Taking care of a senior dog can be a challenge but having the right products on hand, ranging from harnesses to orthopedic beds to an indoor dog potty like DoggieLawn, can make all the difference.
Support and Lifting Harness
If you have a senior dog that needs helping getting off the floor or help walking then you can do some damage to your back if you aren’t careful. There are dozens of harnesses on the market in order to make caring for your senior dog much easier. Some are lifting aids with straps around the body and the dog’s legs and can be worn all day, while others are designed to take on and off and be used as a walking aid.
There is plenty of scientific evidence that both chondroitin and glucosamine, two common ingredients in joint supplements, do help improve joint mechanics. These ingredients can increase the production of fluid in the joint and promote the health of the cartilage. There are different options for joint supplements and the quality can vary. Quality is key, so speak with a veterinarian before you choose a joint health product. You may want to start with a higher dose for four to six weeks and then reduce it for a maintenance dose.
Orthopedic beds and pillows can be helpful for arthritic joints and bones. There are two popular styles of beds for a senior dog: the cot style and memory foam. Many people report that when they invest in a support bed made with quality materials, their dogs sleep soundly through the night. Find one that is machine washable with a zip off cover and has good reviews.
If your dog has trouble getting outside in time, having an indoor potty solution can be helpful. Alternatives to pee pads like DoggieLawn can provide your dog with fresh grass indoors when they're unable to get out on their own.
Ramps and Stairs
For many senior and arthritic dogs, jumping up on and down on things can be too hard. Ramps or steps to the bed or couch, or to get in and out of the car, can help you prevent injury for your pet and help with the dog’s mobility. You can find portable ramps to purchase but you can also make your own with step-by-step instructions.
Booties can be a good option for senior dogs that have hind limbs splay out when trying to get bearings on a slippery floor. Dogs will use nails for traction. On a hard floor, it can be harder for them to get a grip. Young dogs can compensate for their slipping better than senior dogs. The muscular weakness and slower reflexes make it harder for a dog to compensate and slipping can be scary. Some people can use throw rugs or runners throughout the home but dogs usually still want to lie on cool hard floors, especially during hot weather. It can be harder for them to get up without the use of booties or toes. These types of products reduce the risk of a slip and fall injury and help with stability and mobility.
Indoor Dog Potty
An indoor dog potty can help a senior dog with mobility issues who can’t get outside to do his or her business. You can also use pee pads throughout the house or another alternative to an indoor pet potty. There are plenty of different ones from which to choose. If you are introducing an indoor potty later on in the dog’s life and haven’t trained him or her from the beginning, you may want to choose one with real grass to make it easier for them to go.
Just because dogs have fur doesn't mean they're warm in the winter, especially if you live in a cold environment. These blankets are safe and easy to use and you don’t have to worry about plugs or wires. It can also be helpful for dogs with arthritis since it soothes aches. Cooling Mat: Even if you have a self-warming blanket, you may want a cooling mat to help a dog stay cool in the summer months. Older dogs can have problems regulating their temperature and this type of mat will be activated when the dog lays down on it to prevent the body temperature from getting too high. These work whether the dog is inside or outside.
If your senior dog is on a lot of medication then a pill pocket can make it easier for you to give it to them. They get a treat and you get peace of mind knowing they are taking their medicine.
Raised Food and Water Bowl
If your dog is struggling to reach their water and food bowls, find a raised water and food bowl setup. This way the dog doesn’t have to bend over and reach, which can be painful with spine or arthritis problems.