Any Dachshund owner knows that Dachshunds are loving family pets who want to be by your side at all times. That’s true whether you’re in the kitchen preparing food (where they’ll be begging for scraps with adorable puppy-dog eyes), walking around the park, or, most often, simply lounging around on the couch.
However, Dachshunds are unfortunately prone to some health issues that may make it challenging for them to get up to couches or beds where we like to relax. Elderly Dachshunds are even more at risk of developing back or joint problems that will make it difficult for them to stay by your side.
The solution is relatively simple: get your Dachshund a dog ramp or stairs – but which option is best for your dog?
Why Get a Ramp or Stairs for a Dachshund?
Dachshunds frequently jump on and off furniture during the day because they are energetic dogs and they like being where their owners are – however, they shouldn’t be performing this task even if it appears to be done with ease.
This constant jumping puts a great deal of strain on your Dachshund’s joints and spine, increasing the likelihood of injuries and arthritis. Dogs with short legs and long backs, such as Dachshunds, have an increased likelihood of ruptured discs and spinal injuries when jumping from furniture and other high places.
Intervertebral Disc Disease is the biggest risk. Dachshunds are predisposed to IVDD in part because of their genetic make-up and the fact that their bodies contain an excessive amount of weight for their small frames. IVDD causes the discs to dry out, stiffen and degenerate, and is a common cause of back pain, weakness, and paralysis in Dachshunds. Surgery can be costly, and is not guaranteed to cure or mitigate the problem.
Ramp vs. Stairs for a Dachshund
There are a number of ramps and stairs being sold for dogs to be able to get up and down from furniture and other high spots. However, stairs may not be the best option, even if they are dog-sized.
Think about how your dog’s body moves when they go up and down stairs. Going up and down stairs involves repeated stretching and bending of the neck and spine. This repetitive motion, over time, can cause problems with your Dachshund’s back and joints.
We can reasonably conclude that a ramp is the best option for most Dachshunds, as it avoids any sudden jolts or repetitive movements that put strain on the dog’s back and neck. The only thing to watch out for is to have a good, sturdy ramp that can support your dog’s weight. It’s also best if the ramp has a surface that provides traction for your dog’s paws.