Taking care of an aging dog is not an easy task. Considering the animal was your companion for many years, witnessing their physical and mental decline can stir up all kinds of emotions too. Each small step you can take to make life more pleasant to them, matters. Having any doubts if you are providing the right kind of support to a senior pet? Here are some practical home adjustments you can make to provide greater comfort for your beloved pet.
Pet Ramps for Easier Access
If your dog is too small or too old, they have difficulty making their way up. It can be up to the feeder, up to the bed, or up the stairs. The small ones, well, they still have some growing to do before they can reach high surfaces on their own. And just when they accomplish it you will wish they never did, but that’s a different story.
The mature dogs are a particularly sensitive subject. Especially if they have been with you for a long time. There will come a day when they are no longer able to do things they usually were able to do. Like climbing up to a bed. Or climbing the stairs. Regardless if this is just a temporary impairment due to injury or recovery from illness, it has to be taken seriously. And if it is a permanent impairment, then you’ll have to find an appropriate longterm solution.
You can take them up the stairs whenever you can. But if their breed is big or you want to preserve their independence, you will have to look for some sort of ramp. It’s easy to find a good pet ramp for stairs these days. They consist of a non-slippery surface covered by grit tape, designed to make the task of going up and down the stairs easier. Go for aluminium pet ramp for stairs because high-quality materials ensure a longer service life.
Additionally, there are some great portable options on the market that can be folded and moved where you want. So you can practically use the same ramp to help your dog climb the stairs, get into your vehicle and climb onto any area that is within the reach of the ramp. These collapsible pet ramps for stairs come in different sizes, the most prevalent being around 1300 mm to 1800 mm. If you need this ramp to be carried along wherever you go, then look for lightweight options. You can easily find one that is in the range of 3 to 5 kg.
Raised Food and Water Bowls
It is not unusual for a senior dog to encounter problems with access to his regular feeder. Each passing day it is more difficult for them to lower their neck to eat food or drink water. Fortunately, this is fairly easy to solve, you just need to add a raised platform under their favourite bowl. If they are well behaved even a simple shoebox placed under their feeder will do the trick.
Pet-Proof Your Floors
As much as we would like to ignore it, pet incontinence becomes a problem when your dog reaches maturity. There are several approaches to this and they all depend on your budget. And, of course, the overall look you want to create for your intimate everyday space. Some go for ceramic tiles because they are easy to clean. Some, simply remove their area rugs to prevent them from getting stained, thinking it’s much easier to clean up the floors. Getting a waterproof and stain-resistant non-slip rug is another, budget-friendly and hassle-free option. Any material that’s easy to wash is ok.
Getting In and Out of Bed
Advanced age manifests with different health issues. There are dogs that have joint problems and they would require an orthopedic bed. The bed has to be adjusted to the condition of the dog and you have to make sure it is easy to get in and out of. It has to be an environment that offers comfort and a good place to rest.
Flap Door for Easy Access
Having a flap door is nothing new for any home adjusted for pets. However, when taking care of a senior dog you might want to consider placing this door strategically. If it is close to their nook and it leads them straight into a backyard where they can relieve themselves that is a big plus. That’s also another way to confront pet incontinence. Your dog will learn to appreciate the opportunity.
Keep a Track That Visually Stands Out
For dogs with poor or failing eyesight it is good to keep their immediate environment fairly intact. It’s very hard to teach them where stuff is if their sight is affected. Try to keep a rug path in a vivid colour which can be followed so that the dog can reach the food bowl.
Maintain a High Quality of Life
When we are talking about a high quality of life for pets, one thing is obvious, they are not going to speak about it. Meaning, it is hard to read signs of your dog’s cognitive and mental condition if you haven’t spent a long time with them. Do what you can to offer them a rich and dignifying aging environment. It might come in the form of playful activities on a regular basis. Buying them expensive toys won’t help them much, but your undivided ‘personal’ attention will. Having a close and nurturing relationship with your dog can increase its lifespan.