You've probably noticed a few things as your dog has gotten older. They have probably gotten a touch bit slower, are moving more gingerly, and may require some different food choices. As a puppy, your dog's needs are apparent. You get the basic supplies like a crate, bowls, toys, dog bed, and whatever else you may need. But, as the years go on, you aren't necessarily paying attention to your dog's changing needs. Find out the essential items to care for your senior dog in this brief guide.
Access To All Areas
A senior dog just doesn't move like it used to. It would be beneficial for you to take a long look at your senior dog's lifestyle and see what parts of their lives are becoming challenging. Maybe there are unique places where they can't maneuver anymore. Think of keeping a ramp in the back of your car or SUV. Your dog will thank you for the ease of boarding, as it is easier on the joints.
The kitchen or other areas with laminate flooring can be treacherous with slippery paws. You can give your dog some traction with area rugs and runners. On top of that, there are other mobility aids that you can purchase for your dog. Anything from slings for a dog with a weaker back to push carts for dogs that struggle to walk on their own can help a dog get along better.
Give Your Senior Some Comfort
It's a fact that a senior dog will spend more time resting. Aging dogs often have stiff joints and can be prone to arthritis. Their growing inactivity doesn't help these conditions either. You will want to strongly consider an orthopedic mattress for your aging dog. They are specially constructed to support the back and joints. And it spreads your dog's weight evenly over the bed. For cold weather, a heating pad will also help relieve arthritis and sore joints.
A Few Finishing Touches
Your dog's senses may be diminishing or nearing an unsafe level. Do they still hear or see well? If not, you may want to consider purchasing a few items. A wind chime on the back door will help a vision-impaired dog find the right door when it is time to go out. Likewise, night lights help vision-impaired dogs see by illuminating dark areas. Does your dog have more trouble reaching for their food dish these days? Elevate that dish a bit to make it easier.
These are just a few of the things you can have on hand for your senior dog. Not only does it make your dog more comfortable, but you're also adapting to meet your dog's changing needs. And that's what a good pet owner does. These essential items to care for your senior dog might prolong the happiness of your dog and the length of their life. Invest a little in your dog's needs, and they will continue to bring you joy and companionship for many years to come.