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Preparing Your Home For An Older Dog

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Carie Broecker is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Peace of Mind Dog Rescue in Pacific Grove, CA. Please visit their site and if you are not able to adopt or foster one of their amazing older dogs, consider donating to their cause.

How to prepare a home for an older dog?

There are a lot of tools and devices that you can use to make a senior dog’s life easier. There are ramps that help to get into cars, ramps, and stairs to get onto beds or a couch. There are help me up harnesses. There are harnesses like the one Marshal is wearing so that we can grab onto that and help him up stairs. Sometimes we help him up a curb or up into a car. There are some different products out there available like little booties, little plastic things that go up on their claws, and you can put some friction stuff on their pads. All kinds of things to help them from slipping.

When the dogs get older and they start to have arthritis and joint problems, they shouldn’t be jumping up off furniture, they shouldn’t be jumping into cars out of cars. So, the more you can help them with that, the more it will preserve their joints.

Things to consider for bringing an older dog home:

  • Where will my dog sleep?
  • Where will my dog stay when I’m not home?
  • What will be his feeding schedule?
  • What will be his exercise schedule?
  • How will his weekend schedule differ from during the week?

You should consider these before you bring ANY dog home, not just an older dog.

There is a great article called How to Modify Your Home for an Elderly Pet by Redfin. I highly suggest checking it out. If you do not have time to read all of it, here are some pointers:

  • Try to elevate their water and food so they don’t have to strain their neck – they are older!
  • Provide ramps or stairs for them to get up on the sofa, bed, or the car – you want to limit them jumping up and down.
  • Provide more carpet to reduce slipping on floors. Also, carpets and rugs can help senior animals keep warmer and cushion their bones when they chose not to sleep in their bed.

Most importantly, be patient with your new senior. They can be set in their ways and can be a little bit more stubborn, but I will guarantee that the love you will get from them, will be much greater than anything else.