One of the things that most fascinates me about working with dogs is learning about their nutrition and health needs. Many of the ideas I grew up with are no longer valid. You must be diligent in your reading to keep up on what is new in the animal world.
In my household I have five dogs:
- Suzie, a 15 year old female Border Collie
- Domino, a 12 year old male German Shepherd mix
- George, a 4 year old male Beagle/Border Collie mix
- Jake, a 3 year old male Australian
- Lucy, a 1 year old female Australian Shepherd mix
With the age spans I have to pay close attention so that I am meeting everyone’s needs with the right amounts and types of exercise and nutrition. Sometimes it is a little overwhelming.
When I bought this house 6 years ago I had all of the carpet replaced with hardwood floors for easy cleanup. At that point I only had two dogs and that worked out very well for a long time. But now my oldest dog, Suzie, is having trouble with her back legs. She can sometimes lose her footing when excited or when she gets jostled by the younger dogs. Now I am putting throw rugs down in strategic areas. It is amazing how fast she is came to realize that these are safe spots and if she feels a need for more security she gets on one of those throw rugs.
In an article titled “Tips for Helping Dogs Walk on Slick or Uneven Surfaces”, Patricia Hill writes:
“Elderly pets are a higher risk for falls and accidents, especially when walking on smooth surfaces and steps, but injuries often occur in younger pest, including puppies. Here are some tips that will help keep you dog safe on slick surfaces and steps.
Stairs are one of the most common places injuries occur. Elderly pets with decreased or limited mobility suffer from falls either going up and down steps or at the landing of the staircase. Younger dogs, especially puppies tend to receive injuries going up and down steps the same as elderly dogs do; however, their falls are a result of playfulness or lack of coordination.”
When choosing where to put down the rugs, watch how your dog moves around your home. Pay attention to where she needs to make turns. Make sure there are no long spans of open floor; break it up by placing small throw rugs every few feet. Be careful when buying your rugs and choose ones that will not catch on her nails since this can cause a tripping hazard.
If you follow these suggestions your older pet will feel safe and secure moving around the house and you just might find your dog interacting with the family more making everyone happier.
Have fun and be safe!