Senior Dogs – Making Your Home Accessible

Most dog owners have expressed a bit of sadness that their dogs get older all too soon. We all wish our dogs could live longer but as senior dogs, they need some special considerations to make their later years as comfortable as possible.

One of these considerations is making your home and theirs accessible to them, as an older dog moves more slowly and may also have some coordination problems. One of the first signs that your dog is getting older, is that he may begin to have trouble climbing or jumping on things that used to be quite easy for him, such as beds, the seats of cars, couches and the like.

One way to approach this problem is to get your dog a ramp or dog stairs made especially for canines. You will need to help him get familiar with these aids but with a bit of training he will soon be using them without difficulty. Be sure to get the proper size for the breed and weight of your dog, as you want to avoid injury from the use of improperly sized equipment.

And take a look at your dog’s bed. If it has sides that are high and that he has to step or climb over or if he has been using an elevated bed in a frame, consider replacing it with a flat memory foam bed that will cushion his joints and will be easy for him to get up and down.

Slippery hardwood floors are difficult for some senior dogs to navigate. You can consider outfitting him with dog boots that have a surface on the bottom to help him get traction. Or, you can use area rugs with a no-slip underpad.

Some senior dogs have a really hard time walking on hardwood floors. Dog boots with traction on the bottom can help combat slippery surfaces. You can also lay down rugs with no-slip pads underneath, giving your dog a designated walkway.

If your dog starts to lose his sight as he gets older, take a look at this post for helpful suggestions.

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By Ellen Britt

Dr. Ellen Britt has loved dogs since she was a child. She is particularly fond of the Northern breeds, especially Alaskan Malamutes. Ellen worked as a PA in Emergency and Occupational Medicine for two decades and holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) in biology.

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