Do you maintain a no-dogs-on-the-furniture household? Or is bedtime a literal snugglefest? If you’re like us, then it’s probably the latter! If you own a toy or small breed, however, getting on and off the bed (or sofa) can be not just difficult but outright dangerous for your pup.
Jumping off of tall furniture can wreak havoc on your dog’s joints, especially if they’re predisposed to conditions like hip dysplasia or arthritis. On top of that, there’s a good chance that they won’t be able to get back up on the bed, couch, or their favorite armchair after jumping down.
With a set of dog stairs, you can relax knowing your dog has the freedom to go wherever they want without hurting themselves in the process. Here are 10 DIY dog step projects that you can build at home:
1. Dog Stairs With Built-In Storage, From HGTV
Why waste valuable floor space with a set of bulky pet stairs? HGTV offers easy-to-follow instructions for how to construct your own dog stairs with convenient storage space hidden underneath — perfect for tucking away dog toys when not in use.
The best part about this project is that it’s easily tailored to your home décor with paint and your choice of rug.
- Curve Control technology which allows you to adjust the saw's orbit in 1 of 4 customized settings
- 5 Amp variable-speed motor; up to 3,000 SPM of cutting power
2. Easy Dog Steps for Small Dogs, From IKEA Hackers
With this tutorial from IKEA Hackers, you can eliminate the hard work of building a set of dog stairs and jump straight to enjoying them in your own home. All you need are a few affordable supplies from your local IKEA (if you don’t live near an IKEA retail store, these items are also available online), glue, and staples.
You can customize the final look of your steps with paint and your choice of fabric color.
- 3-in-1 APPLICATIONExtremely practical multi-functional 3-in-1 heavy duty staple gun able to fasten...
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3. Classic Wood Dog Stairs, From Live Laugh Rowe
Live Laugh Rowe has a detailed tutorial on constructing simple but elegant dog steps with just a few pieces of lumber and tools. While you’ll need specific tools and hardware to get this project done, it’s quite simple as far as woodworking goes.
Once your new dog stairs are constructed, apply a layer of primer and your favorite paint color. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can also add carpeting or cushions to the steps.
- 3-hole drill guide for pocket holes
- Large clamping recess to secure your jig
4. Soft Foam Dog Stairs, From Instructables
If wooden stairs are a bit too heavy duty for your needs or you want a set of stairs that are ultra-portable, check out this tutorial from Instructables. These foam dog stairs are quick and easy to make and don’t require an extra layer of carpet on top.
You can leave the foam exposed or create a fabric cover to go over the stairs. The latter option might take a little more time, but will allow you to customize the look of your new pet steps.
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5. DIY Dog Steps, From Build Basic
Are you looking for something that looks professionally made (without the price)? If you or a loved one have woodworking experience under your belt, then this project from Build Basic is exactly what you’re looking for.
Once complete, these stairs can be customized with paint, wood stain, fabric, cushions, carpet, and more.
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6. Upcycled Pallet Dog Stairs, From Karell Ste-Marie
We all know someone who is constantly trying to get rid of old wood pallets. With this guide from Karell Ste-Marie, you can transform those pallets into a rustic-inspired doggie staircase.
While you can always paint the pallet boards once your stairs are constructed, we like the all-natural look of this project!
- Protects and adds beauty to interior wood surfaces including woodwork, furniture, doors and cabinets
- Crystal clear finish is ideal for use over light woods like maple, ash and birch as well as over...
7. Quick and Easy Cardboard Dog Stairs, From Mild Mile
For owners of toy and small breed dogs, heavy-duty wood stairs aren’t always necessary. This ingenious tutorial from Mild Mile shows how to construct the set of pet stairs by Build Basic with double-walled cardboard instead of lumber.
If you want to spice up this set of stairs, we suggest applying ready-to-stick wallpaper to the cardboard before putting all the pieces together.
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8. Dog Stairs for Tall Beds, From Digital Peer
Most ready-made dog stairs are designed for sofas and low beds. But if you have an extra-tall bed and a pooch who loves to snuggle, then the custom dog stair plans from Digital Peer may just do the trick.
Of course, you can always use a wood stain or paint to match your new doggie stairs to your existing home décor.
- Powerful 15-amp motor delivers 5,300-RPM for greater speed and faster cuts
- 7-1/4-in carbide-tipped blade included. Spindle lock for easy blade changes.
9. Rustic Scrap Wood Dog Steps, From Instructables
If you have access to a bunch of scrap lumber, then you’re probably not too interested in building dog steps that require buying even more wood. Fortunately, this tutorial from Instructables will show you how to use old scrap wood to create a set of functional pet stairs.
The author of this project also notes that these stairs are reversible — you can lay the stairs on their “back” to create a shorter staircase for your sofa or other low furniture.
When using scrap wood, make sure you know what, if any, treatments it may have been subjected to. Some wood treatments may be unsafe for your dog.
- Drop forged and heated treated alloy steel head provides maximum striking strength
- Sharpened and curved claw ends generates maximum nail-pulling leverage
10. Wooden Crate Dog Steps, From Hometalk
Don’t have access to an IKEA store? Fret not, because you can easily make a set of dog stairs from almost any wooden crate! Hometalk shows us how to use affordable crates from Michael’s to create a functional set of steps for a small dog.
As you can see in the picture above, this project also works great for dogs who are too small to jump into your vehicle on their own.
- Use on a variety of interior surfaces like wood, metal, ceramic, canvas and easily distress to...
- Low-odor, latex formula allows for easy clean up with soap & water
Whether you’re looking to avoid the expense of store-bought pet stairs or just want to roll up your sleeves for the day, these are just a few of the great projects you can build for your four-legged friend. There are even multiple options for dog owners who don’t have the equipment or skills needed to construct a set of stairs from wood.
As always, don’t be afraid to adjust these plans to fit your own needs — change paint colors, step heights, or whatever else you see fit. Assuming you have the tools and experience necessary, there’s no limit to your creativity!
So, what are you waiting for? A set of custom-made steps are sure to make your and your pup’s lives a little bit easier.
How does your dog get on and off the furniture? Have you ever used a set of pet stairs?
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.
- 1. Dog Stairs With Built-In Storage, From HGTV
- 2. Easy Dog Steps for Small Dogs, From IKEA Hackers
- 3. Classic Wood Dog Stairs, From Live Laugh Rowe
- 4. Soft Foam Dog Stairs, From Instructables
- 5. DIY Dog Steps, From Build Basic
- 6. Upcycled Pallet Dog Stairs, From Karell Ste-Marie
- 7. Quick and Easy Cardboard Dog Stairs, From Mild Mile
- 8. Dog Stairs for Tall Beds, From Digital Peer
- 9. Rustic Scrap Wood Dog Steps, From Instructables
- 10. Wooden Crate Dog Steps, From Hometalk