As your chihuahua gets older, you may notice that he has trouble going up and down the stairs. Maybe he shakes when he tries to go up or down the stairs, or maybe he just doesn’t want to use them anymore.
If your chihuahua is a high-energy dog, he may also try to climb stairs even though it hurts him, making you worry about his safety.
Let’s find out if chihuahuas should stop going up and down stairs and how you can help your older dog go up and down stairs safely and without getting hurt.
Are stairs bad for older chihuahuas?
In general, stairs are not the safest place for your chihuahua to be in the house. They can be dangerous for dogs of all ages, not just older ones or chihuahuas.
Young puppies shouldn’t be able to go up and down stairs because it could hurt their joints. But stairs can be dangerous even when they are adults!
Adult chihuahuas are often too wild and active, and they can run and hurt themselves going up and down the stairs. When chihuahuas run and slide up and down stairs, they can hurt their knees, hips, and shoulders.
Even though there are a lot of “funny” videos of dogs slipping and falling down stairs on the internet, they are not really that funny or humourous. Not just older chihuahuas, but dogs of any age need to be taught to go up and down stairs carefully and slowly.
Just like us, chihuahuas’ joints get stiff and sometimes hurt as they age. The more movement a task requires, the more likely it is that the dog will get hurt. When going upstairs, you put a lot of weight on your hips. chihuahuas tend to get arthritis in their hips more than other joints. Putting a supplement in your senior dog’s food can help slow the progress of this disease, but it can’t cure it.
When your chihuahua has arthritic hips, it will be painful for him or her to go up and down stairs. After going up and down a few sets of stairs, you may notice that your chihuahua is stiff or doesn’t want to get up. It can make him feel a lot less excited about life.
On the other hand, the chihuahua’s shoulders get tired when it goes downstairs. This is like how people’s knees hurt when they walk down a steep hill. If your dog’s shoulders have been hit a lot in his life (because he has played a lot of fetch or because he used to be an agility dog and is now retired), this can be especially painful for him.
In addition to the short-term pain, climbing or descending stairs can make joint or back problems in older chihuahuas worse over time. Slipped discs in the back can happen to both people and dogs. If you don’t catch these in time, they can even make your chihuahua paralyzed.
THIS ARTICLE MAY HELP: What You Need To Know About Joint Health In Chihuahuas
How to help my senior chihuahua to go down the stairs?
If your senior chihuahua already doesn’t want to go down the stairs, you can be sure he’s in pain when he does. He may also have slipped in the past, which you don’t know about, and be afraid to do it again.
Setting up your chihuahua’s environment so that he doesn’t have to go upstairs is the best thing to do. Move his bed, water bowl, and food bowl to the ground floor. This way, you keep him from being uncomfortable and keep his joints from getting hurt even more.
If your house or apartment has stairs, you should try to make them as safe as possible for your chihuahua. Put some carpet on the steps and also on the floor under the stairs. The act of giving your chihuahua a safe place to step can make him happier to go down the stairs. You can also consider asking your vet for some medicine to ease your chihuahua’s joint pain and make him feel better.
Switch to carrying your small chihuahua up and down the stairs. If you do that, he will be much more at ease.
Are stairs or ramps better for older chihuahuas?
Ramps are much better for older chihuahuas!
Most indoor stairs can’t be replaced with ramps, which is unfortunate. But if you can replace a staircase in your chihuahua’s life with a ramp, you should. This works well, for example, for chihuahuas that use a “doggy stair” to get onto their owners’ beds at night. You should also do this if you have stairs in your yard and can replace them with a ramp.
When you walk up and down a ramp instead of stairs, your hip and shoulder joints don’t have to work as hard.
Is it bad for old chihuahuas to go up and down the stairs?
Even if your chihuahua dog doesn’t seem to mind or be afraid of going up and down the stairs yet, you should still try to limit how often he does it. Chihuahua breeds tend to have a lot of energy and may hide or ignore pain. You can’t assume that your chihuahua is fine with the stairs just because he doesn’t refuse to use them. He might want to get to the bottom of the stairs if he knows he will get food or go for a ride in the car when he does. Dogs can get through a lot of pain if they are motivated.
Your chihuahua using the stairs once in a while probably won’t hurt him too much, but it won’t make him feel better, either. As chihuahuas get older, they start to feel aches and pains all over their bodies. We have to do everything we can to make sure our chihuahuas are as healthy and happy as possible.
In general, stairs are not the safest place for chihuahuas to be in the house. Not only is the constant movement hard on the joints of older chihuahuas. But your dog can also slip and hurt herself. You should teach your chihuahua how to use stairs carefully and not run up and down them, no matter how old is your dog.
As much as possible, you should not take your senior chihuahua up or down stairs. If you live in a two-story house. Move your chihuahua’s beds, blankets, toys, bowls, and other things to the ground floor. So, he won’t have to keep going up and down.
If your chihuahua can’t stay on the ground floor. You can make the stairs safer by putting carpet or non-slip tape on them. Or just carry him up and down the stairs.
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