Jumping off the bed

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Let\'s roll!!
Barked: Sun Oct 17, '10 7:21am PST 
Our 3 year old Chix/Terrier mix is a furniture jumper. We are convinced that she is part mountain goat. laugh out loud

She's about 19 lbs, so that doesn't make her super tiny (she's medium small in size), but I worry about her little legs. Out bed is very high with the frame, and her constant jumping up and down worries me over time (especially as she gets older). You can tell the impact of her jumping down is pretty hard, but she keeps doing it so I guess it doesn't bother her? shrug

Have you experienced any issues with this? Tips? TIA!

I love my momma!-
Barked: Sun Oct 17, '10 7:45am PST 
I dunno but I'm watching this thread. Max is a mini doxie and ol' boy is BOLD. He hopped off the couch and scared me. We're thinking of getting some stairs.

Let\'s roll!!
Barked: Sun Oct 17, '10 11:45am PST 
Max-- we got stairs for Luna, too. (From Petco). She didn't like them, though because they were too short to reach the top of the bed. (Gives you an idea of how tall it is). She would use them to go up, but not down, which is the part that worries me. We ended up returning them.


Take That! You- naughty deer!
Barked: Sun Oct 17, '10 1:56pm PST 
Obviously jumping down onto hard surfaces can be very hard on joints. However alot of dogs do it and don't seem bothered by it at all.

In the vet world we do see an increase in OA (Osteoarthritis) and joint compression injuries in small dogs who are very active. This can either be dogs who spend time doing sports, play/run everyday or who like jumping up and down frequently especially on hard surfaces. We also see an increase in patellar injuries and spinal injuries (cervical and lumbar especially).

But does this mean your dog will be injured? Or that you should prevent them from jumping? Well this all depends. Injury is more common and more detrimental in dogs who are overweight or under muscled. If your dog is at a good healthy weight and has good muscle strength and tone you may not have to worry about this activity at this point. There are some orthapedic vets who would encourage ALL pet owners (dogs and cats, big and small) to discourage jumping onto and off of surfaces greater than 6 inches. This may seem extreme but studies have shown that jarring joint compression seen in jumping can affect long term joint health. These same orthapedists often discourage owners from games like fetch, frisbee and flyball as well since these games encourage a fast moving animal to change directions or stop or jump quickly while moving fast in one direction. This can lead to stress injuries especially if repetitively done.

Honestly you have done what is suggested in most cases by introducing a set of stairs but have run into the same problem alot of other owners have too....a dog who won't use them. This is more common than not. It takes some encouragement and training to get them use to using these tools.

Honestly I have large breeds (GSD and GSD/Husky) but one has chronic pain issues due to excessive ball play. She is 8 and needs assistance with getting into cars, onto bed and sometimes even upstairs. Looking back I realize that there was no way I could have done this better. Cara was a stray with VERY high anxiety when we found her. We lived in Philly at the time and used fetch as a way to burn off anxiety and train her. She played fetch for 3-6 hours every day. The vets believe this is the basis for her chronic pain issues. Had we not played fetch she would have been a destructive, anxiety ridden pet.

So this long basically convuluted answer summed up is....yes jumping down onto hard surfaces can cause injury now or down the line. And its up to you if you want to start introducing tools to help prevent this type of jumping but they may take time and effort on your part to train your dog to want to use them over the more fun way IE Jumping.

I hope this answer was what you were looking for.

ETA - some dogs prefer ramps over steps. Also you may be able to use a simple box or chest at the foot of the bed too which may atleast help lessen the height of the jump?? Or I have seen some people place cushy items or excercise trambolines down to pad the jump?

Edited by author Sun Oct 17, '10 1:58pm PST


Is today agility- day??
Barked: Sun Oct 17, '10 2:21pm PST 
I also have a super tall bed. I found steps online at gwlittle.com There are others that sell them too. It's definitely more expensive to get them for the tall beds. I was lucky enough to get them when they were on sale.

I love my momma!-
Barked: Sun Oct 17, '10 5:09pm PST 
What about joint supplements?
Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
Barked: Sun Oct 17, '10 5:27pm PST 
Joint supplements like glucosamine/chondrontin/MSM work by reducing the free radicals destroying cartilidge...they basically prevent wear/tear damamage to the joints. Since they can only protect what is there and not actually regenerate cartiladge they are best to start early in a dogs life. Some vets are reccomending they be started as early as 1 yr of age. There are now long term side effects except for positive joint health. Personally I think having your pet on them is a good thing no matter their age or activity level. Better to start them now then wait for damage to occur.

Keep in mind that any food claiming to contain glucosamine will not have the proper level to fully protect the joint in it. You always want to give additional supplementation with powder, tablets or capsules. Check with your vet about proper dosage but usually most products will state dosing on them. Since you are not currently seeing a problem but hoping to prevent one you don't need to do a loading dose just maintenance dose.

You should look for a product (you can get a human or pet product - check prices - currently I like the powder supplement Missing Link which has additional stuff in it too but there are tons of products out there) that includes glucosamine, chondrontin and MSM. There have also been recent studies suggesting that Omega 3 Fatty Acids have antiinflammatory properties. Adding them to your pets diet may help to keep inflammation down in the joints which can help maintain long term joint health.

The absolute best thing you can do is maintain your pets ideal weight - make sure they have a body condition score (BCS) of 4-5 (preferably closer to 4) on this chart --> BCS Chart . You should always speak with your vet prior to starting any supplementations in case your pet is on any meds or has any underlying conditions that may be exasturbated by these supplements. Glucosamines and etc are pretty benign but just in case...
Angel Mini

A Heartbeat at- Your Feet ♥
Barked: Sun Oct 17, '10 7:27pm PST 
Mini used to jump on and off the bed but a couple times she would jump up and bounce off the bed and we got concerned so we got her some doggy steps for the bed off of craigslist and she uses them 80% of the time. Sometimes she still jumps off the bed but always uses them now to get on the bed.
Maybe some steps will help you?
They can be ordered online or maybe you can get lucky and find some of of craiglist like us! big grin

little- dog big- life
Barked: Mon Oct 18, '10 9:36am PST 
i use ramps.
it's awesome! i race up and down a million times a day from the couch! smile
you can build one with 10 bucks of scraps from home depot. mine are plywood and have rug for gripping. way better than steps and a must for all doxies.
dachshunds should never jump down off the furniture, muscled or not.
a ramp takes up more space than stairs, but for a small dog, stairs are very hard on the neck, back, hips and knees; especially for an older dog.
often, they won't even let you know how hard it is for them to go up or down stairs as they are happy to be going in or out of the house.
you can sometimes tell if they are 'feeling it', if they are appreciative when carried. we discovered that with our lola and felt so badly we didn't even realize she had been suffering until she refused to go up or down.
you might be able to rig ramps up the side of furniture instead of the front, for instance with a sofa or lazy boy, so as to keep 'footroom'.
i don't know how to climb stairs at all. i just yap to be picked up! big laugh
Jewel, PCD

8.6lbs of fury- in a bow!
Barked: Mon Oct 18, '10 12:16pm PST 
Jewel's a funny little girl...95% of the time she won't jump up on furniture she just stands up with her paws on what she wants to be lifted up onto. She doesn't like to jump off the couch either because of the coffee table I guess, so most of the time I lift her down from that too. She does jump off the bed and she does jump up and down the deck.
She'll do short flights of stairs no problem but most of the time when I go to the basement to do laundry she just waits at the top of the stairs for me.
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