Categories: Favorite, Shoppable-Published On: March 1, 2021-

Is your toy breed dog having trouble jumping on your bed or the sofa?

Foam stairs for small dogs might seem like the no-brainer solution, but it’s hard to find lightweight, well-made steps that look attractive AND don’t smell like chemicals AND don’t cost a billion dollars. I mean, really, why doesn’t Target develop a trendy and eco-friendly home dog line that involves more than beds? Until they do, the process for finding stylish steps for dogs is brutal.

Our 4-Step Curation Process

Pretty much everything that enters our home undergoes a ridiculous, FBI-level vetting process. When I sat down to explain it in writing, I realized I always pass our purchases through four gates:

The Value Gate: is the piece appropriately-priced given what we’re expecting of it?

The Aesthetic Gate: do we love the way the piece looks? (ok, sometimes we ask “does it spark joy?” although we’ve been doing this before Marie Kondo wrote her brilliant book.)

The Mindfulness Gate: Is there mindfulness in the way the piece is made, with respect to the environment, the economy, and/or social consciousness?

The Function Gate: Is this the best functioning piece we can find?

These four turnstyles work incredibly well to locate items we end up loving in our home, but the process is time-consuming to implement. So, when we began looking for dog stairs, we spent hours searching dozens of sites and hundreds of items, narrowing down to only one set of pet steps that passed through all four gates.  The final gate required a week of daily testing, and now we’re ready to report our great results. Below, we’ve shared the challenge our small dog was having and how we solved her struggles.

(Note: As an Amazon affiliate, we earn a small commission if you click on our links and make a purchase. Doing so supports our work and we appreciate it! We provide links only to products we believe in and have tested ourselves. Our full disclosure, disclaimer, and copyright notices are found here.)

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When Your Dog Can’t Jump Up

Our New Bed Was Not Phoebe-Friendly

Our Havanese Phoebe is a tough little girl, weighing in at a sturdy thirteen pounds. She can tear around the yard like the Tasmanian Devil and she’ll hike for miles. But after we moved and brought in a new bed, our little athlete had trouble getting up on the bed by herself. I began researching foam steps for small dogs, but I held off buying anything because the reasonably priced stairs were just, well, hideous. And initially, Phoebe’s inability to leap up was not a huge deal, as we’d just lift her onto the mattress at bedtime. But then, she started getting too hot in the covers at night, and she would jump off to lay on the cool hardwoods for a while. When she decided she wanted back in bed, she was stuck. As a small dog, she couldn’t jump up on the tall mattress.

Now, between the hours of 7am and 7pm, neither Phoebe nor Scout are shy about letting us know they want something. They use clear, throaty barks to make their needs known to everyone within a three-block radius. But for some blessed reason, they “get” the whole “night equals quiet” formula. They both turn strangely polite after the sun goes down (unless intruders, well, intrude). So when Phoebe couldn’t jump up on the bed, instead of barking to wake us up, she’d sit at my side and make these muffled yipping noises. Sometimes, I wouldn’t hear her at all and Scout would alert me to Phoebe’s predicament by smacking me on the chin with her paw. (You can read about the time Scout woke me up like this when she was sick. I swear she’s only 10% Havanese and 90% human).

Both Phoebe and I became a bit sleep-deprived, which is not good news for us or anyone else in the house. We both get cranky. That was it. I had to break down and find dog stairs that would work near the bed. But I had some requirements. Well, a lot of requirements.

The Best Foam Steps For Toy Breeds

In our world, the best stairs for small dogs would be:

  • soft in construction so as to be easy on pup joints and my floors and walls (function gate)
  • realistically priced (value gate)
  • made in the USA so we can support our economy here and minimize the environmental impact of overseas shipping (mindful gate);
  • lightweight, so we can quickly and easily move them out of the way (function gate);
  • sturdy so the dogs and I have absolute confidence in their stability (function gate);
  • constructed with high-quality materials that do not compromise the air quality in our home (mindful gate);
  • washable, with a removable cover (function gate);
  • streamlined in appearance and easily tucked away (function gate); and
  • minimalistic in design (aesthetic gate).

