Stairway to Heaven – Dog Stairs for Small Dogs

It’s amazing the number of times I’ve done something I said I would never do.

You can file letting the dog, in this case Miss T, on the bed into that particular category. Yep! Said I’d never do it and yet, I crawl onto the bed and there she is.  Assuming she didn’t beat me there of course.

Small Dog, Big Will

The fact of the matter is, Miss T can jump from the floor to the bed when she really wants to. I’ve seen her do it many times. The key phrase in that last statement is ‘when she really wants to’.  When she doesn’t she’ll stand on her back legs, her front paws on the top edge of the bed, giving me that “please pick me up” look. If that doesn’t work then I get the Jedi mind thing from her, commanding me to pick her up and put her on the bed. It’s hard, no, impossible to resist.  Most of the time? No big deal. I stop what I’m doing, pick her up and plop her down beside me on the bed. She only weighs 12 lbs so the effort isn’t an issue. But what is an issue is the timing of her requests.

Small Dog, Big Drinking Problem

On almost a nightly basis, Miss T jumps down off the bed and heads to the bathroom. No, she’s not potty trained. That’s where her water bowl resides.

More often than not she tromps over my sleeping body to get to the side of the bed where she can jump down. Which side is that? It’s which ever side causes her to have to crawl over me to get there. If she’s sleeping on the right side and I’m between her and the left side of the bed then she crawls over me to get to the left side. If she’s more to the left side and I’m between her and the right side then guess what? Yep, right over the top of Dave before jumping down and heading off to get her drink on. The most amazing part of all this is that somehow, during the night, she gains about sixty pounds. Or at least that’s what it feels like when she steps on me when on her way to the bathroom.

But that’s not the real problem. Its when she comes back. Now remember, she could jump back up in the bed if she wanted to. I’ve seen her do it. But apparently, after tanking up on water, she’s either too heavy for liftoff, or the sloshing sound in her belly is too disturbing to attempt a jump. So again, shes on her back legs, scratching on the side of the bed so I’ll wake up and put her back in the bed. Needless to say, I’m not a happy camper when awakened in the middle of a great sleep/dream.

Small Dog, Big Idea

Obviously, a solution was needed. Quickly!  Miss T needed to get back in bed after a night of drinking and I needed to sleep. If only she could get back in bed without having to high jump.

Then it hit me. Of course!! Stairs! She needs stairs to get on the bed! Brilliant!!

I searched Amazon and sure enough, dog stairs for small dogs! Problem solved.

Small Dog, Big Choice

Well… the problem was partially solved. Now I had to decide which stairs to buy.  Who knew there were so many different styles, sizes, colors and materials.

Some were stairs, some were ramps, some were a combination of stairs and ramps. Some were two steps, some three steps some four steps. A couple even had five steps. There were brown ones, black ones, white ones, and grey ones. Some were made of wood, some were made of plastic, some were made of foam. And of course some were combinations of these materials.

So many choices.

Small Dog, Big Decision Made

wooden dog stairs
Wooden Stairs

After considering all the options and considering which stairs the little princess would actually use, I finally decided on some Wooden Dog Stairs.  They seemed sturdy, matched the bedroom decor, and most importantly, looked nice.  I ordered them, got them shipped to me as promised and set them up against the bed. Then I had Little Miss T test them out. She approved. Finally, I was going to get a night of mostly uninterrupted sleep. (Remember, she was still going to crawl over me to get out of bed). Life was good. Sort of.

There was one little detail I forgot to consider.

Occasionally, I too get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.  Unlike Miss T, I AM potty trained and no, that is not where my water bowl is.

I know what you’re thinking… too much information, Dave.  Maybe, but stay with me here. There’s a point.

So after installing the wooden stairs I get up in the middle of the night, round the corner of the bed, half asleep and, you guessed it, tripped over the wooden stairs.

I’m pretty sure that the pain of cracking a toe against a more or less solid wooden object in the dark when half asleep is exponentially greater that it is when done fully awake in the daylight. I may or may not have uttered some things that cannot be printed here… or anywhere else for that matter. Only the dark and Little Miss T know for sure. (I’ve sworn her to secrecy)

plastic dog stairsSo back to Amazon to find some stairs that were sturdy but not made of wood or anything else solid like that. I found some Plastic Dog Steps this time, covered with a nice soft cloth. And lightweight which meant they would give a little if I tripped over them.

I installed them, she loved them, life was good. (it’s always good, but now it was a tiny bit better) She could get her drink, get back in bed and not wake me to pick her up.  Problem solved. Yay!

