GROWING OLD GRACEFULLY
PART 5; Mobility/Comfort
There is an assortment of beds on the market, and whatever is chosen consideration should be spent on the depth, height and type. Memory foam bolster beds are popular, such as petfusion or friends forever but as dogs age they may struggle with curling up and prefer to lay out flat so ensure there is enough space between the sides for comfortable sprawling. Deep or high beds may also leave them struggling to climb up, others love the raised beds especially in the summer.
No matter what shape or type they will need to take pressure off the joints and bony prominences and although they should be supportive many struggle with unstable surfaces.
Consider you may need to acclimatise your dog to staying downstairs for the first time if they can (or should) no longer be using the stairs, take time to retrain this, although they will probably adjust sooner than you.
Consider the use of ramps for the car from an early age in an effort to prevent injury and severe OA, steps can be used to gain access to the sofa or ramps where there are large steps in the garden.
Buggy’s are a really useful aid to still include your older dog in family excursions and on longer walks especially if you also own a younger or more mobile dog too. They vary in size, capacity and price, they come with bicycle attachments or walking handles or both and its worth researching for your individual need.
I used one for my dog and he loved that he was still included he would stick his head out the top and sniff the air as we went, he would get in and out as he pleased and I cant recommend them enough.
People speak of them as having their freedom back.
Help em up harnesses’ and other slings and mobility devices are really useful, they can help you raise the dog from the ground easily and guide them along ramps etc.
Splints and supports can be helpful to support certain joints and provide more control over its movements and rubber grips for nails and boots with grippy soles can give your dog confidence and prevent injury from sliding limbs.
Keeping your pets nails short can also contribute to them walking more comfortably.