That’s it. Easy!

Or not…

CertiPur-US Certified Foam Steps

4 Step Pet Stairs From Best Pet Supply

It took several hours of searching Google Shopping before we landed on the USA Made Pet Steps/Stairs with CertiPUR-US Certified Foam by Best Pet Supplies. We loved their price (between $50-$75, depending on the size and fabric you select) the look, and the quality fabric options (more about those, below).  Most importantly, we loved that the foam is CertiPUR-US Certified. That’s hard to find in steps for small dogs unless you want to pay hundreds of dollars.

Of course, if you’re like us, you’ve long abandoned those innocent days when you took the “certified” stamp at face value. Way too many fake industry “certifications” exist, so when we researched foam quality before we bought our most recent human bed, we were pretty skeptical of the

 CertiPur seal. But according to many green and consumer sites we follow, the CertiPUR organization IS legit! Yay! 

The Benefits of CertiPur-US

So what’s so great about CertiPur-US foam stairs for dogs? Just this: the foam is made without ozone destroyers, without dangerous flame retardants, without lead, mercury, and formaldehyde, without phthalates, and without the off-gassing that messes with your indoor air quality.

If you love the science of these things and want to know more, we recommend you read What is CertiPur-US Foam? by Green Active Family. And, if you’re wondering whether you should wait until they come out with organic foam stairs for dogs, then read this Consumer Reports article Organic Mattress Labels You Can Trust. We’ll wait here…be sure you come back! Sometimes the internet is like a squirrel–very distracting and sure to take you wholly off your track. Remember, we’re looking at stairs for dogs. 

Foam Step Training

Lure training: foam stairs for small dogs

We ordered the grey, linen-look foam steps from Amazon, opened the box, and immediately put them to work. I used trusty string cheese for lure training, and within a matter of minutes, Phoebe and Scout were running up and down the stairs. While it’s true these foam steps for dogs are very stable, it’s also true they’ll do almost anything for cheese. So later, when I didn’t HAVE cheese, they ignored the stairs. And that first night, Phoebe hopped off the bed and didn’t even attempt to use them to get back up. She woke me up around 1:30 a.m., and I was too groggy to remember to make her use the dog steps to return to bed.

The next day, we did a little more lure training, and later that afternoon Phoebe demonstrated she “got it” as she used the stairs herself to take a mid-day snooze on our bed. Progress! That night, though, she woke me again around 2am to lift her back up. This time, however, I reminded her of the stairs by standing up and pointing to the bottom step. Without a moment’s hesitation, she trotted up! It’s now been nearly ten days, and I’ve slept through the night since. Phoebe now walks up and down as she pleases, and we are all well-rested and very, very happy.

Steps Sturdy Enough For Two

The Best Pet photos on Amazon depicts a man in jeans and construction boots standing on these foam stairs without compressing them. We didn’t put the stairs through that test, but I can attest they’re so stable the girls tear up and down them side-by-side without any instability or wobbling. It’s really cute – we’ve posted a video on our Instagram account.

Can Portable Dog Stairs for Small Dogs Actually Look Good?

Foam Steps For Small Dogs

Yes, they can, and they should. We can easily tuck these USA Made Pet Steps/Stairs with CertiPUR-US Certified Foam by Best Pet Supplies under an arm and move them throughout our home. While I might have been smarter to purchase the cream-colored lambswool, the grey linen blends in anywhere. My design and healthy-home aesthetic loves these dog stairs, Phoebe and Scout love these dog stairs, and my health loves these dog stairs. I’ve slept through the night since the day after they arrived. We highly recommend!

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Since Best Pet Supply doesn’t seem to have all their choices readily organized in Amazon, we’ve shown the best 3, 4, and 5 stair options below.

3-Step Foam Stairs for Small Dogs

4-Step Foam Stairs for Small Dogs

5-Step Foam Stairs for Small Dogs

(Note: As an Amazon affiliate, we earn a small commission if you click on our links and make a purchase. Doing so supports our work and we appreciate it! We provide links only to products we believe in and have tested ourselves. Our full disclosure, disclaimer, and copyright notices are found here.)

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