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Discussion Starter #1
So I am getting flooded with ads for ramps. I tried using one eons ago when my larger dogs were getting older and jumping into the car seemed to become an issue. He never used it in the end.
Is having a ramp for a mini a good idea? Louie at 1 1/2 easily jumps up and down our furniture - (I don't let him jump down the high end) but he seems super comfy jumping - should I not let him? Am I setting him up for back problems in the future?
My bed is no concern because it is super low - futon frame - so the only application would be for the living room love chair and lazy boy chair...
 

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I have a mini and don’t have any ramps.

Because I have mostly wood floors, I have large bath mats strategically placed for my dog to jump on and off couches.

My master bed is quite high. I have a large padded bench at the end. She can use the bath mat to jump onto the bench safely and then onto the bed.

The reason I use bath mats is they have a nonslip backing and I can throw them in the washing machine when one of my pets throws up on them.

This works for us. My dog looks for her mats to jump up on furniture.
 

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My mini's have run from small to medium at adult size. They have all been allowed to jump up and down so long as they're able. Like Skylar, I make sure they have a non-slip takeoff and landing strip on any slick floor surface.

The one and only injury was Sass, when she rounded the corner from FR carpet to hall tile then LR wood floor at a high rate of speed (mailman come to kill us all!). She lost her grip and crashed into a chair. She had a gimpy knee from that point, unless she spotted a squirrel, or chased a ball :). Much later in life, she had mobility issues due to disk problems but didn't think much of steps or ramps, so we picked her up and put her down. Granted, we were in a ranch home, then later a split level, so steps were there but not too big a challenge for us to manage for her.

The only other time we've considered ramps were for outside access. The factors there were reduced vision, ice and snow. We stuck with carrying or making sure the steps were clear.

You'll get varying opinions on whether to allow the jumping or restrict it. It is something of a risk, but so are many activities.
 

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My husband built a simple wooden ramp for our senior mini. She had a femoral head ostectomy after dislocating her hip in an accident, and post-surgery could no longer jump onto the couch.

Yes, we'd lift her up, but we didn't want her jumping down anymore after learning how bad her arthritis was. (It's amazing how dogs hide their pain. If not for all the surgical x-rays, we'd perhaps never have known.)

The ramp gave her some freedom back and protected her precious joints in her senior years. It also protected her spine, which was showing some (likely very painful) degeneration.

If I could travel back in time, I'd have used it from day 1.
 

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Agree with a couple of these thoughts. My vet recommended using a footstool, rather than steps, for my 25-pound 11 yo with arthritis in her knees. She jumps onto and off of all furniture. I need to get a car ramp in the near future as I believe it will be easier to teach my 4 yo spoo how to use it than to wait until he needs it.
 

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Something to consider: when you have no mobility issues, walking stairs or a ramp is not a problem. I have problems with my knees and walking on ramps is difficult and occasionally painful but I can easily walk stairs. A dog with mobility issues may do better with one or the other.

For young, healthy dogs it probably doesn’t matter as long as they have safe options to avoid injuries.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
My husband came up with a rather ingenious solution. Since we now have fully motorized love chairs and single chairs - they are totally adjustable - I can leave the leg portion slightly out - which means when he jumps down he can actually step down lower and then land from there. He seems to like it - and jumping up is not my concern rather the landing from higher up on the dismount. I will also consider foot stools as recommended here.. thanks all for the input.
 
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