You and your pooch have been together a long time. You’ve played countless hours of fetch, snuggled together on the couch to watch TV and you’ve even sneaked her food table scraps when no one was looking. In other words, you’ve established a special bond over the years. That doesn’t disappear just because puppy is getting long in the tooth. There are, however, some changes you’ll need to make to ensure that your aging dog is happy and comfy.
Below are a few tips for crafting a cozy home environment for your elderly dog.
Soft Bedding Over Hard Floors
When canines get old, they need to take extra care of their joints. While your four-legged companion used to love to sleep on the cold, hard tile, it might not be so comfortable for her anymore. Instead, you’ll need to get her a dog bed.
Dog beds come in all shapes and sizes, each with their own unique offerings. For instance, a slipper pet bed lets doggy curl up in a cozy bed-blanket combo. Other dogs prefer a rectangular bed to sprawl out on for naps. Either way, you can greatly improve their comfort with a well-chosen bed.
An Easy-to-Scale Ramp
Another good idea is to invest in a puppy ramp. You dog might still want to jump into the bed of your truck or up on the couch, but these activities can be too rough on old joints. The puppy ramp is a great way to invite your doggo up, while keeping their long-term health and mobility in mind.
A Gate to Block the Stairs
Speaking of upward mobility, another thing to consider is the staircase in your home. Puppy used to run up and down these stairs lickety-split; so much so, you had to train her to ease it back a bit. But these days, those stairs could be doing her limbs more harm than good.
Depending upon the layout of your house, you might want to consider putting up a safety gate. This should be easy to for humans to open and close, but something she can’t jump over easily. This will discourage her from taking the stairs.
A Comfy Dog Collar
While you don’t want your elderly dog to take the stairs anymore or jump up onto the sofa, you do still want her to be active. Fortunately, there are plenty of remaining activities the two of you can do to get her blood pumping.
Going for walks is a perfect example. If your furry friend gets winded early, try taking her on shorter walks a couple times a day, rather than one long walk at night. This will help her stay lively, without overexerting her.
And, why not get her a new, more comfortable harness while you are at it? You can forget choke chains and collars now. A comfy harness is probably more her speed now.
A VIP Entrance for Your ‘Very Important Pooch’
Last but not least, you’ll probably want to install a doggy door. Your canine might need to make more trips to the potty as she ages, so give her the option of doing so on her own. A doggy door could be the difference between a happy dog, and a messy floor.
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