Whether your dog needs a boost getting into the backseat of your SUV or a staircase to climb into the cargo space; today we are talking about stairs for dogs to get in the car.\n\n\n\nAnd while I never intended to use two different products\u2026I ended up loving both of these styles to help my 90 pound arthritic dog when getting into my SUV. I\u2019m going to share my review and video of exactly why I LOVE both of these pet steps for cars. \n\n\n\nAt the end of this article, you should have enough information to make a more informed decision as to which style may work best for your dog.\n\n\n\nReviews of Dog Steps for the Car\n\n\n\nThe two pet step products I personally own and are demonstrated by my dog in the upcoming review and video are these: \n\n\n\nBest Side Door Entry Pet Steps: Extra Wide Pet Steps by PetGear (link to product)\n\n\n\nBest Back (Hatch) Entry Dog Steps: Portable Loading Pet Steps (link to product) \n\n\n\nLet\u2019s get into my full review (with video) and a little background as to when and why I had to get some pet steps for my senior dog.\u00a0 \n\n\n\nHow to Lift a Large Dog Into a Car\n\n\n\nI remember the day vividly. \nWe were leaving my parents\u2019 house after a fun-filled, weekend\nvisit. The SUV was loaded, my dog had\nthe entire backseat of my jeep decked\nout for comfort and all to himself and all he had to do was \u201cjump\u201d in so we could begin our 3 hour journey\nhome. \n\n\n\nHe was excited to go home as usual, but as he made his way\ntoward the side door of my jeep, he stopped dead in his tracks and turned\naround. That\u2019s odd I thought and\ngestured for him to jump in. He walked toward\nthe door again and\u2026. Nope, not going to do it. \n\n\n\n\nNow anyone who has a 90 pound dog knows all too well, you\u2019re\nnot going to make your huge dog do anything he cannot physically do. Luckily, with much love and reassurance from\nfamily, we were able to convince him to set his front paws up on the seat and\nthen my Dad and I lifted and assisted his back end up and into the car. It was sloppy, but\u2026 mission accomplished.\n\n\n\nFrodo was so happy to be in the comfort of his backseat, but I knew right then and there: It\u2019s time to start researching those Pet Steps that help dogs get in the car!\n\n\n\nPet Steps for Cars Reviews\n\n\n\nIf you\u2019re reading this article, then you and I have at least one thing in common: we read reviews before buying products.\u00a0 So as my research into pet steps for cars began, much to my surprise, I saw a lot of ads for pet stairs, but not a whole lot of reviews for products that were suited for large breed, arthritic dogs that use SUV side doors.\u00a0 \n\n\n\nAnd let\u2019s face it, those foam step reviews showing a Toto sized cutie were not going to cut it.\u00a0 No way is my huge dog going to walk up a squishy, wobbly foam staircase!\n\n\n\nAnother decision I had to make was between dog Ramp or dog\nSteps?\n\n\n\nIs a Ramp or Stairs Better for Dogs?\n\n\n\nI had the same exact questions and I think it comes down to\nknowing your dog. For my senior dog, I\nknew a couple of things that led me toward steps and they are this:\n\n\n\nMy 90 pound dog is front heavy. He\u2019s got a big chest like a boxer but his\nback legs are losing muscle as he ages. \nFor me, I thought the ramps available were way too steep for his body\ntype, weight and physical condition. \n\n\n\nI also remembered that he absolutely hated those ramps that\nare often found at dog washes that are meant to help dogs climb up into the\nwashtub. With that in mind, I decided pretty\nquickly that it would be dog steps\nover a dog ramp for helping Frodo\nget into and out of the car.\n\n\n\nWhich Pet Steps are Made for Big Dogs?