Small Dog, Final Thoughts

The truth of the matter is I did trip over the new, lighter, softer plastic stairs a few nights later. It still hurt like hell.

Hint: If you do get dog stairs for your small dog to use to get on the bed, you might want to consider installing a night light on them or at least somewhere nearby. You’re welcome.




10 thoughts on “Stairway to Heaven – Dog Stairs for Small Dogs”

  1. Hey David,

    I know it sounds odd, but do you think there might be something wrong with your dogs thyroid?  I have heard that many dogs have issues with their thyroid which makes them less energetic.  I remember a couple of years ago my sisters dog had some surgery or something and now has to take medication.

    Just a thought.  I’m sure she likes the stairs and approves of you not having to pick her up to get her in the bed.

    Personally, I like the wooden stairs better though.  They seem to be higher.

    1. Hi Garen.

      That’s a very good question actually. But I think we’re okay there. She did have a tumor that we had removed within the last year on the back of her neck. Prior to that she was a bit sluggish and we had trouble keeping weight on her but since then her energy has returned and she’s put normal weight back on. No, I think she just likes being picked up every now and then. Like I said, when she WANTS to, she can leap amazingly high. lol  But thank you for the thought. If the sluggishness returns it’s something we’ll definitely have the vet check out. 


  2. My husband and I used to have a Pomeranian, Jo Jo, he loves sleeping on the bed next to us. If we don’t pick him up he sure can complain non-stop. My husband fast asleep like a dead fish while I had to pick him up was the worst. Jo jo’d do the same thing as your lovely dog does jumping up and down of the bed on his own if he wanted to. However when he got older, we found out that because he jumped down from the bed too many times he developed osteoporosis and had difficult times walking around with his hind legs when he turned 15. Wish we had know, we could have bought the steps for our Jo Jo. Jo Jo stands for Joseph by the way. Well I can recomend my friends who has 4 dogs to solve the steps problems that you detect. Very cute and informative post. Happy Holidays

    1. I’m sorry to hear about Jo Jo’s osteoporosis. I had a beautiful female cocker spaniel (Sadie) who had a similar problem. She suddenly developed paralysis in her back legs. The vet said it was a disc injury and could have been caused by anything including jumping down from a bed or furniture. While the bed doesn’t seem all that high to us, when you’re as small as Miss T is I suppose it would be like jumping down off a 6′ ladder for a person. Hopefully the stairs help a little although she seems to mostly use them for getting onto the bed. Not so much for getting down. Maybe some training is in order?

  3. Ten years ago we never allowed our dogs on our bed, we got soft… and now our two Boerboel pups have taken over. Who can resists to pick-up a furry face with soft eyes begging to be let on the bed? I loved the humor in your article. Great solution for a great “little” dog. 

    1. Boerboels? Two of them? I hope you have a king size bed or you may be sleeping on the floor soon. lol  And yes, it’s hard to resist ‘that look’. At least it is for me.

  4. Oh boy! We’re about to adopt a chihuahua, so definitely a little dog! And I think we’re going to have the same issue. Except she’ll be climbing on one of the kids’ beds! 

    I love the first wooden stairs that your bought. It looks beautiful. But I can imagine how much it hurts to bang your toes on that thing! Yikes! I’m glad the plastic one hurts a little less? Are you going back to the drawing board, or are you just going to get used to bumping into it? 

    Do you still recommend the plastic stairs over the wooden stairs? 

    1. The wooden stairs are beautiful (we still have them). There was a time when Miss T liked to climb onto a chest that sat next to the window so she could observe the neighborhood. The wood stairs were good for that (not in the path to the bathroom at night) but furniture has been re-arranged so for now they reside in the closet. As for bumping into the other ‘softer’ stairs… I’ve finally learned to go around them most of the time, even in my sleep. I do occasionally catch a toe on it (Miss T is learning so many new words, though I hope she doesn’t ever repeat any of them) but for the most part I’ve adapted to them being there. 

      Oh, and you might want to check out my post on dog sweaters for small dogs (shameless plug). Chihuahuas get cold easily. 

  5. Wow! I cannot remember that I’ve ever read such a beautiful story or blog about little dogs! It was so refreshing and with a lovely dose of humor. Regarding dog stairs, I like your solution – plastic steps covered with a nice soft cloth, as well as the last tip about installing a night light on them or nearby.

    Thanks for a great review and sharing Miss T. story:)
    Best regards,

    1. Thank you! The plastic steps have definitely worked out better for me. I highly recommend them as long as your dog is a smaller dog. They won’t bear the weight of larger dogs. I believe the limit is 70lbs but if your dog is that large they probably don’t need the stairs anyway. lol

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