Things you can do at home to help your older pet
As pets age, two kinds of changes often occur. The first is age-related change such as vision or hearing loss. These are normal and generally cannot be prevented. The second kind is pathological change or disease such as arthritis which can slow your pet down and cause discomfort. These are, to some extent, preventable or can be successfully managed. In both instances it is also possible to help your pet maintain a comfortable lifestyle by making small changes around the house and being mindful of your pet's needs.
Staying warm and cosy during the colder months
Protect older elbows and haunches by providing your mature dog with a comfortable bed in a protected area. A bed that allows your pet to distribute their weight evenly will reduce pressure on joints and make it easier for them to get out of in the morning. Various pet bed manufacturers produce motion control or memory beds for this purpose.
Making dinner time easy
Elevated feeders or pet bowls make eating and drinking more comfortable for arthritic pets, particularly if your pet has signs of neck or back stiffness or soreness.
A sightly home
If your pet's vision is deteriorating do not move your furniture and furnishings. Vision impaired pets are incredible and will quickly learn a safe route in and around your home without fear of knocks and bumps.
Stepping it up with ease
Are steps becoming a problem at your place? Consider installing a ramp or adding middle steps. There are various DIY products which can assist and are not necessarily expensive. If your pet is a regular car traveller you can also purchase ready-made pet ramps which simply hook on to the rear of a car (wagon) when required.
Watch and you will be amazed
Finally if your pet has recently stopped frequenting a place of comfort consider the barriers they may be facing. It sounds a little silly but get down low and see the world from their point of view. Perhaps their elevated dog house needs to be lowered a few centimetres or their hammock bed is just too high. It's amazing what you can do to help!