As our seniors age, their bodies undergo changes: decreased muscling, increase in joint inflammation and propensity for other ailments. Making a few adjustments in their home environment can make a world of difference in enhancing their overall comfort!
Here are 4 simple environmental modifications you can make in the home of a senior pet: (and really any age pet):
1- Non-slip rugs throughout the home: Even though dogs of all ages can have trouble with slippery floors, senior dogs are more prone to slipping because of decreased muscle mass in their legs. To help, try strategically placing non slip rugs in places that are high traffic. A rubber bottom or rubber adhesive is necessary for non slip status. Affordable small washable rugs from Target have lasted forever for us in addition to our washable Ruggable rug. Washable = perfect for a home full of pets.
2- Ramps or stairs for couches and cars: training senior pets to use ramps and stairs to get in and out of cars or on and off of furniture reduces the strain they put on their joints. This is critical to joints that are already experiencing degeneration of cartilage and are prone to pain and inflammation. Using the ramp/stairs can take some getting used too, but if you continue to work with your pet most will allow it.
3- Orthopedic Bedding: Investing in a heavy duty dog bed with washable covers has put our previous dog beds that we’d go through every 6 months to shame. These are by far the dogs favorite. Big Barker USA makes an AMAZING long lasting orthopedic beds our pups love (but it is an investment!). They love it so much they fight over who gets it and we are getting ready to invest in another one!
4- Keep food and water easily accessible: we have Becca’s water and food station located in a central part of our home that is not far and out of the way. In an effort to keep pet supplies out of sight, some owners will place food and water in an out of way area of home (ex: laundry room across the house from where pets bed is) which means more work for our arthritic seniors.
Hope you find these tips helpful! I have included some of my favorite products in these categories on the products tab above. Wishing you and your senior dog an AMAZING week!