Living life to the fullest with your senior dog
Not so long ago (well within my lifetime) our dogs got old and there wasn’t much we could do to help them when they started to become incontinent or had trouble with stairs or bumped into things when their vision started to fade.
Today there is a whole industry dedicated to helping senior dogs live life to the fullest. For dogs that have trouble gaining traction on our ever popular hard wood floors there are toe grips. Toe grips are a simple yet amazingly remarkable invention. A piece of rubber is slipped on to the end of your dog’s nails. This allows them to get traction on smoother surfaces without the possibility of falling and hurting themselves. www.toegrips.com they last for about 4 to 6 weeks…usually longer.
For dogs that need a little more help than what the toes grips can provide there are rubber dog boots. They look like uninflated balloons that you slip over your dog’s foot. The only drawback with these is that you can’t leave them on 24hrs a day as they won’t allow the foot to breathe. Several versions are available http://www.petsmart.ca/dog/shoes-socks/top-paw-pawz-waterproof-dog-boots-zid36-23185/cat-36-catid-100080?var_id=36-23185&_t=pfm%3Dcategory
If you are dealing with incontinence there are several very safe medications that are very effective to tighten things up. Speak with your vet to discuss the right choice for your dog. There are also diapers designed for both females and males that can be very helpful.
Ramps are a great way to help your senior dog into taller vehicles or up short stairs. Most dogs take a few tries to get used to them but once they understand how much easier life is with them they really love them. I have this one, it’s been very handy. http://www.amazon.com/Petgear-Travel-Lite-Tri-Fold-Pet-Ramp/dp/B003IWYPXK/ref=zg_bs_3024186011_3
For dogs that still love their walks but can’t keep up with the younger crowd or the length of walk you like to take there are a variety of strollers available….yes strollers and yes you will get funny looks if you buy one but your dog will become a celebrity! My Isabelle adored hers, the first time she used it the look on her face was priceless “where has this been my whole life!” her eyes said. She could start the hike off with us but as she got tired we could pop her in and everyone was happy. There are a several levels of quality but we had this one and it was very sturdy. After we didn’t have need of it any longer we passed it along to another senior who loved it equally as much. http://www.dogquality.com/products/dogger Pricey, but well worth it to keep our little girl happy. For senior dogs who still like to hit the trails on an adventure hikes, check out our senior strolls. Geared specifically for the senior dog we walk on easy flat terrain for 45min or so.
For dogs who suffer from blindness there is the adorable Muffin’s halo. It’s a harness with an extension that goes around the dogs face. If they bump into something the frame gets bumped and not their poor little face. http://muffinshalo.com/
So many things are available now to help our dogs live longer, happier and healthier lives. They give us so much love and I’m happy we can keep them with us a little longer now.