Whether we want it to happen or not, every dog is going to become a senior eventually. While it can be hard to watch our furry friend slow down, luckily, we can employ some simple ways of making our home more senior-friendly. As our furry friends begin to struggle with mobility especially, it’s our responsibility to make adjustments to their environment to keep them safe, calm, and comfortable.
How Do I Know if My Dog Needs a More Senior-Friendly Home?
You might be wondering how to know that your dog even needs changes made to its environment to begin with. Here are some signs to look for.
- Difficulty getting around
- Signs of pain
- Excess barking and whimpering
- Sleeping more
- Less interest in play
- Incontinence/increased frequency of urination
What to Do to Make Your Home More Friendly for Your Senior Dog
Now that you know the signs that your dog would benefit from a more senior-friendly home, here are the simple things you can do to make positive changes around the house.
Tip #1: Reconsider Your Dog’s Bed Situation
As dogs get older, they require more sleep. And, at the same time, they benefit from a more thoughtfully chosen bed, because their joints need more support. Consider investing in a comfier bed made for seniors, such as a memory foam bed that helps them maintain a better sleeping posture to help them with any pain. And, consider investing in more beds, so that they have plenty of spots to sleep throughout the home.
Tip #2: Invest in Some Pee Pads
As dogs get older, their bladders can become weaker, and this can mean having to urinate more frequently or having more frequent accidents. There may be a point where it makes sense to buy pee pads and place them strategically throughout the house. Most dogs will learn to use the pee pads if they can’t hold it in long enough to make it outside.
Tip #3: Buy a Dog Gate
A lot of dogs have a hard time with stairs once they get older, which is why you might want to invest in a dog gate. If you’re worried that your senior dog going up and down the stairs puts them at risk of injury, then a dog gate can be a godsend, keeping them safe and giving you the peace of mind, you need.
Tip #4: Area Rugs Can Go a Long Way
Lots of dogs have a hard time walking as they get older, and this can mean that it’s harder to grip smooth floors like those made from hardwood, laminate, and tile. That’s why area rugs can become extremely helpful, as they offer an easy way for your dog to grip the floor as they walk about. This prevents them from slipping in a way that could cause injury, as well.
Tip #5: Reduce Clutter Around the House
The older a dog gets, the harder they’ll have a hard time navigating through the clutter. Make an effort to keep areas of the home clear so that your dog doesn’t have to do a lot of maneuvering just to get from one side of a room to another. Remember that dogs can become more prone to injury as they get older, too, so clear out anything in the home that your dog could trip on, get stuck in, or bump into.
Tip #6: Keep the House Calm as Much as Possible
We’ve focused on an aging dog’s physical needs, but we haven’t talked about their mental needs. Dogs tend to be less tolerant to stress as they get older, and even may show signs of anxiety or irritability. That’s why it’s crucial to keep your home as calm as possible, to support their emotional well-being.
Tip #7: Make Sure Your Guests are Respectful of Your Dog’s Needs
Friends and family may not know the unique needs of your aging dog – for example, your dog might not like being touched as much as they used to, or may not enjoy loud voices. It’s okay to give guests a heads-up before they come over when it comes to how to best care for your dog.
These Tips Will Keep Your Dog Comfortable Through Their Golden Years
Overall, there are lots of small ways we can make our dog’s senior years as comfortable as possible, in order to help support them both physically and emotionally. On top of these tips above, it might be time to bring some cannabidiol (CBD) into your dog’s daily life. CBD can improve your dog’s mobility, mood, and more, to support them better as they age.