your dog on your lap. In the long run, it can cause severe damage to your spine.
- Place carpets on the steps. It will prevent slipping accidents.
How Do You Move A Large Dog That Can’t Walk?
If your dog can’t walk or walks with great difficulty, don’t force him up. Keep in mind that this will do a lot of harm to his health, making the situation worse. There are solutions for these cases! Check out some of them:
- Harnesses for dogs: it is an adapted harness with a central attachment point that works like a winch.
- If your dog is small, it is also worth buying a transport crate to safely lift him up and down.
- Mats: they are made of durable materials. You can put the dog on top and, with the help of another person, pull him up. Just be careful when going down, as you need someone in front to avoid accidents.
A dog elevator is being developed, and if you have greater purchasing power, you can invest in a more durable object that will guarantee the dog’s well-being, avoiding accidents. A basket that holds even large dogs is the support for taking the dog upstairs.