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Are dogs allowed to climb stairs? – these are the Go’s & No Go’s!

Ob ein Hund Treppen steigen darf oder nicht wird viel diskutiert. Für welche Hunde es tabu ist & was du beachten solltest, erfährst du hier!

Whether dogs are allowed to climb stairs is one of the frequent questions I am asked. It is a topic that is much discussed among dog owners and for many there is only black or white. There it is then said that climbing stairs for dogs is basically harmful and to be avoided. Because climbing stairs inevitably leads to arthrosis, back problems, etc. in our four-legged friends. But can you leave it like that? Dog stairs

Is climbing stairs as harmful to dogs as they always say? Dog stairs

I can tell you right now that from my perspective as a dog physiologist, there is no answer that is black or white. Let’s start with puppies. This is probably the most contentious issue. Anyone who has ever seen an X-ray of a puppy’s skeleton knows that the musculoskeletal system in young dogs is actually still quite “unfinished”. Conversely, this therefore also means that I should basically make sure that the activities are adapted to the unfinished skeleton. Therefore, a dog should not run on a bicycle until it is fully grown. When it comes to climbing stairs, I also recommend introducing the young dog to the topic of climbing stairs during the first seven months or so of life. Still, I think it is harmful for a puppy to climb stairs several times a day at this age.

So this means: in the first months of life, you should introduce the puppy to the topic of climbing stairs, so that he will later walk stairs safely and confidently. But I consider regular stair climbing to the 3rd floor quite borderline in the first 7 months or so of life. However, if a young dog runs up and down a few stairs every now and then, this is more likely not to cause joint problems for him.

Will the dog be allowed to climb stairs when he is an adult?

Step one for me personally is that I think it’s important for dogs to walk up and down stairs slowly, not more or less.

If you introduce a young dog to it step by step, it usually works quite well. From my own experience, however, it is not so easy, for example, with dogs from animal welfare, some of which simply do not know stairs. Often they are afraid and stair climbing is then completed rather frantically in order to get it over with. It basically helps the dog if you lead him – and on a leash. If a dog has to walk stairs regularly and this is difficult for him, then you should definitely consult a dog trainer.

But is it harmful if my dog has to climb stairs regularly? Dog stairs

Here I distinguish a little between running up stairs and running down stairs. When dogs walk up a flight of stairs slowly, you can even use that well as a little training. When dogs run down stairs, their body weight rests quite awkwardly on their front legs. The load is quite high due to the posture.

However, many dog owners do not live on the first floor and the dog must regularly cope with stairs. If you live on the 1st floor, I don’t find that dramatic either. If the dog several times a day in the 3. or If I have to walk up to the 4th floor, then I see that as a considerable strain on the joints. Especially when dogs then get older, this can become an insurmountable obstacle. Dog stairs

If you have stairs in your home and don’t want your dog to run up and down them uncontrollably, a baby gate can often help. This way you can control exactly when and how often your dog runs the stairs.

What about stair walking if my dog already has joint problems?

Then I am quite critical of the subject. I am aware that it cannot always be avoided in daily life. But for a dog with elbow arthritis, walking down stairs is rather harmful and can be painful. Also dogs with back problems often have difficulties and it is painful for them.

Conclusion on how to walk on stairs with dog dog stairs

In principle, dogs are allowed to run stairs. If a dog suffers from joint problems, it is rather harmful. Even young dogs should not run stairs uncontrollably, but should be introduced to the subject. It’s also no drama if a puppy runs up and down a few stairs.

In a healthy, adult dog, the healthy balance is crucial for me. Having to walk up and down to the 5th floor 3 times a day is not something I think makes sense. In a normal measure, for example, in the 1. or 2nd floor, however, I think it’s absolutely fine. Basically, it’s great when dogs run stairs as slowly and controlled as possible.

Dog stairs dog stairs dog stairs dog stairs dog stairs dog stairs


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