Safety Tips for Senior Dogs

Safety Tips for Senior Dogs

Our dogs are so important to us and many pet parents report it's harder on them to see their dogs get older than themselves.  Perhaps it's because dogs seem like perpetual toddlers, bouncing at our feet, snuggling up, and playing with their toys.  Then one day we come home and they are not bounding down the stairs with their tail wagging, they seem to rather sleep a little longer and give you a mild tail wag.  

Welcome to the golden years with your best friend.  As with people, their seeing and hearing declines and they experience mobility issues.  

 Here's some tips on how to help them stay safe as they age:

Visibility Safety Tips:

Put tape on sharp edges on coffee tables and any other object they make walk by

If they are hitting their head, try putting on a soft comfy cone collar to protect them. As their eyesight diminishes, there's a product called the halo that covers their head.

  • Put toilet lid locks on all toilets so that the lid won’t fall on the head 
  • Move laundry detergents and other cleansers to high, locked shelves
  • Make sure there aren’t any window blind cords that your dog could potentially get tangled in, whether by playing with it or simply not seeing it. Cut all looped cords so a paw or neck can’t get caught.

Mobility Safety Tips

Your dog's hind legs may lose their mobility and they might start dragging their paws in the house. Try lightweight, non-slip socks/ boots with a rubber sole to help them keep their footing.

  • Put non-slip pads under all rugs and carpets
  • If you have hardwood or tile floors, consider area rugs to minimize slipping on smooth surfaces
  • Put carpet runners on stairs to minimize slipping of unsteady paws. Make sure the runners are fastened down with sticky tape so they won’t move when walked on.
  • Open up high traffic areas in the house by pushing some furniture back to the walls. 
  • It’s important to keep anything your senior dog might trip over off of the floor. If your family removes their shoes when they come home, put shoes on a shoe rack just inside the door so that they won’t become stumbling blocks for your pet.
  • If your pet can’t easily get up on the furniture, consider investing in a set of specially designed stairs or ramps.  This will also prevent potential spine injuries from jumping.
  • Get a ramp for your car if they jump into the tail gate.  That is incredibly hard on their backs and it's never too early to start using a ramp.

Our dog had back surgery and we have just learned that shorter walks and socializing are as much fun as power walking and romping on the dog beach.  Every day we have our best friend by our side is a great day.

Dogs aren't our whole lives but they make our lives whole.

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