Taking care of an older pet can be incredibly challenging. Special accommodations need to be made to ensure that they can eat, drink, sleep, exercise, and use the bathroom safely and easily. At Wapiti Labs, we understand the unique needs and habits of geriatric dogs and cats. That’s why we assembled this list of 10 ways to make your house or apartment more accessible, safe and comfortable for your senior pet.
1. Keep your home comfortably warm
Dogs and cats can struggle with cold environments when they get older. Unfortunately, dogs are particularly susceptible to hair loss as they age, making chilly spaces especially difficult for them to handle. To combat this, keep your home at a consistent and comfortable temperature throughout the year, especially during winter.
2. Buy food and water dishes that are easier for your pet to use
Some older dogs and cats feel severe discomfort in their neck when they have to lean down too far to drink or eat food. Fortunately, there are special pet dishes that can be adjusted to perfectly fit the height of your pet. Talk with your vet for more advice on finding bowls that will provide your pet with the most comfortable eating and drinking experience.
3. Remove potential tripping hazards
As pets age, their vision, hearing and awareness all begin to deteriorate. This can make it tough for them to avoid certain objects and obstacles around the house, particularly if they’re easy to trip over. Make life easier for your cat or dog by clearing your floors of any potential tripping hazards.This will save your favorite animal from dangerous falls and make your home look substantially cleaner at the same time.
4. Eliminate all sharp furniture corners and objects your pet can reach
This tip ties in with the last one. Your geriatric pet’s reduced awareness makes it more prone to bump into various things around the room. That makes furniture with sharp corners or pointy objects particularly dangerous. Utilize protective covers and foam to minimize the chances of your pet harming itself with an accidental collision.
5. Use pet ramps
Geriatric pets can suffer from severe joint pain and stiffness, making the act of jumping and climbing very painful for them. Fortunately, you can make use of special ramps to provide your cat or dog with a convenient and painless method of getting up stairs, into the car, or onto your lap while you’re relaxing on the couch or bed.
6. Buy a more accessible litter box
Once again, climbing into containers is painful for older pets because of their sore joints and muscles. By using litter boxes with ramps or a lowered point of entry, your geriatric pet can effortlessly make it in and out of their bathroom. Explore and shop around online to find the best option for your pet and consult with your vet if you need more help or suggestions.
7. Make it easy for your pet to find its food and water
Along with awareness, your pet’s sense of memory will slowly degrade as the years go by, making it harder for them to remember and find where their food and water bowls are. You can mitigate this issue by making it simple to find these important resources. Place your pet’s food and water in an open room that’s easy to access from any other location in the house.
8. Keep your home quiet so your pet can sleep at any time
Because their memories and senses are dulling, cats and dogs often lose track of time. This, combined with their increased fatigue, can lead them to sleep during the day and become restless at night. By providing a quiet and calm living environment at all times, your pet can comfortably catch a few hours of sleep whenever they need to.
9. Minimize unfamiliar faces and places
Our favorite animals develop increased anxiety and a tendency to react aggressively toward unfamiliar environments and people. Consequently, you should try to limit your geriatric pet’s exposure to strangers and rooms that they aren’t familiar with. Older pets need security and stability in their daily lives, so try to avoid changing their living space too much or inviting multiple strangers over.
10. Keep your home free of germs and sickness
The immune systems of animals naturally weaken as they age. Sicknesses that wouldn’t even phase a young dog or cat can cause severe medical problems for them later in life. Try to avoid bringing other animals around your pet to minimize its chances of catching a bug or virus, and make a habit of using antibacterial products to wipe down dirty objects and areas that your pet might expose itself to. Fewer germs in the house will make it much easier for your pet to avoid illness as it continues to age.
Make Your Pet Comfortable through Every Phase of Aging
Interested in other ways to support the health and well-being of your senior pet? Then consider implementing pet supplements into his or her diet. At Wapiti Labs, we take pride in providing supplements that perfectly cater to the unique needs of geriatric cats and dogs.
Call or message us today for more tips on caring for your aging pet.