Click here to visit the most complete Maltese site on the WWW
Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that most of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinary medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.
Archived Message
Puppy proofing Stairs
by Elaine and Toby

Puppy proofing Stairs Toby is 9 weeks and I'm petrified about having him upstairs with me. My bedroom is a loft and there is a banister around the steps--about 20 feet of cliff for him to squeeze through and fall! I end up just carrying him whenever we're upstairs. Any ideas for how to keep him from the edge? I'm desperate, but I can't think of any ideas. I'd like to use a gate for the actual place where the steps go down, but I go up and down so often that it has to be easy-open. Thanks for any advice.
We've used our kitchen with both pups for keeping them contained. There are three door openings in the kitchen - two of them over four feet wide. My husband picked up 12 inch wide boards that we can easily step over, but they couldn't jump over. You might consider running a long board along the ledge for the time being. It's not very pretty, but neither is an injured puppy and it'll only be temporary until you can trust Toby.
Hello! Hummmm? I am not sure that I am understanding the question. If you are looking for something that will keep him from an open edge of a loft floor, what is the length of the open edge and do you have any braces along the edge? Like beams? I don't blame you for being spooked! Yicks! The only thing that comes to mind right now (of course it's morning and I haven't had my coffee yet, haha) is chicken wire stapled up. You would have to make sure he didn't get hung up in it, but it wouldn't be as dangerous as a drop. You might like to build yourself a wooden planter that is waist high as a more permanant thing? Hummmmm? Other than a gate to keep him from getting up the stairs, I can't think of anything else. They have some out there that are pretty easy to use. Just a thought, you might go and look around at your nearest Salvation Army for idea's. I get A LOT of things for my Ellii there. Stuffed toys, Pillows, when she was little I put her in a playpen that I got there, etc. They have lots of stuff and the price is right! Anyway, I'll be interested to see some of the other ideas that you get. Good Luck and God Bless.
Elaine- I have seen this problem solved by friends with human babies that also had a loft. They were able to purchase a fabric type netting that was a nylon type composistion-therefore barely noticable-that attached with I believe velcro straps around the railings. I also just recently saw something very similar to this in one of the myriad of catalogs that we all get at holiday time - I will go through them again and see if I can find for you but in the mean time if I were you I would go to one of the 'baby super stores" that are in bigger cities and see if they have them already in stock. They also carry a BIG selection of door gates and the newer ones are lightweight durable plastics that are infinitesmaly adjustable to weird sized door frames and a couple even have the option of being attached -like a hinged door- to one side of the frame. Happy hunting and I'll post back here if I see a source for that netting in a reasonable amount of time.
A type of mesh works well attached to banisters, also lengths of lattice, depending on how big the baby is! For the top of the stairs, it would be too dangerous for you to try to climb over anything, I have used the plastic type baby gates that swing open. The newer ones all have a plastic type mesh instead of wooden slat types. Some are spring loaded for easy opening. It would not make it in House Beautiful, but it works!!
Robin K.
Copyright 1997,1998 © Jay Bianco All rights reserved.