Pets are like people for most of us, especially in our gay families. So it’s no surprise that as the bedding industry has raised the height of its products, the pet stairs business is booming. There’s a medical reason, of course, as vets are seeing more dog injuries as they jump from high beds without fear. But there seems to be a bit of pampering at play, too.
Even amid the downturn, pet stairs are strong sellers. “From day one through today our pet segment has been steady, growing by 10% annually,” says Joel Lederhause, owner of Discount Ramps.Com, which about five years ago added pet ramps to a wide range it sells for other purposes.
To be sure, pet retailers have long sold a wide variety of products to keep pets off beds and other furniture. But the animals are winning that war. Dogs reside in about 40% of American households, and in steadily rising numbers they are sleeping in human beds. An American Pet Products Association survey found that a record 40% of dogs slept in an adult bed in 2006, along with 7% that slept in a child’s bed.
People are also making use of the stairs meant for their canines.
Some customers are buying pet stairs for themselves, says one purveyor, who requested anonymity because her company’s stairs are neither built for nor marketed to humans.