Website: Amazon UK
My rating: 4 out of 5
Living with a border terrier who is growing older with us (but unfortunately at a faster rate than us!!), we have learned how to know when your dog is in pain. Older dogs health problem symptoms often affect their mobility, as age in dogs, like in humans, can bring all sorts of bone, ligaments and muscle related issues.
With our Indy, problems started when earlier this year he sustained a back injury, which forced us to keep him virtually immobile for 2 full months. Luckily Indy has come out unaffected by the injury. But having to carry him for the 2 months up and down a house with a lot of stairs, as well as our efforts in preventing him from getting injured ever again, has made us think about introducing aids that will assist him in wandering through the house as freely as he used to.
How to overcome the big stairs obstacle
Dog back injuries can equally affect small as bigger dogs. It is common belief that the bigger the dog in breed or size, the more inclined your dog will be to sustain injuries that will affect their mobility. In reality smaller breeds, such as Border Terriers, stand the same chance at some point or other of their life time to sustain the same type of injury, which will greatly affect their mobility.
So, once dogs are injured, and they have to negotiate stairs, or jumping on sofas or beds, or in the car as they used to, how can we help?
I have long and hard looked for aids that would make my Indy’s life easier, again especially since he hurt his back earlier in the year, but even prior to then, when in fact we moved to our town house and bearing in mind his ‘senior’ age.
The first thing my husband though of was to build a ramp that would make it easier for our Indy to access the garden, instead of going down and up a set of rather steep steps.
But in searching for mobility aids, I have often come across the choice between steps and ramps, and never been able to establish what may be best for Indy, of smaller breed, and for his injury.
Steps or ramps: what is best?
Well, it very much depends on your dogs, age and ailments, as well as space around your home, whether a ramp is better than steps, or vice versa.
For ageing dogs who are starting getting affected by the first symptoms of arthritis, ramps are best suited. The hopping action in a dog suffering from arthritis or from joint and muscle inflammation is the one that causes the most pain, so avoiding steps is vital. Introducing your dog to a ramp that will enable them to keep following you will also be ideal in a dog that has sustained a back injury, again for the same reason of trying to avoid them a hopping action.
With Indy, even before he got injured, our main concern was that he would already have to go up and down an increased number of steps compared to what he was used to, that we wanted to ensure he could avoid steps as much as possible in other circumstances.
Steps are deemed equally good if your dog is still in relatively healthy conditions mobility wise, but needs a little bit of help. So, steps will become ideal in toy dogs, when your dog wants to jump on to the sofa, but due to his/her smaller size that jump becomes a mountain.
Steps will equally be good as a training tool to get pups used to stairs.
And finally, and undoubtedly, steps will come in handy if you cannot afford the luxury of a bigger space at the back of your car, or in front of your sofa, to stretch a ramp open.
In your choice of ramp or steps, you should also bear in mind that it is likely you are required to move the set of steps or ramp from one room to the other, to suit your dog’s free movement around the house.
A pet folding 2-in-1 ladder ramp is the answer!
So, how to tick the box of each of the above features without having to purchase more than one products? And how about if you buy a ramp but your dog does not warm up to the idea of ‘climbing up a hill’?
I found the answer yet again in an Amazon product, the marvellous Portable 2-in-1 Pet Folding Ladder Ramp, which combines steps and ramp into one. Job done!
What are the main features
Firstly, the Portable Ladder Ramp is lightweight, hence making it easier to carry around the house. It also fold flat, therefore it can be easily stored in nooks and crannies of your home, or indeed in your car boot.
The Portable Ladder Ramp can take a weight of up to approximately 36 kg or 80 lbs, so it makes itself perfectly suitable for larger or smaller breeds. Or indeed for your feline friends too!
The dimensions as per Amazon specifications are approx. 44 x 70 x 52cm, with the steps measuring approx. 40 x 23 cm. The height of 70cm therefore makes this product equally suitable to reach out to beds, sofas, or to the seat of an average size vehicle.
The steps come ramp are safely and comfortably covered in velvet, to make it more inviting for your pet to use due to the padded effect and non-slippery action.
The Portable Ladder Ramp comes in sturdy fir wood, with strong iron racks to support the steps steadily. It does not require assembly, as it comes with screws to the side for fixing the steps steadily.
Pros and Cons
The main features that, to me, this items stands out over anything else on the market is primarily two: versatility and ease of transport.
In so many years that I have been searching for similar products, it appeared that I was doomed to having to chance purchasing one produce over another, at the risk of getting the one that least met my Indy’s needs. This product however combines both needs, and solves the problem magnificently.
Not only that, but the fact that it is lightweight, at a gross weight of 6kg, makes it easy enough to carry from the sitting room to the bedrooms upstairs, to the car.
Other products that I have come across in the past were made of cheap and hard, hence heavy, looking plastic, which caused problems of storage as well. The fact that not only this item is light, but is also folding, makes it more so ideal for both your dog and for your storage needs.
For the sake of honesty, I feel obliged to mention that one review on Amazon UK highlights the possible, but unlikely, issue of your dog tripping over the steps. This is because it is deemed that the steps are not locked to the iron rack holding them underneath. I would expect however that this should not be a problem if your dog is used to go up stairs. Likewise, if your dog starts loosing agility in lifting his/her paws enough not to trip over the steps, then you should consider using the product solely as ramp. For this reason, I rate this product with 4 out 5.
Likewise some customers mention their dog not using it either as step or ramp as not used to it. Like with all new devices, you need to train your dog, maybe with treats or toys, to use the product. And in doing so, take your time with your dog, do not force him or her, and always carry out your training with a smiley attitude and a reassuring and encouraging voice – your dog must feel they are being really brave at getting used to the new ramp or steps, so brave that mum or dad will reward them with cuddles and treats!
My final verdict
In spite of the few concerns expressed by a few buyers at Amazon, I cannot see any fault in this product. At an advantageous price of only £28.99, with free delivery on Amazon UK, I feel the Portable 2-in-1 Pet Folding Ladder Ramp is the ideal mobility tool for any dog and their owner.
I have also noticed that Amazon distributes the Portable 2-in-1 Pet Folding Ladder Ramp on their local website of other countries, so you will have it readily available virtually worldwide.
So, what are you waiting for? Get your Ladder Ramp by clicking on the below link:
Website: Amazon UK
My rating: 4 out of 5
I hope you found the above review and advice helpful. Please leave your comment below, and let us know how you got on with the Portable 2-in-1 Pet Folding Ladder Ramp, or indeed if you have come across other equally valid mobility aid solutions for your dog.