Are Stairs Bad for Dogs?

Are Stairs Bad for Dogs?

Author WDF Staff


Going up and down the stairs can be tricky for some dogs. If you live in a house with stairs, chances are that your dog will try to go up or down at some point. But are stairs bad for dogs? Can dogs and puppies hurt themselves if you allow them to walk on stairs? The general rule is that you should not let your dog go down the stairs, but it is unlikely that the dog will ever go down on its own.

You must completely forbid your dog from using stairs if you want to protect your dog and his health. Stay with us and find out when letting your dog go up and down the stairs isn't ok.

Are stairs bad for puppy joints?

Most dog owners know this rule: don't let your puppy go up and down the stairs. Since their hips, bones, and joints are still developing, there is a great chance they will hurt themselves if you let them use the stairs, and the puppy will have health problems to the end of his life. This is not a risk you want to take.

The main concern with puppies using the stairs is hip dysplasia. Some dogs are more prone to hip dysplasia than others, and by letting the dogs use the stairs, there is a good chance of hip dysplasia.

WORLD DOG FINDER TIP: If your large puppy is too big to carry him, try introducing a dog ramp to your dog.

dog and stairs

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Should I let my puppy use the stairs?

Besides health problems that can occur if you let your puppy use the stairs, there is a high probability that your puppy will fall and injure himself. Puppies are clumsy, and they are exploring the world. Sometimes exploring means falling down. Some stairs can be too big of a challenge for a small pup, and while the pup will try to walk up the stairs, the puppy could easily fall down.

TIP: If you live in an apartment building, it is advised to use an elevator with your puppy and not allow him to go up and down the stairs.

What dogs are in danger of using stairs?

Besides puppies, a few adult dogs should not use the stairs to stay in good health.

1. Dogs with genetic issues

Some small dogs, such as Bassets and Dachshunds, have small and long bodies with short legs and are prone to ruptured disk syndrome and IVDD. With these dogs, you should be extra careful around the stairs.

dog on stairs

2. Injured dogs

If your dog has an injury, you shouldn't let him use the stairs. Either your dog is injured or has undergone surgery such as neutering. Maybe your vet prescribed your dog a cone, and a cone can prevent the dog from moving normally, and there is a danger if you let your dog use stairs.

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3. Senior dogs

Just as using stairs is terrible for puppies, the same rule applies to older dogs. As dogs age, they will be slower, have mobility issues, poor eyesight, arthritis, or many other health problems. If you allow your senior dog to use the stairs, the dog could easily get injured, and you will have more problems, so it is best to keep your senior dog away from the stairs.

RELATED: 7 Tips for Improving Your Senior Dog’s Quality of Life

4. Dogs with health issues

If your dog has been diagnosed with arthritis, hip dysplasia, or any other condition, you shouldn't allow him to use the stairs. Using the stairs will only worsen the situation, and your dog will be in a lot of pain.

Dogs that are most prone to hip dysplasia are:

  • German Shepherds
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Great Dane
  • Bulldogs
  • Saint Bernards
  • Newfoundlands
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Rottweilers

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When can I let my puppy/dog use the stairs?

During socialization, you should allow your puppy to explore the stairs and get to know them. You can let them off-leash near the stairs and see how the puppy will behave. This should only be done while you are socializing your puppy, and you shouldn't let the puppy use the stairs daily.

dog laying on stairs

Because of the potential health issue, the general rule is to not allow your dog to use the stairs daily until he turns one year old. Even then, it is best not to let him use the stairs daily to protect his joints and hips.

What should I do if my dog fell down the stairs?

If your dog falls down the stairs, the first thing you should do is to ensure that the dog is alright and that he is not injured. Dogs can be suddenly in pain, and if you notice any injury on your dog, you should call your vet and take him to the vet clinic for examination.

RELATED: How Much Exercise Does a Dog Need in a Day

In most cases, there won't be any consequences if your dog falls down the stairs, but you can never be too safe. You need to constantly watch your dog.


Allowing your pet to use the stairs might not be the best idea, at least in the first year of their life. Stairs for puppies are a big no, no. When dogs bones, hips, and joints develop entirely, you can allow your dog to use the stairs under controlled conditions. You don't want your dog to fall down and injure himself.

World Dog Finder team

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