Getting into a truck can be a difficult task for many dogs. Small or elderly pets often have trouble getting into a tall vehicle and have to be lifted up, which can cause serious injury if not done properly. There are many commercially available dog steps on the market, but they can be heavy and expensive. Making your own set of lightweight dog steps will make traveling much easier for your four-legged friend.
Choose the proper type of foam for your dog’s size. Foam comes in a variety of types and densities, so choose one that will support your dog’s weight as he steps on it. Smaller dogs will do fine with lighter foam while larger dogs will need denser foam to support their heavier weight. You can find foam at home improvement and upholstery stores.
Measure out your three stair sections. You will need one piece that measures 4" tall x 14" long x 12" wide, one that is 4" tall x 11" long x 12" wide and one that is 4" tall x 8" long x 12" wide. Use your marker to mark the foam to provide accurately sized pieces.
Cut your foam sections with your knife. A large kitchen knife should work well, as long as it is very sharp. A serrated edge will help cut cleanly through the foam without tearing it.
Lay your largest piece of foam on a flat surface and cover the top of it with a layer of spray glue. Place the second largest piece of foam on top of the first one, aligning it against one edge to form a step with the excess foam on the larger piece.
Spray the surface of the second step with the spray glue and press the smallest step on top of the second one, aligning it with the larger pieces to make a complete set of steps. Make any adjustments as soon as possible to prevent the glue from drying and causing crooked stairs.
Cover your foam with fabric to complete your steps. Spray the entire surface of your steps with the glue and lay a large piece of waterproof fabric over the stairs, starting at the top. Press the fabric around the top step, working your way down, keeping the fabric tight and pressing it firmly around each side of your stairs. Apply more glue as necessary to make sure your fabric does not come loose.
Trim excess material from your stairs, leaving approximately two inches of fabric overlapping around the bottom step. Turn your stairs over and apply a bit of glue around the bottom edge, tucking the excess material under the stair and gluing it down to prevent your cover from slipping. Allow your steps to dry overnight before use to be sure the glue is entirely set up and your stairs are safe for your dog to use.
Items You Will Need
- Heavy foam
- Measuring tape
- Large knife
- Spray glue
- Be sure to use a fabric that provides traction for your cover. Slick fabrics like silk or spandex will not give your dog a good climbing grip and could result in injuries.
- Never allow your dog to bite or chew on your stairs. The foam could tear off and cause serious illness if swallowed.