Some people say that Chihuahuas shouldn’t climb stairs. And others say that it’s wonderful.

I know.

Confusing, right?

But don’t worry. In this article, you’ll discover:

  • If Chihuahuas can climb stairs.
  • Whether it’s a bad idea for older Chis to climb stairs.
  • When climbing stairs can be dangerous + 3 tips to prevent issues.
  • And more…

Can Chihuahuas climb stairs?

Chihuahuas without orthopedic or neurological issues can usually climb stairs reasonably easy. Whether your own Chihuahua can climb stairs depends on their size and the size of the stairs, your dog’s confidence, and any positive or negative associations they have with staircases.

There are specific ways to recognize if your Chihuahua should climb stairs or not.

Here you will find some of the most common questions about Chihuahuas and stairs.

You will also learn helpful tips on protecting your Chihuahua from falling and injuring themselves.

But before we talk about those things, check out this Chihuahua who hops downstairs on her front paws:

I hope you enjoyed that. Let’s get back to the ‘serious’ stuff:

Can Chihuahua puppies climb stairs?

You know that puppies are adaptable, and you might be considering teaching your puppy to use the stairs. Climbing up and down the stairs is a tiring task for a puppy.

And not only that, they could also break their bones, neck, or back during the attempts.

For your Chihuahua puppy’s safety, it’s best not to introduce them to stairs until they’re 12 months old.

Caution: Don’t allow your Chihuahua puppy to run on the stairs. Never initiate a game such as a fetch on the stairs, and this is very dangerous for your puppy and might lead to a severe injury.

Is it harmful to Chihuahuas to go up and down stairs every day?

Whether or not it’s harmful to your Chihuahua to climb the stairs and go down depends on the number of stairs, their size, and the size of your dog. 

Chihuahuas belong to toy dog breeds, which means that they most probably won’t be able to handle stairs on their own all of the time. For them, the effort is much bigger than it is for any bigger dog.

Besides that, you shouldn’t worry about it too much provided your Chihuahua doesn’t have any problems such as hip dysplasia or any evident difficulties.

Monitor your dog first to be sure they’re not experiencing any discomfort while going up or down the stairs.

When it’s a long flight of stairs though, you‘d better pick up your Chihuahua and carry them most of the time.

As to the times you’re not at home, it’d be smart to limit the access to stairs to prevent potential accidents.

Why won’t my Chihuahua climb stairs anymore?

Your Chihuahua used to claim stairs but won’t do it anymore and you start to get worried. Your dog could whine for you to carry them up or down. What has changed?

Are you aware of any back trauma your Chihuahua could have experienced? A sign to look out for is yelping while she goes up or down the stairs.

If your Chihuahua doesn’t emit a sound but refuses to use the stairs, the facts are still pointing to back trauma.

You might be thinking that a back trauma is impossible if your Chihuahua is kenneled while you’re away from home. Truth is, they can hurt themselves even while doing something simple such as jumping off the bed or playing with another dog.

The only way to tell for sure would be to visit your vet and do an X-Ray. It will show whether your Chihuahua has a back trauma, a disc problem, or a narrowing of the spine that causes pain (a.k.a. spondylosis).

Can Chihuahuas with temporary injuries climb stairs?

Maybe your Chihuahua has recently had an accident with another dog. Or they’ve hurt themselves in the process of play. Or they’ve undergone surgery for some reason.

In such cases, you shouldn’t allow your Chihuahua to get near any stairs.

If there are stairs at home, put your Chihuahua in a room that has no direct access to them. When you’re taking your Chi on a walk and need to pass a passage with stairs, simply pick up your dog and carry them.

Can Chihuahuas with genetic health problems climb stairs?

For Chihuahuas suffering from health issues, it’s not advisable to go on stairs at all.

In case you have stairs in your home, it’ll be best to block your Chihuahua’s access to them. 

If they go up and down stairs regularly, a condition that they were initially predisposed to, could get unlocked. 

Conditions that you want to watch out for include hip dysplasiaelbow dysplasia, and patellar luxation. 

You want to keep your Chihuahua safe and ensure their environment isn’t enforcing the development of a health issue such as the above. Don’t let them climb or go down any stairs while they’re puppies and even after they mature.

Can older Chihuahuas climb stairs?

It’s not a good idea for older Chihuahuas to climb stairs. As your dog gets older, it will be more prone to injuries due to muscle mass decrease. Their bones will also be more fragile than before.

You also want to consider the fact that their energy levels will be lower. And with that, the ability to tackle such challenges as well.

Bear in mind that when your Chihuahua is older, they will likely be stiffer and could even have arthritis.

These can make even some basic slight movements painful. And if you add climbing stairs to that, your Chihuahua’s unpleasant experience will be intensified.

How to prevent Chihuahuas from climbing stairs?

Even if you try to discourage your Chi by saying firmly ‘NO’ when they attempt to get on stairs, they might just go ahead and do it anyway.

Chihuahuas are famous for being a stubborn breed, so the sooner you start discouraging them from climbing stairs, the better.

If your Chihuahua doesn’t listen to you when you try to stop them, you have several other options. So, don’t give up just because your first attempt didn’t lead to the result you wanted.

As an alternative, you can install a baby gate. Just make sure it’s high enough so that the Chihuahua can’t jump over it.

When your Chihuahua is in the room with you, close the door to prevent free roaming around the house. They will probably be satisfied enough with your company most of the time and wouldn’t want to go out but let’s not risk it.

3 safety tips for Chihuahuas climbing stairs

You don’t want to limit your Chihuahua from getting some exercise but you do want to ensure they don’t hurt themselves in the process.

Or maybe you just don’t find it practical to put a baby gate on that staircase of yours.

No worries.

Here’s what you can do:

Tip #1: Monitor your Chihuahua

This one won’t prevent any accidents but can sow if there’s anything you need to address regarding your Chihuahua’s overall health. Such as:

  • Orthopedic issues.

It’s easier to tell if your Chihuahua has an orthopedic issue while they’re using the stairs.

Going down should be no problem. Any type of reluctance to climb up, however, or hopping like a bunny, is an indicator that something’s wrong.

On the other hand, if your Chihuahua shows no problem going up but has difficulties coming down, they might have shoulder and elbow issues.

  • Neurological issues.

It’s relatively easy to pot if your Chihuahua suffers from a neurological issue. Suppose they do, they won’t lift or lower their head when going up or down.

Your Chihuahua could struggle with its balance, a.k.a vestibular disease. If they do, they are likely to use the wall to support themselves.

Tip #2: Lighten the staircase

This is very important because it could prevent accidents. Plus, it will not only help your Chihuahua see better what they’re doing but also allow you to observe them more precisely.

Tip #3: Install a stair runner or a ramp

For the sake of your Chihuahua’s well-being, it’s worth considering having your stars carpeted. Or getting a created runner.

This will provide your Chihuahua with a better grip and save them from slipping.

Another thing you could do is put grips on the toes of your Chihuahua. Chances are your dog will handle these better than any boots or shoes.

As to the ramps, they’d do a great job for several stairs but not for long flights of stairs. The ramps are a great way for older dogs to move around the house if there are a couple of stairs from one room to another.

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