Senior Sanctuary: Transforming Your Home for Ageing Dogs and Cats

DrPaul -

Senior Sanctuary: Transforming Your Home for Ageing Dogs and Cats

As our pets get older, they need a little extra care and consideration to keep them comfortable and safe in their twilight years. Just as we might make adjustments to our own homes as we age, so too should we adapt our living spaces to cater to the changing needs of our senior pets. So, whether you're a proud owner of a wise old dog or a seasoned cat, here are some insights to help you create a senior-friendly environment in your home.

Soft Surfaces Everywhere: As our pets age, they might develop joint issues or arthritis, making hard surfaces uncomfortable for them. Consider adding soft rugs or mats to areas where they like to rest, such as their bed or favourite spots around the house. Not only will this provide them with a comfortable place to rest, but it will also help prevent slips and falls.

Easy Access to High Places: Cats, in particular, love to perch up high, but as they age, jumping becomes more challenging. Help your senior cat out by providing easy access to their favourite high spots. You can invest in pet ramps or steps to help them reach their favourite windowsill or shelf without having to exert themselves too much.

Senior-Specific Beds: Just like humans, older pets appreciate a good night's sleep. Consider investing in a supportive and comfortable bed designed specifically for senior pets. These beds often have memory foam or orthopaedic features, which help to provide extra support for achy joints and muscles.

Gentle Lighting: Senior pets may develop vision problems as they age, so it's essential to keep your home well-lit and free from obstacles. Try adding night lights in hallways and staircases to help guide your pet during nighttime bathroom trips.

Adjustable Feeding Stations: As pets age, they may develop conditions that make eating and drinking more challenging. Consider investing in adjustable feeding stations that allow you to raise or lower food and water bowls to a comfortable height for your pet. This can help alleviate strain on their neck and back while eating or drinking.

Safety First: Ensuring your home is safe for your senior pet is paramount. Cover sharp corners with corner guards or padding to prevent injuries from accidental bumps. Block off or secure hazardous areas such as balconies, staircases, or swimming pools to prevent accidental falls or injuries. Use gates or barriers to restrict access to these areas as needed.

By making a few simple adjustments to your home, you can create a safe and comfortable environment that allows your senior pet to enjoy their golden years to the fullest.

Paul Manktelow

Veterinary Surgeon

Dr Paul Manktelow is a vet who's worked for almost 20 years on the front line in some of the UK's busiest veterinary hospitals. Paul also appears regularly in the media as a TV and radio presenter, writer, public speaker and podcast producer.