If you have stairs at home when you bring your Pugs in, you might wonder can Pugs climb the stairs?
Well, the time has come to answer that question once and for all.
In this article, we’ll be alleviating all of those first-time Pug-parent jitters and tackling all the stair-relation questions that are probably running through your mind right now.
So, without further ado, let’s get started.
Can Pugs Climb Stairs?
A healthy adult Pug will usually have no problem climbing up or walking down a flight of stairs.
For healthy, adult Pugs stairs are perfectly safe and pose little risk. Of course, every Pug and every staircase is different so always use your discretion.
If your Pug is injured, very young, or old, for example, they may have difficulty maneuvering a staircase.
Likewise, if the staircase in question is particularly steep or slippery (e.g. if it’s made of wood, tile, or stone), then it’s probably best to keep your Pug at a safe distance.
Are Stairs Bad For Pugs’ Joints
This depends on the age of your Pugs and the stair type.
You should keep an eye on young Pug puppies, they are not fully coordinated so they might fall down any stairs easily.
Adult Pugs who are in good condition could climb stairs without too much bother. Once your Pug is old enough and you’ve taught them to scale steps, then it is relatively safe and easy for them.
Senior Pugs could hurt their Joints if they climb stairs frequently, you can buy pet stairs to ease their joint pressure.
It’s important to note, however, that whilst Pugs can climb stairs, it is highly recommended that Pug owners limit their pet’s stair use. When Pugs use the stairs too regularly, it can increase the risk of joint damage. As long as your Pug is only using the stairs when needed, you should have nothing to worry about.
When Can My Pug Puppy Start Using The Stairs?
Picture this. You’ve brought a new puppy home. They’re exploring every inch of the house. But what about the stairs? What should you do?
First thing’s first, we recommend keeping your pup away from the stairs until they are at least 12 weeks of age or more.
If you have any doubts, we recommend discussing the issue with your vet. They will advise you on what’s best for your pup.
Training Your Pugs to Use the Stairs
1. Don’t force them
The first few times your Pug encounters the stairs, they’re likely to be a bit scared. Don’t worry, that’s completely normal and to be expected.
We recommend introducing your Pug to your staircase at home to start with. Take things slow and supervise them every step of the way.
2. Show them examples
Many people find that their Pugs simply learn by example.
If they see you walking up the stairs, they are more likely to want to try it for themselves. So lead by example. You’ll need to be patient. It probably won’t happen the first time around.
3. Use the treats smartly
Pugs love food. Place one of their favorite treats on every second or third step. Your pup will have to climb up one step at a time in order to reach that delicious morsel.
4. Make it fun
Make it fun and remember to shower your pup with praise every time they scale a step or two. Positive reinforcement goes a long way with Pugs.
You might get some inspiration from this video.
Repeat the process as often as needed until your pug is a stair master and can navigate the staircase both up and down with ease.
Even if your Pug is a confident stair user, it’s best to avoid using the staircase as a place for fun and games. Your Pug could easily trip and injure themselves.
Exceptions To The Rule: When Should Pugs Avoid Stairs?
Whilst Pugs generally manage stairs relatively well, there are some exceptions to the rule.
It may be safe for a fit and healthy Pug to use the stairs, but senior Pugs and Pugs with health conditions might be better off avoiding this extra physical challenge altogether.
If your Pug is elderly, has a known genetic deformity, is injured, or unwell, we do not recommend allowing them to use the stairs.
This could cause unnecessary stress on the joints and result in injury.
Pugs with health problems
Existing health problems can make it harder for your Pug to climb and dismount stairs. Depending on their condition, it may even be painful for them do to so.
Genetic health conditions such as Hip Dysplasia cause excessive erosion to the hip.
A dog with Hip Dysplasia will have reduced mobility. Climbing stairs is particularly difficult and painful for these dogs because it places excessive weight on their hind legs.
Some research also suggests that puppies who are allowed to climb stairs prematurely are at increased risk of developing Hip Dysplasia.
That’s why it’s so important to wait until your Pug pup is at least 12 weeks of age before training them for stair use.
Likewise, prolonged stair usage can also exacerbate this condition. So, remember, even if your Pug is okayed to use the stairs, make sure it’s only for essential journeys.
Pugs with injuries
If your Pug has a non-permanent injury such as a pulled muscle, sprain, laceration, or if they have undergone surgery, then you will need to make the stairs off-limits until they have fully recovered.
Your Pug will need to rest, and climbing stairs will be too strenuous at this time. It could even impede their recovery.
Plus, if your vet has fitted them with a cone then this will increase their chances of tripping on the steps.
If you need to take your Pug up or down the stairs then make sure you are carrying them in a safe manner.
Just like us, as Pugs age, mobility is impaired. As your Pug gets older, it’s best to find alternative ways for them to get upstairs or simply make sure everything they need is accessible on the level.
Scaling a flight of stairs is far too strenuous on a senior Pug’s joints, bones, and muscles.
Plus, as your Pug gets older their eyesight and balance are likely to deteriorate as well. All in all, it’s a recipe for stair-based accidents.
One creative Pug parent named Sonya Karimi created a doggie stairlift to help her elderly Pugs get up and down the family staircase safely.
5 Stair Safety Tips for Pugs
Want to keep your Pug safe when climbing the stairs? Most adult Pugs in good health should have little trouble scaling those steps but it’s still good to proceed with caution.
Here are some top tips that will keep your pooch safe on the family staircase (or any other for that matter).
The simplest way to keep your Pug safe on the stairs is to supervise them. Especially when your Pug is still young, it’s important to keep a watch out for them.
They may be nervous using the stairs and unsteady on their feet so make sure you’re there to catch them if they fall.
Make sure that your stairwell is well lit. This will help your Pug navigate and balance better.
As your Pug starts to get older this will be extremely beneficial but adequate lighting is important for Pugs of any age.
Keep the path clear
Staircases can get cluttered. If your Pug is a regular stair user then you’re going to want to stop using the steps as extra storage.
If you’ve got books, laundry, or other household items lying around on your steps then make sure to clear them up.
Add some grips
If your staircase is carpeted then you can skip this one.
If your stairs are made of a more slippery material such as hardwood, tile, or stone, then it’s a good idea to add some easy-grip runners to your steps. This will stop your Pug from slipping.
Consider the alternatives
If you’re still not convinced that your Pug is nimble-footed enough for the staircase then it’s time to consider the alternatives.
Install a stair gate and carry your Pug up and down the stairs as and when needed.
Another solution is to install a dog ramp. Some canines find it easier to navigate a ramp than steps. Plus, a ramp is easier on the joints.
Pugs Climb Stairs: To stair or not to stair?
For Pugs over 12 weeks and in good health, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t train them to use the stairs.
Most Pugs will get used to it fairly quickly and have no problem walking up and down.
For elderly Pugs and Pugs with temporary or permanent health issues, avoid climbing the stairs.
In these cases, it’s best to keep your Pug on the level. If you need to scale a flight of stairs you’ll want to carry them to prevent any risk of injury.