Sarah’s back paws are starting to drag now and again which catches her rear legs and can cause a stumble. Although our house is already senior-proofed we took another look round at things we could change and adapt to help her even more.
We have slopes and ramps and mini-steps EVERYWHERE. It means Sarah never has perilous steps or slippy laminate to judder and hurt her joints.
But the slopes and ramps were made out of wood as were her steps up into the garden. I noticed her slip once on the mega-ramp through the garage to the front drive.
So….time for Carpenter Chris to get adapting. Luckily, he is able to translate my suggestions of “We need an uppy bit there, with a slopey bit at the top and then a short downy part” into reality. He was an engineer in a previous life so that helps.
The ramps now have carpet tiles glued to the top of the wood – soft, comfy, non-slippy carpet. The mega-ramp also has carpet tiles glued down but not just any old tiles – brightly coloured tiles so she can see them when the garage is gloomy. No more sliding down those.
The mini-steps outside to the garden now have rubber sheets stapled to them so when they get wet, they will still be safe for unsure paws.
And the awkward series of small mini steps we made (he made) up and out of the back door, is now replaced with a brand new mini-slope. Which she loves. No more hesitating to go outside because the steps that were there, although small, needed a bit of a “OK…1-2-3…here we go” preparation.
We swear that the first time she went up her new comfy bright mega-slope from the car through the garage to the back door, she got to the top and looked back with a “Thanks Dad” look. #diva
Keep your eyes open to think of ways you can continue to change and adapt your house to fit the changing mobility of your dog. Osteoarthritis is degenerative - a few appropriate adaptive tweaks to help manage this condition, can make all the difference. Spend a few minutes following your dog around your house looking for any new hesitations or slips.