September 05 2019

Pugs can climb up and down stairs but there are some important considerations as discussed below. 

Can pugs go up and down stairs is a common question new Pug owners ask and the answer depends on your dog, their health and the stairs they will be using.

Before we can give a definitive answer, we must first look at what helps determine if it is a good idea for your Pug to climb stairs.  Continue reading below to find out.

pug on concrete starirs - chewdup

Age of Your Pug

The age of your dog plays a large part in determining whether your dog can and should be climbing stairs.

If your dog is a puppy of any breed, they are discouraged from climbing stairs until they are a certain age. Their bones, muscles and joints are developing and climbing stairs can have an impact on this since it puts strain on certain body parts, particularly coming down the stairs.

Dogs who are of an advanced age or have physical issues related to illness or injury would fall into the same category as a puppy due to the potential for increased injuries.  Therefore, it isn’t recommended that they climb stairs to protect their joints, bones and muscles from impact injuries as well as other body parts that can get injured should they fall off or down the stairs.  It is always our responsibility to ensure their safety and well-being.

Pug owners who have a dog that is beyond the puppy stage but younger than the elderly age and in good health can occasionally allow their Pug to climb stairs depending on the surface of the stairs.

It should still be kept in mind that it isn’t recommended that this breed use stairs on a regular continual basis due to an increased risk of suffering from joint related health issues that this breed has.  Allowing them to use the stairs too often can increase the likelihood of joint related injuries for your Pug.

Checking with their veterinarian prior to allowing them to climb stairs is best.  The veterinarian can access their overall physical health, including if they have joint problems and discuss your Pug using the stairs.

Certain toy dogs that have a small stature and tiny front legs can have some serious problems climbing stairs.  The Pug however is the largest in what is considered the Toy dog breeds, they have a good length of leg which is combined with a lean body and a strong but agile physique.  This works to their benefit when climbing stairs with ease.  They still can suffer from earlier wear and tear on their joints due to their genetics but overall this breed can manage stairs well.

Stair Flooring Surface

stairs can pug climb stairs

 The type of flooring that is used on the surface of the stairs they will be climbing can determine if they should climb the stairs.  Other factors, such as weather conditions will also help determine this if the stairs are outside.

If the stairs are covered in wood, tile or any other slippery surface it is best to not allow a Pug to climb them.  This type of surface increases the likelihood of them slipping off the stairs, falling or causing injuries since their ability to grip with their paws is limited on this surface.

Even if a caregiver is right beside them It is better to not allow them to navigate these types of stairs since injuries can still happen. The slightest difficulty in gripping the surface of the stairs while ascending them can cause injuries to joints.

With a higher likelihood of joint related health problems, the Pug is best to avoid slippery stairs.  This holds true for the stairs that are outside and possibly a bit icy or snowy.

Should the stairs be covered in carpeting it should be fine for healthy adult dogs to occasionally climb these stairs.  The carpet allows for better gripping abilities by the dog while ascending the stairs.

Can a Pug walk down the stairs?

pug going down stairs

Like most dogs (and kids for that matter), the Pug usually won’t be taking the stairs at a cautious and slow-moving pace.  It is more likely that they will be at a full run, quickly coming down.  While we don’t want to encourage this in a dog, they will most likely still trot down the stairs at a quicker pace then we would like as their beloved caregiver.

Coming down the stairs running puts all their bodies weight on the legs and knee joints, this can cause or increase the pressure, wear and tear and impact on the leg and knee joints.  For a dog that has the potential for increased joint related issues this isn’t the best idea on a repeat or daily basis.

There is also the difficulty that a dog can suffer when trying to stop themselves at the bottom of the stairs.  They may run into furnishings or walls or slip on the floor surface which can cause further harm.

Anyone who has a Pug knows they shed like crazy, all that hair swirling around on the floor can result in injuries for everyone involved.  If you haven’t already read the article on how to minimize this issue, you can read My Pug is Shedding Like Crazy!.

When should I begin teaching my Pug to use stairs?

pug puppy on stairs

If after all this information, it is still necessary for a Pug to learn to use stairs it is best to take this slowly but begin at an earlier age to prevent fears.

In the beginning it is a good idea to supervise them multiple times to access how they manage the stairs and if it is noted that they have troubles of any kind or struggle then a baby gate might be best.  Their abilities and skills can always be checked again later.

While larger dogs like the Labrador Retriever should wait until they are around a year old, smaller breeds such as the Pug can possibly start as early as 12 weeks.  It is best to consult with their veterinarian prior to doing so in case of health issues or problems.

If your dog has never used stairs there may be some apprehension.  If you want to teach them how to use the stairs you can do this yourself as they will likely follow your lead, walking up one tread at a time slowly.  If this appears to be something that they are not interested in, don’t force the issue.

In Conclusion

As stated above, a Pug can climb stairs from time to time if they are physically healthy, of a certain age and if the stairs are covered in the right flooring.  They shouldn’t climb stairs repeatedly on a regular basis since this breed has an increased risk of joint health problems that can develop sooner due to excessive wear and tear and usage of the leg joints.

One way to ensure that your dog always remains safe when using any kind of stairs is by having a portable set of dog stairs or ramp that can be folded up and moved around the house or taken with them wherever they travel.

There are many options available to choose from on the internet for dogs of all sizes as well as different situations, the Pawslife Deluxe Convertible Pet Step/Ramp is a great choice, affordable and convenient for dogs under 60lbs.

While stairs can be great exercise for dogs and human’s alike, it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the safety and overall well-being of your beloved Pug.

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