Many of us see our pets, particularly dogs and cats, as like our children and definitely part of the family. We want to make these animals who give us so much love, affection, and often laughs, too, as comfortable and safe as possible in our homes.
If you have elderly pets, in particular, it’s worth considering adjustments to your property to help them be more comfortable as they age.
Ensure They Have Easy Access and No Mobility Issues to Get Around
Since older dogs tend to have some painful conditions to deal with, especially things like arthritis, you want to give them easy access to the items and places they need without having to hurt themselves or cause themselves more discomfort potentially.
It can be challenging for senior pets to climb in and out of bed or pet flaps or litter boxes, etc., and tricky to navigate stairs. They can find it painful to bend low to eat or drink, and making it outside for toilet needs can be tough when they can’t move quickly but have to navigate uneven or constricted areas.
As such, look for ways to make your beloved animal have less difficulty in such matters. You might give them a ramp or some steps to go up to get onto your bed, the couch, or other places, and you can buy lower, shallower litter boxes. Pop food and water bowls on stands so they come up to a higher level, and see if you can add a ramp or a larger pet door to help your dog or cat get inside and out more quickly.
Keep Your Home a Suitable Temperature
Pets often feel the heat and cold much more keenly as they age. This means you need to consider how to keep your home more temperate for them so they’re more comfortable. For instance, it pays to install a farmhouse ceiling fan or a fan of another type in the main rooms your pets use to help move hot air around and improve ventilation. If your place gets very hot in summer, you may also want to invest in air conditioning.
Plus, a fireplace, gas heater, or electrical heating units can help to keep your pets toasty warm. If you buy reverse cycle air conditioning, that will do double duty, too. Also, you may like to purchase some heating and cooling pads for your pet to lie on.
Add More Padding
Speaking of where your pets rest, you want to give them more padding, in general, to lay on to help support their bodies. Many senior dogs and cats lose weight, get arthritic joints, and have other discomfort to deal with, meaning they can find that lying directly on the floor or on a thin mat isn’t enough anymore. As a result, look for ways to boost padding to provide more support for their body. Plush beds, lush carpeting, or thick area rugs are examples to consider.
Also, keep in mind that older pets typically find it harder to regulate their body temperature. In winter, in particular, they can get colder than usual. To keep them comfortable, move their bed to sunnier parts of your home during the winter days and give them more blankets or other elements to snuggle into and under. Ensure your pets have somewhere suitable to rest outside, as well.
Provide More Traction
Like humans, elder pets are more prone to slipping and sliding and can hurt themselves if they fall. To combat this problem, you should add some grip aids to slippery surfaces. Shiny tiles inside or outside, for instance, can be challenging for animals to get traction on, as can many highly polished floorboards, concrete, or related other materials.
Other ways to increase the comfort level of your home for your senior pets are to declutter, so animals have fewer obstacles to get around, and clean regularly to keep bugs and bacteria at bay (dogs and cats often have impaired immunity as they get older). Also, minimize the number of sharp corners they might run into if their eyesight is failing.
As you can see, there are all sorts of things you can do to make your property more suitable for an aging pet. When they live longer, happier, and more pleasant, their joyful energy will also boost your mental health and your luck.