\n\n\n\nThe two products that kept coming up in my research were the\npet loader (pretty expensive) and a wide version of the foldable pet stairs,\nwhich were friendlier on the budget. \n\n\n\nPet Loader Collapsible Platform Steps (3-Step, 4-Step, 5-Step)\n\n\n\nThe pet loader was a pretty expensive option but I remembered that my friends had it for their dogs and even though it was years ago, my dog did use it without issue to get into the back of their cargo van. \n\n\n\nClick for Price Check, Specs & Reviews\n\n\n\nAnd frankly, if you load your dog into the back of your SUV , Hatchback or Van and can afford the Pet Loader: go for it. \n\n\n\nYou should have no problem convincing your big dog to walk up the pet-loader because it\u2019s as natural as regular stairs. It comes in 3, 4 or 5 steps and these dog steps are extremely sturdy! Use the product link to see current pricing and read reviews from fellow large breed dog owners: Pet Loader (product link).\n\n\n\nMy continued research led me to the next product (which I do\nown).\n\n\n\nFoldable, Portable Pet Steps for Cars\n\n\n\nThe other product that people mentioned was the foldable, metal and heavy-duty fabric expandable steps that hook into trunk latch hooks. There was one style in particular that supported my dog\u2019s weight and had a good amount of reviews from fellow dog owners. \n\n\n\nThat's Frodo and our Folding Steps\n\n\n\nI ended up buying these style of foldable style car steps - 100 pound weight (link to product) and I highly recommend them.\n\n\n\nSide note: When I bought my steps, they only had ones that supported up to 100 pounds, but now they make one that\u2019s good for up to 120 pounds. So if you\u2019d prefer, or need the extra strength, get these ones instead; Foldable Pet steps Holds 120 Pounds (link to product). If I were buying today, I'd go with the 120lb class.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nDog Steps for Car Side Entry Backseat\n\n\n\nEven though the back entry steps seemed like a viable option, \u00a0I still had an issue and that was that neither the pet loader nor the foldable pet steps would solve my main issue which was: 90% of the time, my dog uses the side door of my SUV, not the back\u2026 and I wanted to keep it that way\n\n\n\nMy Back Seat Solution for the SUV and also Sedan\n\n\n\nSo, not having many reviews to count on, I did what we all do at some point: I took a chance on a product that looked like it might work for my SUV side door. Enter: Extra Wide Pet Steps by Pet Gear (link to product).\n\n\n\nNow I had my doubts, but I didn\u2019t tell Frodo.\n\n\n\nWhy I Love the Extra Wide Pet Steps by PetGear for Side Door Entry in my SUV\n\n\n\nThese steps are sturdy, wide, carpeted and they have rubber pads on the bottom that keeps them from slipping while my dog climbs in the car. \n\n\n\nFrodo Using Pet Steps at Side Door\n\n\n\nOne of the reasons I went for the wide version is because I wanted a set of stairs that were full enough for my big dog to feel safe. \n\n\n\nSee in the picture how the steps leave no gap between the steps and the car and how wide they are?\n\n\n\nHe\u2019s not a fan of wobbly or skinny setups (like dog ramps) so I knew he\u2019d need a wide set of stairs and these dog steps are perfect!\u00a0 \u00a0\n\n\n\nThey fit right up close to the SUV and with the side door open and me guiding him up (on the open side) it\u2019s like we created a walled staircase, which makes my big dog feel secure.\n\n\n\nI also like that they are easy to clean and extremely light weight.\u00a0 And if you have a Sedan, which is our 2nd car, these steps work just as well. They are nearly flush with the seat, maybe just an inch lower. \n\n\n\nThe bigger problem with some sedans is that the doors don't open nice and wide...ad least in ours. But the dog steps still work .\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nWhat I would Change about PetGear Steps for Dogs\n\n\n\nIf I could change one thing about these steps, I\u2019d love it if they folded (without compromising their strength). \u00a0Even so, I highly recommend these for side door car travel.\u00a0 \n\n\n\nAnd while they were pretty easy to assemble, I\u2019m convinced the instructions had a mistake.