Dog owners know the special feeling of contentment that comes from snuggling with their pooch on the bed. As much as dogs want to jump up for a cuddle, the distance between the bed and the floor can pose a challenge to small or senior dogs. To help your four-legged friend, build him a set of stairs so he can climb up to bed with ease.
Before you begin constructing the steps, take a few key measurements. Find the distance from the floor to the top of your mattress. This will be the height of your stairs. Next, measure your dog. The length of his legs and body will determine how high to make each step, and how wide to make the overall staircase. Measure his front legs, then add 2 to 3 inches. This will be the height of your steps. The length of his body plus 4 to 6 inches will be the width of your staircase, to ensure that he can turn around comfortably on the steps.
Cut Your Staircase
Once you buy your sheets of insulated foam, you will need to cut them to size. Stack the foam to the height between the bed and floor. Using a serrated knife, cut the full stack of boards to the correct width. Based on your dog's size, determine the depth of the first stair, usually between 4 to 12 inches. Mark this measurement on the top surface of the boards. The steps do not need to be deep enough to accommodate the full length of your dog, however they should fit his body width.
Complete the Steps
Take your stair height measurement and divide it evenly into the overall stair height. You may have to adjust the step height slightly to make sure there are an even number of steps. Once you have your stair height, make your first cut through the stack of boards along the marked depth measurement. Cut one step, then remove excess foam. Repeat this process of marking the step depth, then cutting step height until you reach the base.
Secure the Steps
Once your steps have been cut, you can adhere the boards together for a secure staircase. Separate the stacked boards and apply strong furniture adhesive between each board. Apply the glue liberally, and make sure that the glue covers evenly and reaches the edges. Allow the adhesive to set for at least eight hours before using the stairs.
Cover or Paint the Steps
Now that the steps have been constructed, you can complete the look with a custom-made slip over or even a simple coat of paint. To make a slipcover, measure each surface of the staircase, except the base. Choose a durable and washable fabric, such as denim. Cut fabric panels to match each surface, leaving a 1- to 2-inch border of excess fabric for sewing panels together. Assemble the slipcover by sewing all panels together with sturdy thread. To attach to the steps, slip the cover over the steps and pull to make sure the fabric is snug against the steps.
Attach in Place
Now that your steps are constructed and looking great, make sure they are securely positioned for your dog. Attach nonstick rubber furniture grips to the base of the steps. Try Velcro to attach the steps to the foot board of your bed. Before you let your pet hop up on the steps, be sure to test that they can support his weight, and that they will not slip or move out from under him. Be sure that stairs are completely dried and stable before putting in place.
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