5 Ways to Make Your Senior Dog Feel at Home

One sad reality that dog owners have to face is the fact that a dog’s time on earth is too short. Your dog may only be here for a part of your life, but to them you are their whole life. We take this to heart and want to make sure you are doing all you can to make your dog feel comfortable throughout his life.

If you will be adopting a senior dog or you start noticing signs of aging in your dog’s appearance or behavior then read the six tips in the following infographic to find out how to make your home a comfortable place for senior dogs.

Senior Dogs Comfortable Home Infographic

#1 Removal Potential Hazards
Just like with us humans, a dog’s sense of sight and hearing becomes impaired as they get older. You may notice such developments if your dog acts more startled when you touch them or if they are not reacting to sounds they typically respond to. They may also bump into objects more often and become more nervous in new environments.

When such symptoms become more common, it’s important to clear away anything in your home that might become a safety hazard. As you comb through your home, be sure to store away any objects that your dog may trip over. You may also want to scope out the furniture and cushion any sharp edges or corners that your dog may potentially bump into.

#2 Elevated Food/Water Bowl
Arthritis is unfortunately a common health problem in older dogs. One thing that may help to reduce joint pains or stiffness is to elevate the position of the bowl. You could either elevate the position of the bowl by placing it on some kind of firm object or you could buy a raised dog food bowl. The idea is to help your dog maintain proper posture while eating or drinking.

#3 Get Dog Ramps
By now, you should have an idea of the areas at home where your dog might need to jump. For example, you might be an owner who is fine with having the dog jump onto the couch. This goes back to the problem senior dogs have with arthritis but you should make these areas more accessible by placing a ramp. This reduces the likelihood of your dog aggravating any joint conditions he or she might have.

#4 Clear Household Germs
A dog’s immune system weakens as they age. Get in the habit of disinfecting household objects that your dog gets exposed to regularly. This includes the pet bowl. According to a study by the National Sanitation Foundation, pet bowls were fourth in the list of dirtiest items found at home. Pet toys weren’t far behind in terms of germ count.

Dirtiest Items at Home

In an ideal world, a pet bowl should be washed after every use. Bowls can be washed with dish soap and a sponge, or a dishwasher if the bowl is dishwasher-friendly. Dishwashers are likely to be more effective due to the use of very hot water.

#5 Areas of Warmth
Dogs are susceptible to hair loss as they get older. The more hair they lose, the less likely they are able to maintain their body heat. In addition to getting a sweater for your senior dog, it may also help to get things like a heated dog bed, especially for the cold season.

If you would like to kill two birds with one stone then it may be worthwhile to invest in an orthopedic dog bed that also has heating properties. Orthopedic dog beds are designed to contour to a dog’s body shape and can help alleviate painful pressure points. A friendly warning though. Your dogs might find an orthopedic bed so comfortable that they might spend their whole bed on it!

Start planning for these changes now to provide a safe and warm environment for your senior dog.