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Every seen your senior dog slip on a wooden floor? We discuss a few ways senior dogs can injure themselves and how to help prevent them below!

As we try to incorporate a new senior dog into our pack and into our home, I realize that we need to implement a few changes in our home to make it safer for our pack!

Who has a senior dog that occasionally slips and slides on a slippery non carpeted spot on their wooden floor? Any of you ever notice your senior dog isn't jumping up onto the couch anymore or got sore after jumping down from the bed the other day?

Let's talk about 4 ways you can help your senior dogs around the home.

1- Bed/Couch Ramps: ever tried to keep a small dog off of a bed or couch? Yah- it doesn’t last long. Most small dogs like my latest addition Orwell the senior maltipoo feel much safer when they have access to elevated ground like a bed or a couch. Training all little dogs (or big dogs) to use a ramp or stairs to get up and down off of furniture can be really helpful in the long run for their back and joints. We just switched out a stair case for a ramp to our bed and think it works really well for Orwell!

2- Large Area Rugs in the Living Area: well, in the past I have used a beautiful indoor/outdoor rug for my bedroom and living room area as a solution to for a carpet for pets. And while they were relatively easy to clean (outside with a hose and gentle shampoo scrub), I keep finding it a bit tedious so alas I am trying the machine washable rugs from a place called The Rug Collective. This is a new purchase for me so I'll let you all know how I like it after I've tested it in the wash!

I’m curious if any of you have had experience with them. With my busy schedule, machine washable sounds way more my style! Note: all rugs intended for senior dogs should have a nonslip mat under them or a rubber back. I have seen senior dogs tear CCL (ligament in their knees) due to rugs without a nonslip mat:/

3- Rug ‘paths’ in kitchen/transition zones: there is this long stretch of shiny wood floor between my front foot and back door that the doggos are always slipping on. For a long time I have used 4x3 ft rubber back machine washable mats to help my senior dog's navigate this area. I’m doubling down on these.

4- Water and food in accessible places: I keep my bowls lifted for them because it puts less strain on their necks (can be a common problem for some older dogs). The data on if this is helpful or not is mixed, but this is what I chose for my doggos!

I hope these 4 tips are helpful for you and your senior dogs! I’ll be reimplementing the ones I’ve fallen behind on a little and share some photos in the future.

By Dr. Monica Tarantino DVM


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