Make Your Home Accessible For Your Elderly Dog
If you’re a loving dog owner, sooner or later your furry friend will enter their senior years. Just like humans, this comes with a new set of challenges and responsibilities you’ll have to prepare for. Stiff or painful joints can create some serious problems, if not treated properly. Stairs become obsolete, and even your floors could pose a problem.
Here are some easy steps to take to make your home a little more accessible for your senior dog.
Slippery surfaces can be a disaster in disguise. As dogs age their joints and bones become fragile and slow. This means that slippery floors can be more challenging than before, and if an elderly dog slips in an uncomfortable way, it can be very painful. Elderly dogs have slower reaction time, and this can become more of a possibility.
If your floors are primarily smooth surfaces, such as hardwood or tile, consider laying out a few rugs for your little furry senior. If they’re placed in convenient locations, such as near their food bowl or bed, it can be significantly helpful for them. If rugs are out of the question, consider traction socks that will also help with slipping.
New bedding may be in order if you find that your dog is suffering from joint pain or arthritis. An aging dog with mobility problems need to have an accessible bed. Some beds may have sides that are too high and can be a challenge to get into. Consider a dog bed with lower sides, specifically made for easy access.
Furthermore, some dog beds are made with thick foam or memory foam that is more comfortable for dogs with arthritis or other pains. These beds tend to hold heat better than normal dog beds, which is another great benefit.
New Food Bowls
Just like beds with high sides that can be hard for dogs to get into, bowls can also pose a similar issue. Slightly elevated dog bowls can help your dog access food in their bowls more easily. Put these bowls in an easy to reach area, and you won’t have to worry about your elderly dog having problems getting to their food. Raised dog feeders also help with better digestion, which leads to a healthy weight and other health benefits.
Ramps & Doggie Doors
Ramps are an easy addition to your home that can make your dogs and you life a lot easier. Coming from experience, and having to lift my elderly dog up the stairs on a daily basis, a stable ramp is extremely helpful.
Ramps can be great for indoors, or outdoors. While it may not be practical to have a ramp up a story of stairs, they can be useful on the back porch to the yard. Ramps can also be transferred to the car, for easy loading, and are even helpful for younger dogs.
In addition to the ramps, doggie doors can make your lives a lot easier. Elderly dogs may not have the same bladder capacity as they did in their youth. This means more trips outside, and more trips to the door. A doggie door helps make your yard accessible for your dog and can be useful for emergencies.
Small improvements to your home can go a long way for the health and wellness of your senior dog. Not only can this makes them feel more comfortable, but improve their overall life.
A special thanks to Matt Barnett from Dog Dojo for the post!