Aging takes a toll on dogs just like it does with humans. From a loss in vision to painful arthritis, our four-legged friends experience aging in a way that’s similar to our own experience. As a dog owner, you can make life a little simpler, safer and more comfortable for an aging pet during the summer by taking precautions around the family pool.
As dogs begin to age, it’s not uncommon for our furry friends to lose their eyesight. Sometimes pet owners may notice that their dog has cloudy eyes. This condition is called sclerosis. Other conditions like cataracts and glaucoma are also common in older and aging dogs.
Although his eyesight may be fading, he may still enjoy lounging outside near the pool. To keep your pet safe, consider installing a pool fence to make sure that he’s not at risk of falling in due to his lack of eyesight. Having a fence installed will keep him from wandering into the deep, avoiding any potential pool-related accidents.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), describes canine arthritis as a degenerative joint disease that causes both inflammation and pain in a dog’s joints. Dogs who have this condition may walk stiffly, limp or compensate by using other limbs, be hesitant to jump or run stairs, suffer flexibility loss and they may experience pain when certain joints are touched. There are many ways pet owners can help relieve the symptoms and pain associated with arthritis including using soft doggie bedding, playing gently, using a raised food and water bowl and having a portable ramp nearby for car rides.
Additionally, a pet step can be added to the family pool to help your aging dog get in and out of the water safely and comfortably. It works just like a ramp for the car, and many styles are portable and lightweight. Pool accessories retailer In The Swim offers a pet step that is suitable for vehicle loading, too. The pet step also comes with an anti-slip finish, to make sure your pet doesn’t slip or fall while walking up or down the ramp.
Canine Life Jackets
For dogs, with age comes weight gain. This can be a symptom of hyperthyroidism which can lead to obesity. According to Pet Care Rx, obesity can lead to bone and joint problems like hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis in addition to weakening cardiovascular health, which makes it harder for pets to exercise. This condition can put a heavy strain on your dog’s body.
Using a doggie life jacket can help dogs who have gained weight in their older years exercise with ease in the family pool. A life jacket, like the K-9 Float Coats available from Ruffwear, can make exercise more enjoyable and safer, without taxing your dog’s body. Many styles come equipped with a sturdy handle to help remove your pet from the water. If you do notice that your pet is getting tired treading the water, remove him from the pool immediately. Canine life jackets are also great for healthy dogs, and should be used when boating, kayaking or spending time near the ocean.