\u00a0 It was logical to figure out and caused no problems, but a couple other people mention the same thing. \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nGetting Ready to Assemble Pet Steps\n\n\n\nSolid steps - (140ish pounds) \n\n\n\nOther than that, the steps taper forward and I wondered if that would be a problem. Turns out, it was not, and perhaps it's by design? Anyway, they are perfect for my 90 pound senior, arthritic dog as you\u2019re about to see in the video and we don't go anywhere without them.\n\n\n\nRemember to place the steps on solid ground, use a leash to guide your dog up the stairs and put your body on the open side of the stairs (opposite the open car door). \n\n\n\nInterestingly enough, my dog waits for me to guide him up\nand down\u2026and I\u2019m okay with that.\n\n\n\nTips for Getting Your Dog to Use Car Steps\n\n\n\nMy dog is a little timid with new processes, but allows\npatient and repeated training and instruction. \nHe would not use either set of stairs on his own but little by little he\ngot used to them when I led him on leash. \n\n\n\n\nWhichever style you decide to go with, the pet steps have to\nbe stable on the ground to avoid movement. \nStand beside the open stairs and lead your dog up and down them,\npatiently and with great reassurance. \n\n\n\nIt took my dog probably 10 attempts before he started to get the hang of the steps. But now, as you\u2019ll see in the video, he goes up and down either style easily as long as he\u2019s led on his leash.\n\n\n\nVideo Demonstration of my Dog Using Both Styles of Dog Steps for The Car\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nIf the play button is not working, you can watch the video on youtube here: https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v=bRQQTKN-R6w\n\n\n\nIf your dog isn\u2019t getting the hand of it, try a few times\nevery day and coax them with treats if needed. \nOnce your dog gets used to the stairs, it will change the way you travel\u2026\nall for the good!\n\n\n\nSummary\n\n\n\nLooking back, I guess I thought I\u2019d have more advance notice\nthat my big dog needed help getting into the car. I imagined there would be clues or signs but\nthat\u2019s not at all how it happened for us. \nHe just stopped jumping into the car that day we were heading home. No clues, no warnings. \n\n\n\nI suppose in retrospect, the fact that he has arthritis Should have been a clue to me. So, if you have a large dog with arthritis\nand you go on road trips, car rides, vet visits, etc., my advice would be to\nprepare yourself now and train him or her now with one of these products. \n\n\n\nI have used all three of these products; I personally own\ntwo and highly recommend them for the following reasons:\n\n\n\nMy picky, tender footed, front heavy, 90 pound\ndog learned to use these products without issue. We love going on car rides and traveling to see\nfamilyIt keeps my dog independent as we live with his\never-progressing spinal and hip arthritis\n\n\n\nHere are my top picks one last time:\n\n\n\nBest Pet Stairs for Senior Dogs (Side Door\nEntry)\n\n\n\nExtra Wide Pet Steps by Pet Gear (link to product)\n\n\n\nBest Pet Stairs for Senior Dogs (Back, Hatch Entry)\n\n\n\nIf you always ride with your dog in the back area and can afford it: Pet Loader (link to product)\n\n\n\nIf budget is a consideration go with the these options. They worked for my dog and are really easy to transport and setup.\n\n\n\nBudget Friendly Car Steps for dogs up to 120 pounds (link to product)\n\n\n\nBudget Friendly Car Steps for dogs up to 100 pound (link to product)\n\n\n\nAnd for those of you interested in the Backseat Hammock for Dogs that you see in the video, I LOVE it! It's got a mesh front, non-slip backing and it has flaps that protect the door molding from slobber. \n\n\n\nNon-slip Dog Hammock for leather seats\n\n\n\nIt was a huge upgrade from the old, thin one I had. Here is the hammock as seen in the video: Backseat Dog Hammock by iBuddy (link to product). \n\n\n\nThanks for visiting SeniorDogDays!