Design and build doggie steps yourself to get the product you want!
My aim here is to teach you how to create your own custom tailored set of stairs for your dog, cat, rabbit, ferret or other furry friend.
Rather than giving you a set of plans, simply read through the steps I followed, and then, if necessary, alter the design to fit your needs. If you get stuck or something isn't clear, you can always contact me.
Before creating my first set, I asked myself the following questions:
The first set of steps was mainly built as a how-to model for this website.
At the time, we still had our German Shepherd mix, Comet, and were staying for a few months at an RV park. I reckoned the steps could be used by him to get into our camping trailer.
A side piece with horizontal supports
The distance from the ground to the RV's doorstep was 24", so the height of my design needed to be 24 minus 6, which was 18".
I decided on a basic design of three stairs; each 6" high, 15" wide* and 12" deep - the part he would step on. (Metric dimensions 150 x 375 x 300 mm).
This meant that ideally, the base would be 12"x3" or 36" long.
Since we were on a very tight budget, I looked around and found all the materials needed. However, I was only able to scrounge a piece of plywood that would allow for the base to be 34.5" long (875), so I modified the depth of each tread to 11.5" (292 mm).
*Note: Before we left the RV Park, I modifed the doggie stairs to be narrower for a neighbor's Westie for getting onto a bed indoors.
Now get a piece of paper and design your own steps, outlining the height, width, depth and number of steps you need.
If you want to work things out on paper, simply measure and calculate how long each support needs to be, using the actual height of the supports you will use and the photo as a guide.
Alternatively, you can wait until you have your plywood pieces cut before physically measuring things.
As you can see, the supports run two ways.
I wanted my steps to be 15" wide and their depth to be 11.5", so I needed rectangular pieces of wood or similar material with those dimensions. I was able to find three assorted 1/2" plywood and pressboard pieces (13 mm) that would be big enough, and I cut them to size.
Plywood (or equivalent) needed:
2 x 2's (actual size 1.5" x 1.5" or 35 x 35 mm):
**The above allowed for a little extra. I could have used smaller separate pieces if need be.
All set? Go on to Part 2 for the building instructions.