We are often asked if the Zephyr will allow a dog to access a bed. That depends on the dog.
The current Zephyr model dog steps make it easy for dogs to access couches, which are typically in the 18” to 22” height range. If your dog can handle this and your bed height is in this range then sure, your dog can easily access your bed as well.
Most bed heights start at 22” and run up to 36” for the high ones. Measure yours to see where you come in. The next step is to determine what distance between the landing on the steps and the bed top your pooch is comfortable traversing. This involves two parts, going up and coming down.
Going up is usually a lot easier for dogs than coming down. They have strong hindquarters and springing upwards comes naturally. By watching your dog in everyday life you probably have an idea of what height it can comfortably climb up to. Add that climbing height to the top of the steps (Zepher is 16”) and you will know if your dog can get up on the bed using the Good Steps "Zephyr" unit.
The second, and more important, measure is what your dog feels comfortable and safe descending. Coming down is a bit more difficult than going up so expect this number to be lower. This is also the measurement which will determine if the model you are looking at will work with your bed.
So what is a safe and comfortable height for your dog to descend from bed top to landing? This is a bit trickier than you think because your dog will be descending off of a soft surface onto a relatively small surface below them. This can cause many dogs to feel uncertain and often times you will see them jump rather than use dog steps to descend, even ours. The distance may look small to you but not to them. How would you like to jump off of a third story balcony onto a small bench six feet down? You might be a little nervous, right? Same thing for your dog.
If you have a set of our dog steps you can test this in real time and quickly discover if your dog feels ok with the set up. If you don’t own a set of Good Steps yet you can probably figure out pretty closely what distance is appropriate by watching your dog on stairs, jumping out of a car, or coming down from any spot, even a couch.
Short answer - take half the length of your dog's leg and add it to the top of the landing (Zephyr is at 16"). If the resulting number represents a bed that is that height or lower your pooch will likely be fine. Remember, that is just a starting point for estimating if your dog can use the current Zephyr model or needs the new model due out soon. If so, let us know and we will keep you updated. Remember, this is just an estimate to start with, every dog is different, right?
Dogs need a lot more tread area coming down than going up. Adjust the steps to give them as much tread room as possible the higher you ask them to descend from. While they may be comfortable descending 20” with a huge floor in front of them they may hesitate at 10” if there is only a small landing platform.
The landing is a small target high off the ground and they will be rightfully cautious at first. Never force them, always encourage with kind words and treats, letting them explore the descent on their terms not yours. It may take a few minutes or a week or more for them to adjust to using the steps.
When using Good Steps to access a bed many people run the steps next to the bed to minimize the floor space used. This means the dog also has to turn as it descends to the landing, even scarier! When used this way we suggest a max height to bed top of 30", depending on the dog. See "Good News" below if you think you might need a larger model.
Some dogs will get used to it quickly, some won’t. If your dog is freaked by the idea and/or prefers to jump to bypass using the steps on the way down, the distance between bed top and landing is simply too great.
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