Life with Jasmine, Juliet and Buttercup, Our Rescued Dachshunds

Random notes on our experience with THREE rescued miniature dachshunds

Stairs or No Stairs?

Where do you draw the line on overprotective?

One of the comments on my last post about Jasmine taking a header down the stairs was a kind and gentle (thanks!) reminder that Dachshunds shouldn’t go up and down stairs. Which brings me to my dilemma. Should I let her?

We already had Jasmine when we bought this house. One of the considerations I made when we were searching for a house was to try to find one with a first-floor master bedroom. Alas, we didn’t find the right house that had that feature. We sleep upstairs. My art studio will also be upstairs.

The stairs are a standard staircase that is fully carpeted in deep plush carpet. When we first brought Jasmine here, I diligently carried her up and down the stairs. However, she started darting ahead after a little while, and when she had no adverse effects from it, I just let it go and let her climb up and down herself. When I leave the room, she sometimes goes searching for me upstairs. We do have baby gates and we can keep her from going up and down by herself.

Taking her outside to “go” also requires that she go down 5 wide steps off the deck. She zips up and down those as well.

So, I either allow her to do this by herself, or I have to carry her up and down the stairs to go outside, to go to bed, to go up with me every time I go up, etc. This probably means being picked up 20 times per day on average. While I don’t mind doing it (except for MY bad back) except for the inconvenience (laundry + dachshund + baby gate = disaster), I’m wondering how many people with dachshunds NEVER have a problem with back issues AND have stairs.

Now given that Jasmine has already had IVDD, I know that it’s time for me to be much more proactive about her health and stop being lazy about the stairs. But I really want to know the science behind this rather than the “experts” just stating that “stairs are hard on Dachshund backs.” Does anyone have any insight into the cause/effect of stairs on Dachshund IVDD? Do you let your little darlings do the stairs themselves? And have they had any issues? Inquiring minds want to know. Please leave a comment. Also, here’s a poll…let’s see how many people do let their Doxies take the stairs:

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