Pets are not merely animals, they are beloved family members. And just like humans, our furry friends need time, attention, and a safe and comfortable home. As they age, they might need more support from us, not only in the form of love and care, but also home modifications that will offset the difficulties of growing older. So, here are some ways you can modify your home for an elderly dog to make their life simpler and easier:
Move and raise their bowls
As your dog gets older, it might become more difficult for them to lower their neck to eat food or drink water, which is why you need to make their bowls more accessible. While you may want to invest in a raised platform, it’s simpler to use something you already have in your home, such as a shoe box, to elevate the food and water bowls your pet uses. It might also be a good idea to provide several locations with access to fresh and clean water, to account for your pet’s decreased mobility, increased dehydration and a higher risk of kidney dysfunction.
Consider special bedding
Aging often causes muscle weakness, nerve degeneration and cognitive decline in dogs, all of which contribute to the inability to move around as quickly and efficiently as younger animals. If your dog displays any of these behavioral symptoms or joint problems, an orthopedic bed that is especially designed for their needs might be the best solution. These beds offer special features which work in conjunction with your dog’s other physical needs, such as being made out of memory foam, as well as liquid and stain-resistant material. Keep in mind that smaller dogs should sleep in a bed relative to their size, as they could get cold more easily and may feel insecure in a larger bed.
Invest in good carpentry
Arthritis, as well as other joint issues, is a common problem among elderly dogs, which can often cause your beloved pet pain, limping and difficulty getting up or climbing stairs. To take care of this issue, Australian pet owners, for example, often opt for Sydney Commercial Carpentry experts who redo and modify their stairs to make them more accessible and usable for elderly dogs. Such professionals might even make adjustments to your windows and window sills, if you have a pet that likes to look outdoors.
Redo your flooring
A common occurrence among older dogs, urinary inconsistency happens when your pet can’t control a flow of urine from being released. If your elderly pet is suffering from this issue, it might be best to install ceramic tiles or carpet tiles designed for pet incontinence, if you have the means. Avoid stone tiles, as they stain easily, as well as carpets, because they are more difficult to clean deeply. If you are unable to modify your flooring or you already have flooring that is easy to clean, invest in non-slip rugs, carpet runners or even yoga mats for better traction for your pet.
Install a doggy door
Another modification for urinary incontinence, a doggy door or dog flap can provide your pet with the freedom to urinate outside whenever they need. You will want to install the door in a low area to provide ease of access for any mobility issues, and even invest in an automatic doggy door that operates in tandem with your pet’s collar, making it that much easier for your pet to move through.
Maintain optimal temperature
Older dogs have more difficulty regulating their body temperature, which makes them more sensitive to changes in temperature and temperature that significantly varies from their body temperature. So, set your thermostat between 78 and 80 degrees and pay attention to your pet’s behavior, as they may need an adjustment outside of this range, if they tend to hang out by a fan or a heater. When it’s colder outside, it’s also a good idea to ensure they have a blanket in their bed and an area to sleep in the sunlight during the day, apart from dressing them up in warm sweaters when you take them for a walk.
These home modifications aren’t just simple adjustments for your pet – they can also improve their quality of life and raise their level of happiness. And after everything our dogs have given us, they deserve to live out their life with security, comfort and love.