We all know our senior dogs love to slumber the day away, but it's important that we keep them moving! So, how can we do that? Many dog-owners turn to medication to assist with the pain, but there are a lot of other aids out there that can assist with mobility to keep your dog active (and happy!).
Whether that's getting them to the beach, in and out of the car or simply helping them around the house - here are some of the options we found that could help keep your senior dog on the move!
Boots and traction socks
Socks and boots can add traction and grip for dogs that have to contend with slippery floors. There are also outdoor boots that not only keep mud and dirt outdoors but can assist elderly dogs that drag their paws.
There are many different versions and brands of socks and boots on the market, in various colours and sizes. Look for brands that are well made and good fitting. A cute pattern or your dog’s favourite colour is also a nice touch!
Going a step further, you can even get splints, orthotic and prosthetic braces that provide limb support if your senior dog is injured or has lower limb weakness. You should discuss these with your vet to ensure you get the right support and fit.
Doggy wheelchairs or Canine carts are designed to assist dogs that have mobility issues and also those that are rehabilitating after spinal and leg surgery.
There are many versions available. Most are light weight and some even have all terrain wheels!
You can buy adjustable wheelchairs or have them custom made, but they are not a one size fits all aid. Before you purchase, have a chat to your vet so that they can recommend the right one for your dog based on the support needed and size of your dog.
PS - We're all for getting your dog customised number plates for that extra street cred!
Ramps and stairs
It's a horrible thing watching your senior dog make several attempts at jumping onto the bed or getting into the car - which is where having ramps and steps can help.
Outdoor steps and ramps are perfect for getting your dog in and out of the car. They are lightweight, foldable and come in sizes to suit all dogs.
For those whose dogs need assistance getting onto the sofa or up on the bed, there are many indoor versions to choose from. They can be made from plastic or foam, and some are even carpeted!
Look for the one that allows your dog to maintain their normal stride and that suits the purpose and location for its use.
Life Jackets and vests
Swimming is a great form of exercise for senior dogs as it is easy on their joints and limbs - and while a lot of dogs love the water, as they age they tire quicker and risk drowning.
Whether they swim in the ocean or a lucky enough to have a backyard pool, having a swimming vest or life jacket can make sure your dogs can move their legs without the risk of tiring while deep in the water searching for their favourite tennis ball!
Knowing your dog’s measurement – neck to base of tail - and weight, will help you chose correctly. Vests should fit without being too loose or snug. You also need to consider what type of water activity you plan to do and what features you are after.
Decide if you need the coverage, buoyancy and visibility of a life jacket or just a buoyancy vest. Look for a durable top handle so you can lift your dog from the water, a sturdy D-ring or leach attachment and reflective strips.
Sweet Goodbye Cocoon
While our Cocoon's are designed as a farewell ceremonial kit for pets, they are also an excellent alternative to a carry basket or harness.
Handmade with cotton canvas or wool, these soft, eco friendly shrouds can double up as a tool to assist lifting your pet to and from your car and the perfect beach or picnic blanket. They come in a variety of colours and sizes and fold to be quite small, so they can easily be carried ready for use when needed.
Over time, as your dog falls in love with it, the original use of this product becomes more focal. When your dog passes, wrapping them in their shroud is a fitting tribute to them.
There are many options out there to assist with your dog as movement becomes more difficult, but with all our advice - it's important to chat to your vet to make sure you're choosing the best option for your pet.