Whenever we visit a dog, we see if there are any simple adaptations that can be made to their house to help with their daily mobility. Things like rugs, mats or carpets over slippy floors. A raised food bowl so the dog doesn’t have to stoop down on already sore joints. Small steps over the door frames. Cushions beside a sofa or bed that they always use to jump on. And comfy beds – don’t forget them. Do the 30 minute Numb Bum test (if you can sit on your dog’s bed for 30 minutes without getting a Numb Bum then it’s likely that they are finding it supportive and comfy)
But things change. And adaptations should change too.
Our house has progressively become a Senior Dog Show Home. We have carpets and half steps everywhere. But our Sarah is beginning to drag her rear legs more, meaning Carpenter Chris has been building again.
Most of the frames to the outdoors have small lips. These were becoming trippy lips. Now we have ramps. Two pieces of light, but strong, wood, hinged in the middle so we can put the ramps away when not in use, move them from door frame to door frame as necessary, with some rubber on top to protect paws even more. And Sarah loves then. Up she goes and down the other side with a big grin into the great outdoors.
Then there’s Mr Sam. He likes to start the evening on my bed. He had a couple of memory foam mattresses to help him with the up and soften the down but they were giving a little and not helping his upwards propulsion. Now….he has his own step. Custom built to Mr Sam height with an added soft but thin mattress. He can easily stand up on the step and then take a further step onto the bed. Going down, the step is big enough so he can get completely on it, before taking the last step to the floor. No more crashing squishing noises. Just a couple of gentle steps.
Follow your dog around your house for an hour or so, noting any areas where they may be struggling or tripping and think how you could minimise or relieve the hazard. Cheap, simple homemade solutions often work best as they can be tailored to your house and your dog. Give us a call if you need any advice or help.
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