Why does my dog struggle with stairs?

September 4, 2020 0

Stairs are a major issue for many dogs. Today we are looking at a few ways you can help your dog conquer these mountains they need to climb, safely and confidently
1. Grip.
If your steps are linoleum, tile or hardwood they might be too slippery, especially when your dog is bounding up and down them. One wrong step & your pup could slip and tumble. This may already have happened and your dog now has some confidence issues when approaching stairs
Solution: Add stick on stair tread to each step to prevent poor grip, loud noise and slippage.

2. Slings or a help em up harness.
Larger dogs often experience hip or joint problems as they get older making stairs difficult for them to navigate. When going up the stairs, dogs shift their weight onto their hind quarters making stair climbing a painful activity.
Solution:  Help take the weight off your dog’s hind legs by using a dog sling or even better a help em up harness! These support their hind, keeping weight off painful and dysfunctional hips, lower back and hind limb joints.  A towel is a cheap but inefficient option, whereas a harness can stay on your dog at all times and be available for sudden slips and slides.

  1. A fearful or insecure dog.
    Many dogs weren’t desensitized as a pup, so they are unsure and lack confidence about new and uncertain situations.

Solution: There is an excellent possibility that your dog’s love of food or toys, or even you will outweigh their fear of stairs. Place their food bowl next to the stairs. If they eat without hesitation, move the bowl to the first step the next night. Keep up the pattern until your dog is confidently climbing the stairs to reach their dinner. You might need to stay on one step for a few days in a row before they’re ready to move.
4. Pain and dysfunction.

Some medical issues can make stairs extra tough. Symptoms may be invisible on flat ground. However, once your dog climbs up the stairs, they can be easily spotted and it might be time to visit your vet, rehab specialist and chiropractor. ⠀⠀⠀
As a chiropractor I will assess to see why they are struggling with the stairs and how can we help them manage them better. Not only will this improve their symptoms but it will address the underlying cause of their refusal. Improving mobility, decreasing interference in nervous system, correcting compensation patterns and managing chronic conditions are all part of chiropractic care of dogs.


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Copyright by Dr. Michele Broadhurst 2020. All rights reserved.

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