Making it Easier for Older Dogs to Get Around

There are ways you can make life easier and more comfortable for older dogs that have arthritic joints, hip problems, or other complications that make it difficult to get from here to there.

Around the house

Older dogs sometimes have a difficult time getting good traction on linoleum, tile, or hardwood floors. You can help alleviate this problem by putting carpeting or rubber mats in the areas where your dog spends the most time. If this isn't possible, you can also get special booties with rubber soles that you can have your dog wear around the house.

If your house has a lot of stairs, consider building an easy-to-climb ramp for your dog. You can either make it yourself using plywood covered with carpet, or you can purchase a pre-made ramp from specialty pet stores.

To help your dog get up on a bed or onto a favorite chair, try using a carpeted step. You can also buy pre-made steps just for senior dogs.

Outdoor mobility aids

If you're taking your dog out for a walk, there are special leashes you can buy that are made especially for dogs with hip problems. What makes them unique is that, instead of securing the leash to a collar around the neck, they use a harness that lifts up the dog's rear end when needed, such as when you want to help your dog climb stairs or go up a hill. Using a harness for his front end, instead of a neck lead, is also helpful.

Is going for a walk too difficult for your dog? If so, you can order a special cart just for dogs with mobility problems. Or you can simply use a child's wagon. Be sure to cushion it with padding so it's more comfortable for your senior dog as you pull him around the neighborhood.