Your canine friend experiences various changes as he ages. His sense of sight and hearing will start declining. Your pet will also begin moving slowly because of joint pain and arthritis and may feel cold more easily. Senior dogs also often feel more anxious and may become more irritated or agitated faster than usual.
Due to these changes, dogs approaching their senior years require more care and attention. If you have an elderly pet, you can take better care of him and keep him healthy, happy, and safe during his remaining years when you have these accessories:
Senior pet-friendly grooming products
Keeping your senior dog clean and well-groomed can help him feel comfortable and less easily irritated. Aside from taking your pet to a groomer regularly, grooming him at home can make him feel more comfortable and happier at home. Because of this, you need to stock up on some essential dog care products.
Senior dogs tend to have thin skin, and some may even develop tender lumps and bumps. If his comb and brush are hard, replace them with softer, gentler ones to avoid hurting your pet. Get a non-slip mat and place it in the tub or sink before bathing your dog. Doing so ensures your pet has secure footing and won’t accidentally slip and get hurt.
Additionally, stock up on mild cleansing shampoo unless your vet recommends a particular product because of a skin issue.
Many elderly dogs develop urinary incontinence or the loss of bladder control. This condition ranges in severity from irregular small urine leaks to sprays of large amounts of piddle. To avoid frequent clean-ups indoors and making your pet uncomfortable by forcing him to hold it in until he gets outdoors, keep a steady supply of pet diapers.
When buying pet diapers, choose between disposable and washable ones. Most pet owners prefer reusable diapers since they are more cost-efficient long term. Additionally, they are eco-friendly, durable, and fit dogs better, thus more comfortable for them. Also, they do not have a crinkling sound, which many senior canines find irritating.
However, if you prefer disposable diapers since you don’t want to keep washing them, add some absorbent padding before putting one on your pet to prevent leaks.
Carpeted pet stairs
Although you may need to have this accessory custom-made, it is one of the best, most helpful items you can buy for your senior pet, especially if he has arthritis and hip dysplasia. This accessory allows an aging dog easier and safer access to the bed or sofa. The carpet on the steps gives your pet better traction and helps prevent slipping.
This type of customized pet stairs can be folded to create a ramp instead of steps. However, some elderly dogs may find the incline pretty steep and thus prefer the stairs. Carpeted pet stairs also put less stress on a dog’s joints. Because of this, it is also a great accessory to have for puppies and pets that have recently undergone surgery.
Also, make sure you always keep an eye on your pet when using the stairs. If he climbs too high, he might fall and hurt himself.
Orthopedic dog bed
Getting enough sleep is important for dogs, regardless of their age. Help your furry friend get quality rest at night by buying him an orthopedic pet bed. An orthopedic dog bed is designed to help relieve pressure points for senior canines or those with specific health problems like arthritis or joint and hip issues.
With the additional layer of support, all dogs can enjoy the comfort that this accessory provides. Orthopedic dog beds are made of different materials. The most commonly used ones are foam, fiberfill, memory foam, and orthopedic foam.
Elevated food and water bowls
Elevated or raised dog food and water bowls are feeding containers that do not sit on the floor. They come in set elevations designed for the different sizes of pups. They are adjustable and, thus, allow you to choose the perfect height for your pet.
Regular low bowls put a strain on a dog’s neck, hips, joints, and shoulders. If your pet has arthritis, orthopedic conditions, joint disorders, or spinal conditions, elevated bowls can prevent his health issues from worsening.
Additionally, your pet can strain his neck and head if he keeps raising them after chewing and drinking water. You can prevent this from happening by getting him elevated food and water bowls.
When buying this accessory, make sure you measure your pet correctly to get a product that suits your dog’s height.
A lifting harness is a must-have accessory if your dog has a hip disease that can prevent him from walking and standing up. It is also handy if your pet is too weak to support his weight.
This accessory also minimizes pain and reduces the pressure exerted on a dog’s muscles and joints when walking, going up the stairs, or bending. It can also prevent your pet from getting injured caused by leg and joint weaknesses.
Additionally, since a lifting harness provides comfort and stability, it can keep your dog calm while you are carrying or lifting him.
When buying this accessory, choose one with an ergonomic design and adjustable straps. Make sure they properly fit your pet and are made of comfortable material as well.
Also, consider your pup’s physical ailment. If he has hip and hind leg issues, buy a dog rear lift harness.
Lightweight dog stroller
Lastly, your senior dog can benefit from spending an hour or more outdoors. However, taking him out for long walks is out of the question at his age.
A lightweight pet stroller makes it easy and more convenient for you to take out your dog for a short workout or let him explore the outdoors.
With this accessory, you won’t have to carry your pet when he gets tired of walking or standing up. You will also reduce the likelihood that he will injure himself as you take him for a stroll.
When you notice that your dog is tired, simply place him on the stroller and push him as you continue on your route. You will be free to continue with your walking workout or complete your errands.
If you don’t have the time to shop for these accessories, find out if you can get them online. Many pet food delivery service providers also carry these products, and you can have them delivered to your home so you can use them as soon as possible and start taking better care of your senior dog.
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear, and Rogz.