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JustDucky

Pet Steps/Ramp

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We have a nearly 13 year old standard poodle.  He is almost blind and although still quite agile, he is fearful of getting into and out of the trailer.  To be more clear, he won't do it.  We've always had a class B and perhaps he's just not used to it.  Without being able to see, I think he believes he's walking into a black hole.  His footing isn't too sure on the steps and his feet have a tendency to slide to the back of the steps and into nothing when he does try to climb in.  The alternative is lifting a 55 pound dog into the trailer.  I've been doing that and even though I'm developing some muscle, it isn't the ideal method.  Does anyone else have this issue and have you purchased steps or a ramp for your dog?  Or maybe figured out a homemade remedy?  I've researched some and it seems a ramp would need to be about 8 feet long in order to make the slope one he could handle.  So then I go back to the steps and it's back and forth and so on until I become decision paralyzed. Any suggestions appreciated!

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We're actually getting close to needing something ourselves and I'm curious to hear if anyone has any suggestions. 

 

Brady (13yo border collie) has some issues with his back end. Most of the time he "forgets" and races around like a lunatic without any trouble, but stairs are becoming an issue, and that first step into our TT is rather high. Plus sometimes the back legs don't talk to the front and he goes a bit wonky, and I don't want him to hurt himself.

 

We temporarily solved the problem recently by using a random box, but I'm thinking a better solution needs to be found.

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Kassie had no problem going up and down the steps of our TT, but she is terrified of our moho steps.  And in the past year she's developed arthritis in one of her hind legs.  Thankfully she's less than 20 pounds, so we can carry her up and down.  I can't imagine having this problem with a 50+ pound dog.

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From what I read from OP, it sounds like some simple stair treads would help if sliding on the step is a problem.  We've been through several sets of the carpet-like covers that fasten with a spring under each step.  Gives everyone a better sense of grip going in or out.  Last Christmas we parked across from a couple who had built a level platform with 3-4 steps going toward the rear of their RV.  A  railing around the platform made it safer.  The whole thing came apart into 3-4 pieces and stored on a small trailer they towed.

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We have an old , 94 lb. lab who has terrible arthritis and we live on the water where he has to climb stairs everyday. We have found that rubber backed throw rugs at the beginning and end of the stairs helps him get some traction. He also requires a lot of light so he can see where he's going. It's so hard getting him in and out of the car to go to the vet, that we haven't tried taking him in the motorhome.

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Not knowing your exact situations, height of the trailer/rv, how many steps, width of the steps, etc... they all sound a little different.

 

There is a sling that goes underneath the dog, comes up the sides and has handles. Kind of like one of those canvas carries you use to bring firewood in from the yard.   You climb the stairs next to the dog and lift to help then feel confidant and take some of the weight off their legs.

 

One site lists them from $15 to $25.  Of course your step may be way too narrow for you and the pooch.

 

What about some sort of portable lifting platform?

 

I did a quick google search, there is a Genie lifting device.  Looks like a hand truck with fork lift arms and you crank it up and down.  Should be easy enough to build a little platform for the forks to go under, then just raise the platform from ground level to the doorway.  Again, since I don't know specs, I didn't do in depth research. 

 

Have you checked the Instructables web site?

 

http://www.instructables.com/

 

People show off what they have designed and built on there, usually they also have complete instructions.  Someone might've already tackled this problem and came up with a solution.

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We're actually getting close to needing something ourselves and I'm curious to hear if anyone has any suggestions. 

 

Brady (13yo border collie) has some issues with his back end. Most of the time he "forgets" and races around like a lunatic without any trouble, but stairs are becoming an issue, and that first step into our TT is rather high. Plus sometimes the back legs don't talk to the front and he goes a bit wonky, and I don't want him to hurt himself.

 

We temporarily solved the problem recently by using a random box, but I'm thinking a better solution needs to be found.

I made these to help my wife get in and out of the PUP.  The top step originally hade about a 6 or 7 inch drop.  We tried them over Memorial Day and they worked out great.

