The relationship between man and dog is something that has been cultivated for thousands of years, with the first domesticated dog believed to be the Bonn-Oberkassel dog that was found to be 14,200 years old. It’s no surprise, then, that humans and dogs have an everlasting bond, and that’s why so many people are happy to bring dogs into their homes and make them a part of the family. Like all animals, though, dogs will get old, and like an elderly family member, you will need to find ways to accommodate them in your home.
Make Them Comfortable
Dogs always love comfort, even if their choice of snoozing spot doesn’t seem too comfortable to you. As your dog gets older and suffers from achy joints and even arthritis, you must give them a comfortable place to rest their weary body. The best dog beds aren’t just a superb option for giving them a place to sleep, they can also ease any aches and pains with orthopedic foam and other crucial comfort features to ease any discomfort.
Make High Areas Accessible
If your dog loves to join you on the sofa or has carved out space for themselves at the foot of your bed (or even snugly in between you and your partner), old age might mean they can’t leap or climb up to these high spots as easily as they used to. This can cause them distress and make them anxious, especially if they want to be close to you. You can make or purchase ramps or steps to help them climb up without risking injury by impacting their joints. They can also use these ramps when they need to get down so they don’t land too harshly.
Lay Down Some Rugs
While your dog might be slower than it used to be, they will still get excited when you come home from work and rush to meet you at the front door. But, there is the risk of them slipping on hardwood floors, which might cause them to hurt themselves. There are many ways you can avoid these injuries, but the easiest may be to lay down some rugs to help them keep their footing. If you want to make it even safer, grippy dog booties are also an option.
Don’t Rearrange Things
You already know that dogs can go blind, too, and if this happens with your four-legged friend, you need to think about their memories of the home. You don’t want your dog walking into walls or bumping into furniture. Although their sight has gone, they will still be able to smell and sense specific parts of the house, and as long as you keep everything the way it was, they can get around easily enough. You’ll still need to help them from time to time, but a familiar surrounding can reduce stress and anxiety for your dog.
Good Old Dog
You have given your dog the best life possible, and this should continue once they get old. While you may need to make some changes around the home, they are all worth it to help your beloved hound enjoy its twilight years.
Photo by Derek Sears