†† With more and more pet owners driving SUVís and using these vehicles to transport their pets. One issue that I have heard of more is larger dogs with hip problems. An SUV is a good choice for transporting your dog but the problem is getting your dog into the vehicles because of the height of the vehicles. Until now there have only been a few options: Let your dog jump into the vehicle or use a stool or ramp which you have to carry around with the vehicle then.
†††† A short time ago I heard of a product called Twistep. This was a step for SUV owners that fit into the trail hitch and when it was not needed it could twist under the vehicle for storage. After talking to the company and then getting a unit I wanted to share my thoughtsÖ
This product was designed by pet owners that just happen to be engineers as well. Everything with this product was designed with the dog in mind. Even the non-slip material on the top of the step was designed with paws in mind.
Since the Twistep fits right in the trailer hitch installation is really just a matter of inserting the step and installing the locking pin. Now if you happen to have a Ford Explorer (Which I do) they do not come with a trailer hitch, but donít worry there is a adapter from Twistep that allows the Twistep to be mounted in much the same way as a vehicle with a normal trailer hitch adapter.
The Twistep is a very solid product. The Twistep is not some piece of plastic, the Twistep is made of tubular steel. This product was designed to take the rugged life of a SUV.
If you take a look at the average height of a SUV tail height it is around 26 inches high. Asking you dog to jump on or off of a height of that is about the same as the average person jumping on or off a normal kitchen table. If your a teenager it is possible but as one gets older itís not as easy. When your dog is 5 or 6 years old that is equivalent to a normal personís age of 35 - 42 years, donít forget a dog ages 7 times as fast as a person.
The Twistep is a product all SUV owners need to help there four leg friend to have a happy and healthy life.
Twistep can be located at www.Twistep.com
*** Update for 2011 ***
I purchased a new model due to a new truck.† Also after many years in the salt and snow of some harsh Wisconsin winters the Twistep no longer twisted like it use too.† The new model has closed the open bottom of the twist shaft closing off the opening for dirt, salt and other road grim to get in.† This has been a very welcome addition.† The platform now has a single locking pin which works very well but I wish it had a slightly bigger head on it for easier use with gloves.† The pin is covered by a metal sheath designed to keep the road grim out, my only complaint with that is the small locking ball that holds the sheath down does not work very well, a magnetic latch I think would be a much better choice.† Overall it is a winner again, a few minor complaints on a fantastic product.
One piece of advice for owners, if you leave your Twistep in for years like I did it will be a challenge to get out.† A light coating of grease on the insert shaft will help you remove it in the future.
Brian (at) malamute.org