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By: Steve Weber
Almost all dogs as they age will develop canine arthritis to some extent. Larger breed dogs seem to have more of a problem with the joint disease then do smaller breed dogs. This is because they must carry extra weight in this puts an added burden on their joints. One of the early signs of dog arthritis is that the animal has trouble negotiating steps and stairs.

Pet owners who live in places where there are steps and stairs leading to the house oftentimes must find solutions which enable their dogs to traverse the steps with ease as they age. Of course one could hire a carpenter to come to their home and build a handicapped type ramp in addition to the currently installed steps. This could be quite expensive depending on your available contractors in your area.

An alternative to hiring this project done with a professional is to simply make a basic ramp yourself. Depending on the width of your current stairs this can be quite simple. Once the ramp is completed, your dog suffering from arthritis will have a much easier way to access your home from the outside. Additionally, the ramp can be constructed in a way that makes it easy to remove in the future.

All that's required is simply purchasing a piece of one half-inch outdoor plywood from your local home supply company. Additionally, you'll need screws or nails and a piece of used carpet along with a staple gun. Simply measure the distance from the top step down to the bottom. Depending on the width of your steps and how much room you have to work with cut your piece of plywood to that length and about 18 inches to 2 feet wide.

Next you can fasten this piece of plywood to the side of your stairway using screws or nails. Once the piece of plywood is securely fastened which are dog can traverse going up and down the steps, an old piece of carpet can be stapled to the service which enables him or her to have more traction going up and down the steps. When the ramp is no longer necessary, it can be simply removed from the stairway and saved for future use should one have older canines who developed arthritis in the future. This solution makes having an older dog with arthritis easier and provides a better quality of life for the pet


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