Make Pet Steps

Make pet steps to help your dogs & cats get higher up!

Our heartfelt thanks to Elena from California for this photo of how to make pet steps for a smaller dog like her Papillon mix.

We also appreciate her detailed instructions, which can be found at Steps for Pup.

Unlike the outdoor steps we built out of wood for Comet, who was a much heavier dog than Elena's, she used cardboard boxes and coat hanger wire.

However, just like we advocate, she used recyclable materials and ingenuity to save herself a bundle.

Steps made out of cardboard boxes and covered with a doggie fabric that is removableCute fabric covers up the cardboard and duct tape.

Our GSD posing on the steps I made for him to get into our RV.
GSD using homemade steps to climb into an RV.

Comet climbing into our RV  using stairs built entirely out of scrounged materials.

Materials for Comet's Steps

I was able to make these out of scrap lumber, used plywood, and discarded carpet, all found in the RV park where we were staying one winter. Basically, the only thing I spent money on was staples for the carpet.

Even if you buy new materials, when you make steps yourself it can cost much less than a manufactured set since you don't have to pay labor and shipping.

Note: These steps can work just as well for cats, ferrets, rabbits, etc., especially the mini style version. However, since this site is geared primarily to dogs, I'll be referring to them as dog or doggie stairs or steps.

Tools Needed

Basic woodworking skills and tools are all I used:

  • a hand crosscut saw
  • a straight edge
  • an electric drill that also drives screws* and
  • a manual phillips head screwdriver

*You could use a manual drill or a cordless power drill instead.

Make Pet Steps Instructions

For the three-part instructions for these stairs, go to:

1) Part 1: Build Doggie Steps
2) Part 2: Build Doggie Stairs 
3) Part 3: Homemade Doggie Steps

Our neighbors at the RV park liked them so much, I modified them to fit in the narrrow space next to their bed so their cute Westie, CG, could come snuggle in the mornings. These are the mini style steps mentioned above.

Covering the Stairs with Carpet

As you can see from the photos, dog steps can be covered with carpeting to match your home’s interior. (I discovered carpeting is great for hiding construction flaws or other imperfections!)

If possible, choose a type of carpet that provides good traction. For outside stairs, outdoor or indoor/outdoor carpeting can be used.

Other Non-Slip Materials for Covering

Instead of carpeting, doggie steps can be covered with non-skid coatings and still look attractive, such as these options:

  • Pigment can be added to provide the color you want
  • Add a non-skid product called SkidTex to any paint you wish to use
  • First paint the stairs in the color you want, then apply a non-skid coating that is clear

You can also create other types of non-slip surfaces for dog stairs by stapling strips of rubber matting in place. Often you can get used rubber mats at vehicle salvage yards.

More Ways to Build Pet Steps

If you're feeling ambitious, think about making doggie stairs out of other geometric shapes, for example triangles, hexagons, circles, trapezoids etc.

For circular steps, metal rods or dowels could be used for supports.

You may also want to create some in a wedge shape to fit in a corner.

Here's an idea we found for a set of light steps made of foam board that can be covered with either vinyl or astroturf:
Inexpensive Dog Step 

Whatever you choose to build, we hope the dog ramp or doggie stairs you make suits your dog to a T!

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