Thursday, May 10, 2012

DIY Step for a Small Pet

Despite her advanced years, my 14-year-old Miniature Pinscher is still quite capable of leaping onto my bed. But with arthritis in her hips, she really shouldn't be jumping on or off things that are twice her height. Steps for pets are readily available, but most are too large for my small bedroom and/or too tall for my relatively short platform bed. To get a step of the right size, I needed to make it myself. A wooden box would have been perfect, but I couldn't find one in the appropriate size. I decided to try a sturdy cardboard box.
sturdy cardboard box about 14" square and 12" high
To strengthen the area my dog would be jumping on, I stuck a self-adhesive vinyl floor tile to the bottom side of what would become the top of the step.  Because it would be hanging upside down, I also duct taped it for extra security. (It's hard to describe. In this photo, you are looking at the underside of the top of the step.)

I folded the flaps and turned the box over. I further strengthened the top of the step with another self-adhesive floor tile. (The cardboard top of the step is now sandwiched between the black tile on the underside and the beige tile on the top side.)

Using more duct tape and my handy staple gun, I wrapped the sides of the box/step with fabric.
top of the step (covered with beige tile) is facing you
in this photo, the step is shown upside down
To stabilize the bottom of the step, I used a third self-adhesive floor tile.
step is shown upside down
Then I added self-adhesive nonskid pads to the bottom.
step is shown upside down
To provide traction on the top, I used a piece of scrap carpet. It's held on with double-sided tape in the center and a staple in each corner.


And my step was complete! It's not elegant, but it coordinates well enough with the striped bedskirt and valance.

Of course, such a step wouldn't withstand a rowdy puppy or a large dog, but testing proved it's plenty sturdy enough for my calm 10-pound dog. She took to it immediately. She can even use it while wearing the dreaded E collar.

Total cost of the project was about $6 -- $1 each for the vinyl tiles (which were actually leftovers from other projects) and $3 for the nonskid pads.

23 comments:

  1. Aww! That was thoughtful of you! Have a nice weekend!

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    1. She's been a good companion for me. I'm happy to give her some extra TLC in her golden years. :)

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  2. That's a cute step and it was sweet of you to make that for your puppy. Is she doing any better?

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    1. Thank you for asking. Unfortunately, she doesn't seem any better. :( We have an appointment with the veterinary ophthalmologist Wednesday.

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  3. The sharp folds on the corners are making the OCD parts of my brain very happy.

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    1. Ha ha! And look how straight the stripes are...

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  4. Absolutely adorable! It looks fantastic; can't go wrong with black and white stripes!

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    1. Thank you. I do love me some black and white stripes.

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  5. That is such an awesome idea!!! Those pet stairs you can buy from the shops are all so expensive, and you did it so much more stylishly for MUCH less. Your little corner of the world is always so inspiring for my own little home; I think my girls are getting some of these for their short statures!

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    1. Thank you! It makes me happy when I can provide inspiration. :D

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  6. Love it! Beetle juice style (black and white stripes)...

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  7. A delightful project; you always make functional items look so beautiful! Gotta love the thousand and one uses that can be found for cardboard boxes too!

    You really do have a lovely dog.
    I hope the next vet appointment brings better news.

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  8. Thank you so much! Yes, cardboard is very versatile... and often free. :)

    Thank you. I hope so, too. I'm worried about her.

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  9. Wow, 14 years? That's nice! I hope, she's going to get better, though!
    The step was a very sweet idea and it looks fabulous. ^^

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    1. Yes, she's quite the old lady now. ;) We've been fortunate to have no major health problems until now. Thank you!

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  10. This is by far one of the coolest pet projects I have ever seen. I hope your pup is doing better! I love your blog, I am a huge fan.

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    1. Thank you very much! :D She is doing better.

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  11. This is by far one of the coolest pet projects I have ever seen. I hope your pup is doing better! I love your blog, I am a huge fan.

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