This is a pretty simple makeover of a BEKVÄM step stool. I’m not a carpenter by any stretch of the imagination so I’m sure someone with more skill than me could do a better job but I thought I would offer the idea.
If you have looked at this site you may have seen the beautiful dog steps that my father crafted. My dog, Gracie, is a rescue dog and is around 3-4 years old. While she began to feel at home with us after around six months, she still wasn’t using all of our home. She stayed mostly on the main floor and slept in only one bedroom. She rarely went upstairs other than to go to bed at night. At the time of writing this Gracie has been with us just over nine months and has begun moving into the rest of the house. She frequently goes upstairs during the day to nap on the bed.
Gracie has realized that there is more than one bed in our house and I began to get little calls from her while she was upstairs. I would find her standing up beside the other bed, tail wagging madly and telling me very plainly this was where she wanted to nap. This bed is in a north facing room which is a little cooler so I guess I can’t blame her, it has been a very hot summer for us. Anyway a second set of steps was needed.
Not wanting to pester my Dad for another set of steps I began looking for options. Just like the first time I went shopping for pet steps, my options seemed fairly limited. I just didn’t like anything that was being offered in my area and I didn’t want to pay huge shipping charges. The set of steps my Dad built were made using the measurements of standard stair risers. I wanted something that was as close as possible to those measurements because I knew they worked for Gracie. I also wanted the steps to be made of wood not plastic or fabric covered foam. Since I couldn’t find any pet stairs I liked I started looking at step stools for people and came across the Ikea BEKVÄM step stool. It is inexpensive, sturdy and made of wood. The height of the steps are almost identical to the steps that my Dad built which was my number one concern.
The BEKVÄM step stool ticked all the boxes except the lower step was far too narrow and Gracie couldn’t figure out how to climb it, which I pretty much expected. I took the offending step down to my local Rona Home Center. I explained my problem and the great guys at Rona cut me a new deeper step. What I didn’t compensate for was that the stool was not designed to handle weight that far out from its center of gravity. The first time Gracie ran up the stool it wobbled badly and threatened to tip forward. Gracie freaked and I was very angry at myself for not realizing this problem before it happened. Fortunately I had just enough wood left over from building her a window guard to create two legs to support the front of the new step. A trip down to my local S.P.C.A. Thrift store and a rummage through the linens bin produced a nice, nubby, woven table runner. I cut the runner up and used carpet tape and staples to securely fasten the cloth in place on both steps to make them non-slip. It took Gracie a day to get over her fright from the first time she used the steps but she has been bouncing up and down them without any issues ever since.
The cost of this set of dog steps came in at under $30. That included the BEKVÄM step stool, the S.P.C.A. table runner, the wood and the cutting fees. Not bad at all.