Friday, May 04, 2007

DIY (do it yourself) dog stairs

To help out our spoiled papillon dog, Shelly built some dog stairs. Our dog, Skywalker has a bad back and is no longer able to jump up on the bed (I know..... what can I say) so to stop him from trying to jump on and off the bed and further injuring himself, Shelly made this lightweight dog stairs.

For the full set of pictures and a description of how she made them CLICK HERE

If you wonder where we came up with such a crazy idea, we looked for what we wanted in stores and couldn't find exacty what we were looking for. So I (as I often do) googled it and found a nice how-to that described exactly what we wanted. This site had a pretty good description of how to build it and the rest is history.
EDIT:  The website we based this build on is no longer up so here are the basic instructions for making the stairs :

Goals for dog (or cat) stairs:

  • Cheap
  • Easy to build
  • Light
  • Not hard so as to prevent stubbed foot.
  • Cleanable
  • Looks okay in bedroom


  • Insulation wall foam (required)
  • Self-adhesive rubber feet (or) non-slip shelf covering (optional)
  • adhesive for foam products (Liquid Nails)
  • Serrated knife
  • Material for covering the steps such as cloth etc.

How to Make Your Dog (cat) Steps

  1. Determine the dimensions of your steps.  We used 2 inch thick foam insulation and made the step heights in multiples of two, but you can modify this based on the wall foam insulation you use.   Keep a 12 inch depth (front to back) on the step at least so there's plenty of room - even with a smaller dog so your dog is comfortable going up and down the steps.  Don't get too caught up in a certain size - the most important thing is to make it tall enough and wide enough to give the stairs stability and make it easy for your pet to use.
  2. With your sheet of insulation wall foam, mark your lines for where you're going to cut to create the "bricks" of insulation.
  3. Using the serrated knife, saw your bricks out of the insulation board.The insulation blocks have been cut and sized
  4. Once you have all of the bricks, put them all in place to be sure they all fit together nicely, using carpenter's triangle marks to then mark the bricks together.Skywalker testing out the step size
  5. Glue the steps together.  You should let these dry for about 8 hours or so before using.
  6. To prevent skidding on a hardwood floor you can use one of the following (not required if using steps on carpet):
    • Add  non-skid feet
    • Attach shelf covering to the bottom of the steps.
    • Take silicon caulk and spread it out on the bottom.  The caulk dries with a rubbery, tacky surface.
  7. Add a cover over the insulation steps.  This helps keep claws from tearing up the foam and makes the steps look better as well.  You can use any fabric you can find at the store or even carpeting scraps glued to the sides.  We used some washable fabric and velcroed them to the steps so it would be easy to wash to cover every once and a while.


Here's a few more pictures of the final product.  It was pretty easy to make and we have (okay Skywalker has - not us) been using it every since.

Dog StairsDog StairsDog StairsDog StairsDog StairsDog Stairs


jordan said...

Do you have the writeup instructions of how you built the stairs?? The link to is no longer working. Thanks.

Brent Evans said...

Looks like that site is gone. Well, I've updated this post with the basic instructions. I'll add some more detail and pictures of the build process shortly.


dog grooming salon said...

This is the first time I’ve read about this. I keep learning new things everyday!

Kim said...

Thank you so much for posting these instructions. I got the idea to make doggy stairs but the first instructions I found were for wood. I don't have any of the tools to cut wood. But this is great and I am for sure making these. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Great idea!
so easy....

Anonymous said...

Love the write up worked great!

Anonymous said...

Hi, great idea!.
Any idea how much the steps weigh? I want to make some for getting into the car so will have to be portable.

Brent said...

It doesn't weigh much - I'd say less than a half pound

Anonymous said...

Evansfam thanks for the idea; our spoiled "Kawsyta" (Chihuahua,8 years old female) just loved the easy way to jump to the floor and back to the bed.
By the way this idea has become international, we live where the Chihuahua breed is supposed to have originated, Chihuahua,Mexico.

Sara T. said...

How stinkin adorable! We have a bench at the end of our bed for our Wiener dog to jump back and forth on but we are going to build a captains bed (the kind with all the storage underneath) and won't have a need for the bench anymore. I had been racking my brain for months (and hesitating on the new bed actually) trying to figure out new steps for her. With this idea I can make some that sit at the corner of the bed and wrap around a little on each side. WONDERFUL!!!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant idea I've seen doggie stairs to buy and where quite expensive. No excuses now !

turboromero said...

I'm wondering if you could help with a way to easily cover? I don't have a sewing machine, so unsure how to make the cover? Otherwise, everything else seems PERFECT! My papillon, Sari, and her delicate ankles would be very grateful :)

Anonymous said...

Could you post the dimensions you cut the steps to, the large bottom pieces and the smaller top pieces? Looks perfect for our pomeranian and I'm not at all good with math. Thanks very much, seems like a fantastic alternative to expensive storebought steps!

Anonymous said...

What size insulation piece was used for this and how much does it cost. I would like to make one as soon as possible.

Anonymous said...

great idea--was looking thru tons of pics and posts and sites trying to figure out how i could make my own steps as my dog won't use narrow steps. i really need to make a ramp and might try this material for that. foam ones cost over $150.