This past November, dog rescue organizations held adoption events for senior dogs with November being recognized as National Adopt a Senior Pet month.
Senior dogs bring their own set of joys and challenges. Like us human beings, mental and physical changes occur as dogs get older and it's our responsibility as dog owners to meet the challenge of accommodating those changes.
If you made the awesome decision to adopt a senior dog last month, then consider taking the five steps illustrated in the following infographic to make your furry friend feel at home.
Removing Safety Hazards
Senior dogs are more prone to tripping and bumping as they are impaired by vision and hearing loss. Common signs of vision and hearing impairment include general clumsiness, getting startled more easily, and acting more nervous in new environments.
To reduce the likelihood of injury, dog owners could do two things at home. First, get in the habit of storing away household objects that may pose an obstacle. Second, implement corner guards where necessary to cushion the sharp edges of furniture.
Reducing Joint Pains
Unfortunately, joint conditions like arthritis are fairly common among senior dogs. Common symptoms of arthritis include limping, abnormal body postures, and muscle atrophy. To reduce the sufferings your dog may experience as a result of such conditions, you could consider implementing ramps alongside elevated areas such as stairs and sofas (if you allow your good boy on furniture).
In addition to ramps, consider getting an elevated food bowl. Having your dog eat and drink from a raised bowl may help reduce the strain felt on the neck, hips, and shoulders.
The correct height of the elevated food bowl will differ by breed. For example, owners with small breed dogs like toy poodles, shih tzus, and pugs may want to get a bowl that ranges from a height of two to six inches. Large dog owners, on the other hand, may need to get bowls with a height of 15 to 20 inches.
These are just a few of many simple house hacks you can do to turn your home into a comfortable haven for your senior dog.