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Making Your Home Accessible for Senior Dogs
Posted: 05/26/2022 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories:
Aging isn’t fun for any of us. And that includes our senior dogs. While we want to believe our dogs will stay young and puppy-like forever, they too will slow and experience aches and pains and perhaps even memory issues.
But that’s not to say that your senior dog can’t experience a wonderful and happy rest of their life, for however long that is. They absolutely can! It just means that you will have to become keenly observant of their needs and make some adjustments around your home.
Below are some suggestions on how you can make your home more accessible for a senior dog.
Help with Mobility
Ramps and portable pet steps can help older dogs with mobility issues get around easier. If your dog lives with arthritis or hip dysplasia, a ramp can help them get into and out of the car while portable steps can help them get up on the sofa or your bed for cuddle time.
Keep Things as They’ve Been
Like humans, when dogs age they can often begin losing their vision as well as some cognitive functioning. If your dog is suffering from either, they can become disoriented easily. For this reason it’s important to keep things where they have been. For instance, don’t all of a sudden decide to move their food and water bowls. Don’t rearrange the living room furniture.
There are other things you can do to keep your dog safe like using baby-proofing tools to soften sharp corners or baby gates to keep them from going up and down stairs, which can be dangerous to a dog whose vision is failing.
Understand Accidents Happen
We typically come full circle with our dogs. When they were puppies, they tended to have accidents inside the house. They simply couldn’t help it.
Understand that your older dog may also start having accidents again. Sometimes older dogs lose control of their bladder.
Be sure to have wee-wee pads on hand to protect dog beds and flooring, as well as a good enzymatic cleaner that will help get rid of any smell.
Senior Dogs are Sensitive to Temperature
You’ll need to keep track of the temperature both inside and outside your home. Older dogs, like older people, can become very sensitive to both heat and cold. They may not be able to be outside on a hotter summer day or enjoy a walk on a snowy day.
If they are a shorthaired dog, consider getting them a doggie coat for winter and in the summer, be sure your home is airconditioned for their comfort.
Get Them a Better Bed
An eight-year-old kid has no problem throwing a sleeping bag on a hardwood floor and sleeping like a baby. If a 50-year old tried that, they’d have a hard time getting up off the floor, let alone walking the next day!
Dogs are similar. A young dog can easily lay on the floor or carpeting, or even a regular dog bed and sleep soundly. But your senior dog has aching bones and joints. They need a thick, orthopedic dog bed that will support their aching body so they can get the rest they need.
Make Their Food and Water More Accessible
If you have a larger breed of dog, you might want to think about raising their food and water bowls off the ground to reduce neck strain. There are many elevated feeding stations on the market that will make eating and drinking more comfortable for your aging pup.
Fix Those Slippery Floors
Older dogs who are experiencing joint pain have a hard time getting up, standing and walking on slippery floor surfaces. This includes hardwood floors. It will be very helpful to your senior dog if you purchase some area rugs and carpet runners and put them around your home so there is always a safe and secure path for them to get around.
Just because your senior dog can’t walk like they used to doesn’t mean you both can’t enjoy your walks together! A dog stroller will allow you to push your dog around the neighborhood. These strollers come in 3-wheel and 4-wheel varieties. If you are a runner and want to run while pushing your pup, the 3-wheel style runs smoother. 4-wheel strollers are lower to the ground and a bit more stable, so make a good choice for larger breed dogs.
It’s not easy watching your fur baby get older. But you can take comfort in the fact that the two of you have had time to make wonderful memories together. And it doesn’t mean that the fun has to stop now. It just means you need to be aware of some of the things your pup can no longer do and also ensure that your home continues to be a safe and secure place for them. If you take these steps, there’s no reason why the two of you can’t continue to make beautiful memories together.
Give Your Dog the Care They Deserve
As your dog ages, they will require more medical services to ensure they maintain their health and overall well-being. But multiple pet visits along with prescription medications… well this can all really add up. You want to give your baby what they need, but can you afford to do so?
A pet insurance plan lets you provide the very best care for your senior dog without you going into debt. Did you know that some pet health insurance plans can provide reimbursements for up to 90% of the vet bill?
Pet Insurance Review was started by pet parents for pet parents. We want to ensure that pet owners never have to worry about paying a vet bill ever again. It’s bad enough to be worried sick over your baby’s health, but then to worry about the bill on top of it? That’s awful! We bring you only the top insurance providers in the country so you can afford to give your pet the very best.
Get a free quote today.
- Stregowski, J. Dementia and Senility in Dogs. (2022). Retrieved from: https://www.thesprucepets.com/dementia-in-dogs-1117412
- Hip Dysplasia In Dogs. Retrieved from: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/hip-dysplasia-in-dogs/
- Old Dog Urinary Incontinence. Retrieved from: https://www.pawsomeoldies.com/old-dog-urinary-incontinence/
- Should I use a stroller for my dog? (2021) Retrieved from: https://www.fetchpet.com/the-dig/should-i-use-a-stroller-for-my-dog