How to make your staircase dog-friendly

Whether your dog is afraid of stairs or loves running up and down them, it’s important that dog owners ensure their stairs are safe for their beloved canine friends.

Over 4,000 people are searching online for ‘dog gate for stairs’ a month which highlights that dog stair safety is a cause for concern amongst many dog owners.

If your dog often rushes downstairs at breakfast time, or to greet you when you return home from work, you might have seen them slip and tumble a few times. Or, if your dog has started to get a bit older and less agile, they might be struggling with the stairs they used to whizz up and down. So, you might be looking for some ways in which you can make your staircase a bit easier to navigate for your four-legged friends.

Here, Nick Acaster, Managing Director of staircase accessories retailer Stair Rods Direct, explains how you can make your staircase dog-friendly to keep your pooch safe:

Add carpet or a runner

If you’ve ever seen a dog try to take off running on laminate flooring, you’ll know they can often struggle to get enough grip on the surface. The same can happen with your stairs so, if you frequently see your dog fall down the stairs, could it be because the surface is just too slippery?

While wooden staircases can be very stylish, they can make life more difficult for dogs and puppies, so it might be time to compromise. A stair runner is perfect for this, as it will give your pup more purchase down the centre of your staircase, but the wooden edges of each step will still be exposed. You can even add some metal stair rods as decoration, as long as you’re confident these won’t affect your dog’s ability to travel up and won the stairs safely. A fully carpeted staircase can also look great, and is likely to be the simplest option if your downstairs or upstairs hallways already have this type of flooring.

Make sure your stairway is well-lit

Have you ever tried to walk down your stairs in the dark? Well, your dog’s vision is actually likely to be a lot worse than yours (Eyesite), which means a dark or poorly-lit staircase can be even more dangerous for them. So, it’s worth looking into whether this area of your home could do with some extra lighting.

If you’re looking to update your staircase’s flooring, it’s also worth opting for a runner or carpet in a lighter colour, which will help the edge of each step to stand out a bit better. Or, if you already have light flooring and your dog is still struggling, consider adding a strip of bright tape to the end of each step, just for a while. This will show them exactly where they need to step, and they’ll get used to it after a couple of weeks.

Install a baby gate if you’re particularly concerned

If you’re particularly concerned about your dog getting injured while navigating your stairs — perhaps they’re getting quite old or they’ve had some nasty falls in the past — installing a gate might be the only option. This will prevent them from running up and down the stairs unsupervised and will mean that you can simply carry them up and down your stairway when necessary.

Having a baby gate in place should also help to give you some peace of mind when you’re out of the house. You won’t have to worry about your dog having an accident and getting hurt while you’re away, because the most high-risk area of your home will be out of bounds.

If you’ve seen your dog take a few tumbles down the stairs, or you’re worried about it happening, the advice in this article should help. Take these tips onboard to keep your pup safe and put your mind at ease.