 

SK7FXGUl.jpg

 

It was a quick down and dirty build.  I used whatever scraps of 2x4 and plywood I had lying around.  My full sheet of plywood was buried in the back of the shed and would've taken me longer to dig out than make the boxes.

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Excellent ideas!  I had not thought of Instructables...that's a great website.  And the steps might work.  Will study up and let you know what we come up with.  Thanks, fiends!

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http://www.instructables.com/id/Inexpensive-Doggie-Ramp/

 

someone had tackled it indeed!  Looks like a pretty good idea.  Will try it out soon so we have time to train our dog before we leave on July 5.  You can teach an old dog new tricks, right?

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we have ramps in each room of our house.  both couches and the bed have them.  i had to put a night light at the end of the bed because at night it was too dark for louise to use it.  she is much better not that the light is there. mh---well, we just lift them in and out.  but, my girls are under 17 lbs.  i know the pig guy uses a ramp for the pig to go in and out of his mh.

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http://www.instructables.com/id/Inexpensive-Doggie-Ramp/.%C2'> Made this today in a couple of hours after a trip to Home Depot.  Now it is laying in our living room so Steve (that's what happens when you let the kids name the dog!) can get used to it.  Tomorrow we'll start trying to train him to use it.  If I am able to, I'll get a picture of him on it and post it.  This is super easy and very light weight.  Thanks again for the help!

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Oops...sorry.  I didn't realize I couldn't post a link!  But you can find the ramp at instructables.com.  Just look for doggie ramp. 

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Made this today in a couple of hours after a trip to Home Depot.  Now it is laying in our living room so Steve (that's what happens when you let the kids name the dog!) can get used to it.  Tomorrow we'll start trying to train him to use it.  If I am able to, I'll get a picture of him on it and post it.  This is super easy and very light weight.  Thanks again for the help!

 

Awesome!!  And I love that your dog's name is Steve.

 

I let DH name one of our fosters once.  He named him Dave.  8)

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Awesome!!  And I love that your dog's name is Steve.

 

I let DH name one of our fosters once.  He named him Dave.  B)

HAHA!  I suppose it could be worse, right?  Our youngest had never had the pleasure of naming the dog and reminded us of that.  He claims Steve is named after Stephen Hawking....but I think it's probably Steven Seagal.  Another of our dogs, Chuck, was named by the oldest after Chuck Norris.  And my first dog out of college was named Falk after Peter Falk.  That was a mistake.  Standing in the back yard and calling his name got some rather odd looks from neighbors who were not quite sure of what they were hearing.  Eventually, he learned to come to "here boy."

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HAHA!  I suppose it could be worse, right?  Our youngest had never had the pleasure of naming the dog and reminded us of that.  He claims Steve is named after Stephen Hawking....but I think it's probably Steven Seagal.  Another of our dogs, Chuck, was named by the oldest after Chuck Norris.  And my first dog out of college was named Falk after Peter Falk.  That was a mistake.  Standing in the back yard and calling his name got some rather odd looks from neighbors who were not quite sure of what they were hearing.  Eventually, he learned to come to "here boy."

That's great!

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HAHA!  I suppose it could be worse, right?  Our youngest had never had the pleasure of naming the dog and reminded us of that.  He claims Steve is named after Stephen Hawking....but I think it's probably Steven Seagal.  Another of our dogs, Chuck, was named by the oldest after Chuck Norris.  And my first dog out of college was named Falk after Peter Falk.  That was a mistake.  Standing in the back yard and calling his name got some rather odd looks from neighbors who were not quite sure of what they were hearing.  Eventually, he learned to come to "here boy."

 

OMG those are awesome!! 

 

Oddly enough I'm ok with either Hawking or Seagal. 8)

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Perhaps "Pete" would have been a better choice LOLOL.

 

 And my first dog out of college was named Falk after Peter Falk.  That was a mistake.  Standing in the back yard and calling his name got some rather odd looks from neighbors who were not quite sure of what they were hearing.  Eventually, he learned to come to "here boy."

