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5 Therapeutic Solutions for Senior Mobility Challenged Dogs

We like to think of dogs as symbols of freedom. There is nothing more joy-inspiring than the sight of a dog bounding happily across an open field. Dogs are incredibly active and always ready to play – which is why it can be so heartbreaking when they are unable to because of age or injury.

However, just because your dog has been dealt a severe blow does not mean they have to succumb to it. On the contrary, it is up to you to give them the help they need when they need it most. With that in mind, let’s take a look at 5 therapeutic treatment options for assisting dogs with age or injury-induced mobility issues.

Leg Splints

If your dog has suffered a broken leg or similar injury, they may need a splint. These splints work the same way human splints do, providing much-needed support to damaged legs, feet, and ankles. Dog splints are typically attached behind their leg. They are often soft with stretchy lining and usually feature fasteners that can allow you to apply and remove them as needed.

Harness Options

If you have moved past or do not require the splint phase, you’ll want to determine the site and source of your dog’s discomfort. This will dictate the path you take in treating them.

For example, harnesses can be an effective way to provide dogs with weak front or rear legs with added support. Front and rear harnesses attach and provide support to different areas, so you’ll need to determine which set of legs and paws is giving your dog trouble.

Thankfully, once you have attached them, front and rear harnesses can make a big difference. They fit your dog like an article of clothing with leg-holes and a piece of fabric that wraps around your dog’s back. The design allows your dog a complete range of freedom while also leaving them free to relieve themselves as needed without you having to remove the harness first.

Support Sling

Where harnesses start at the top and typically wrap around a dog’s belly, support slings fit the other way. Thread the sling underneath your dog’s belly and up toward their back. By holding on to both ends, you’ll be able to give your dog extra support when they stand and walk.
Support slings are typically more lightweight and designed for more temporary, rehabilitative uses, while dog harnesses are often a bit more permanent.

Dog Wheelchairs

More permanent still are dog wheelchairs. These have the potential to be a huge game-changer for dogs and owners alike. The best dog wheelchairs, such as US-made K9 Carts, provide a great deal of support while also allowing your dog a great deal of freedom.

One advantage dog wheelchairs have in their favor is that, depending on their design, they can offer support to your dog’s front or rear legs, or even both. What’s more, the rubber and metal of a dog wheelchair can typically offer more and more stable support than either slings or harnesses.

In addition, dog wheelchairs allow dogs and owners to continue to enjoy a degree of independence from one another. For as much as you may love your dog, you probably don’t want to hold a harness or sling for them all day and night, and your dog probably doesn’t want you there constantly either.

A dog wheelchair allows your dog to continue to get around without you. This can enable them to go get food, go outside to relieve themselves or explore, and even run and play around without you constantly being there to support them.

Used correctly, a dog wheelchair has the potential to be one of the best things you can do for old or injured dogs in need of additional support.

Pet Diapers

Just like humans, dogs can start to experience shorter bladders and diminished bladder control as they get older. They may also suffer injuries or energy from spaying and neutering bladder issues. As such, if your dog is on the older side or has suffered an injury that has made them incontinent, they may require diapers. These come in disposable as well as washable variants and can help prevent messes.

As with humans, diaper usage can be temporary or permanent depending on the nature and severity of the condition. Another point of commonality is that dogs can feel unhappy about their incontinence and ashamed of “going” where and when they know they are not supposed to “go.” It is, thus, of the utmost importance that you show them the empathy and emotional support they need during this difficult transitional time.

Final Words

These 5 therapeutic options are some of the most convenient today for assisting senior dogs with age-induced mobility issues. If you’d like to acquire all the knowledge a senior pet carer would need, our Caring for Senior Dogs Course is a great option.

Dogs are and always have been Man’s Best Friend. With the correct knowledge and measures, you can help you help your furry friend in their hour of need.

Author’s BIO: Lori Wade is a journalist from Louisville. She is a content writer who has experience in small editions. Lori is currently engaged in news and conceptual articles on the pet care and veterinary industry. You can find her on LinkedIn. Hope you appreciate Lori’s useful insights!