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This article was updated in June 2022.
When Django was a baby, our ‘walks’ consisted of him sitting in the middle of a busy Brooklyn sidewalk while Mike and I (Steph) tried to get Django to go to the bathroom. Django would stare up wide-eyed at every passerby, hoping they’d stop to pet him. They usually did :)
Many people who stopped to pet Django were dachshund owners. And so many of these doxie lovers had a story to tell us about their dog and Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD).
IVDD, per PetMD, “is a condition where the cushioning discs between the vertebrae of the spinal column either bulge or burst into the spinal cord space… [they] press on the nerves running through the spinal cord causing pain, nerve damage, and even paralysis.” If you're unsure of what this means, don't worry! We recently published a comprehensive and easy-to-understand article explaining IVDD in dogs: what it is, causes, prevention, symptoms, and treatment options. You can find the article here:
When Django was 4.9 lbs of cuteness, kind and well-meaning New Yorkers told Mike and I countless stories about IVDD. We heard horror stories about dogs with chronic back pain or permanent paralysis, and a few heartbreaking tales of dogs in so much pain that they had to be euthanized. Many people told us to never let Django jump on and off furniture or even climb stairs. So that’s what we did.
Mike and I have never allowed Django to jump on and off furniture, and we don’t let him climb even a short flight of stairs. Extreme? Maybe. But after hearing so many terrible tales of IVDD, we decided to take drastic action. We recognize that Django is still at risk of IVDD - no stairs or jumping aside. His body is extra long and his legs are amusingly short... he's unfortunately at risk no matter what we do.
Django is unusually chill, so teaching him to never jump or climb stairs was actually easy. Now Django sits patiently at the bottom of a staircase until we're ready to say "pick up!" and carry him upstairs. Of course, not all dogs are as eerily calm as Django.
Whether you have a healthy puppy, a middle aged dog with a sensitive back, or a senior dog who has (or hasn't) experienced IVDD... consider minimizing the risk of future back problems with pet gates, dog ramps and shallow pet stairs.
Yes, some breeds are more genetically at risk of IVDD. These chondrodystrophic breeds include dachshunds, bulldogs, basset hounds, beagles, corgis, cocker spaniels, pekingese, shih-tzus and even poodles. But all dogs grow more susceptible to back problems as they age, including non-chondrodystrophic breeds.
Here are the most popular and well-rated indoor dog gates, pet ramps and stairs.
Consider a high quality pet gate to keep your pup safe in one section of your home or to prevent your dog from climbing and descending steep staircases. Mike and I use Top Paw’s Extra Wide Pet Gate at my parents' home to prevent Django from leaving the living room and running up the stairs. Consider the second option below if you don’t need the extra wide reach and want to save a few dollars.
PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS of Top Paw Extra Wide Pet Gate:
PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS of Carlson Pet Gate:
Pet ramps and stairs are an excellent tool to prevent your pup from jumping on and off furniture in the home. Pet ramps have a modest incline and are best for dogs with sensitive backs or pups with mobility problems. Ramps are also the best option for dogs genetically at risk of IVDD. Pet stairs are most popular for young, non-chondodystrophic breeds and will take up a little less space in your home.
PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS of Best Pet Supplies Foam Pet Stairs:
PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS of Pet Gear's Easy Step II Pet Stairs:
This is a great option for dogs at greater risk of IVDD, like Django, as the scalloped design is significantly easier on dogs' back then true 'stairs'.
PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS of Snoozer's Scalloped Pet Ramp:
PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS of Solvit Wood Bedside Ramp:
PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS of PETMAKER's Folding Plastic Pet Stairs:
We recently published an in-depth yet easy-to-comprehend article explaining IVDD in dogs - causes, prevention, symptoms and treatment options:
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Even if your dog is the most well-trained pup, pee accidents happen. Our dachshund Django, for instance, is well trained and housebroken. Every so often, however, Django will have a pee accident in our house. Usually this happens when we're distracted by work or busy with our toddlers and forget to take Django outside on time. Occasionally a pee accident will happen simply because Django gets super excited and can't control his bladder.
So, what are the best rugs for dogs? What types of rugs are best for families with small children? What rug fabric types are best for dog owners?
In this DJANGO Dog Blog article, we highlight the best types of rugs for dogs, families with kids, and pets. We consider durability, stain-resistance, and ease of cleaning. Are you looking for a dog-proof rug and pee-proof rug? Keep reading!
Calling all dog lovers and four-legged family! Unleash happiness this holiday season with our thoughtful dog lovers gift guide that is sure to have tails wagging and hoomans grinning. From beautiful handcrafted cotton rope dog leashes to super stylish weatherproof boots to drool-worthy dog treats, we (DJANGO) have rounded up the crème de la crème of dog gifts for you and every devoted dog lover in your life.
One more thing? We have included incredible discounts for most of our best dog gift recommendations! We have a wide-reaching, dog loving audience, and almost all brands have given us exclusive promo codes for our pawsome readers. Happy shopping, furends!