We had problems with our old dog - a 70-lb dalmatian.  I could help him get down the steps, but couldn't manage to lift him back in.  Found it a lot easier to fold the steps up tho instead of trying to lift over them.  We debated on getting a ramp, but for one, humans can't walk on them (or not the ones we were looking at anyway).  We ended up having to just leave him at home and have one of the kids come stay at the house while we were out.  That didn't work so well either.  We are just now seeing problems in our girl, who will be 15 in July.  We talked about replacing the 3-step setup with a 4-step one, but haven't done that as yet.  We just kind of let her work the front end and help with the back legs for now. 

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...Found it a lot easier to fold the steps up tho instead of trying to lift over them. 

 

Good point! Brady weighs around 48 lbs and even that's tough when you're trying to lift him not just up, but over.

 

We're still looking at some options, but I think we'll be ok this year if we get a sturdy "box" of some kind to shorten the distance up to that first step. As long as we aim him at the middle of the steps and make sure he's going up slowly, he's still doing ok.  It's when he's not paying attention and forgets he can't just race up them like he could 10 years ago that he tends to get in trouble.

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No photos but I did want to pass on that Steve has been practicing with the ramp getting into our Chevy tracker and he is doing very well! Soon we will graduate to getting him into the truck and finally the trailer.  That is going to have the greatest climbing angle.  We are progressing well.

 

You all have been so helpful, I have another question...for all you southeast/east coast/upper midwest residents regarding flea and tick control.  When we lived in Michigan I always used Sentinel for heartworm and fleas.  Now I understand deer ticks are a major problem in many places and we are planning a trip back to the midwest and east before we hit the Fort in October.  Does anyone have a recommendation for tick control?  Want to make sure I'm killing the right tick!  We live in Arizona now and fleas and ticks aren't really much of a problem.  It's actually too hot and dry here.  Fleas especially, can't stand the dryness.  thanks for any advice!

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Glad to hear Steve is adapting well to his ramp!

 

Here in New England the ticks have become a huge problem - and in particular the nasty, Lyme disease-carrying deer ticks.  :(

 

Our gang is mostly in our yard and not tromping around out "in the wild" very often and normally we just rely on frequent tick checks to catch the little buggers before they've been on too long.  However this year even the number of ticks in our yard appears to be up, and they've decided Brady is particularly delicious.  I'm currently using the herbal preventive Sentry Natural Defense on him and it seems to be helping.  I'm leery of putting anything stronger on him as he's 13 and already has all kinds of lumpy bits.

 

We thankfully don't have a flea problem here (knock wood) and the only time we have issues with fleas is when we go to Florida.  For that, they each get a dose of Advantix before we leave and that seems to do the trick. We used to use Frontline, but were still finding live ticks on our dogs.

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I use the generic Frontline - but only a couple times a year, and wait about 5-6 weeks between applications.  Patti isn't vaccinated against Lyme's Disease, doesn't have fleas but I'm concerned about the ticks.  We are actually kind of staying out of the woods a bit more this year because of all the bad reports. 

 

Mo I think I remember reading that the ticks were becoming immune to the Frontline!  Wonder if the ticks are too?

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Could be, Karen!

 

We're down to just one dose of Advantix for our gang, but when we used flea/tick stuff regularly, we also stretched it to 5-6 weeks.  If you go digging through the manufacturer info, even they will say that it's effective that long.  (FWIW we do the same with heartworm meds)

 

I have friends that have had good luck with the herbal sprays, but the downside is you have to reapply frequently.  Doesn't hurt the dog, just a bit of a pain to remember to do it.

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I worked in  veterinary medicine when we lived in Michigan but that was quite a few years ago...2008.  Just trying to make sure i protect against the ticks.  I have some Frontline.  According to their literature, the darn stuff has a half life of uranium-235 so I will probably just use that up.  Thanks for the advice.

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Just be cautious, folks...

 

I can't post the link but look up Bangor Daily News with title "EPA Issues Warning for Flea Treatment."  YIKES!

 

And....my bad!  A tempest in a teapot.  The article, even though published TODAY in the Bangor paper is actually six YEARS old.  sheesh.  The results of the EPA study were largely labeling recommendations due to misuse.  So I learn to look before I leap and open my big mouth!

Edited by JustDucky

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