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How to Modify Your Home to Keep a Senior Yorkie Comfortable
As dogs get older, they can experience discomfort and difficulty with activities they used to love. Everyday tasks like drinking water, jumping on the couch, and taking walks can become frustrating, and even painful. Fortunately, you can help keep your Yorkie happy and healthy in old age by making a few simple changes around the home.
Prevent Problems with Incontinence
Older dogs often have trouble with incontinence which can lead to more frequent accidents inside. Many physical or emotional problems can cause this. For example, diseases like diabetes can cause your dog to drink more water and urinate more often than they used to. Your Yorkie may also suffer from arthritis or other mobility problems that make it difficult for them to make a bathroom trip outside.
Take preventive action to keep your home clean. Lay down puppy pads and cover your dog’s bed with a waterproof liner for easy cleanup. Keep in mind that you may have to train your dog to use the puppy pad as part of their toilet routine. It may also be worth it to install a doggy flap on your door so your dog can go to the bathroom whenever the need arises, and some owners add doggie diapers to their pooch’s wardrobe.
When it comes to lifting odors and stains out of your carpets, HomeAdvisor recommends purchasing an enzymatic cleaner to break down the natural molecules in urine. Hot water extraction cleaning services can also be extremely useful for deep cleaning carpets and eliminating smells.
Set Up a Comfortable Grooming Space
Keeping up with your regular grooming routine is extremely important for the health of your older dog. Yorkies have long hair which can easily get matted, so be sure to keep your dog’s coat brushed and their rear end trimmed. Also, trim the hair between the toes to prevent them from slipping on uncarpeted floors in your home.
Unfortunately, mobility issues, arthritis, and joint pain can make it very difficult for older dogs to stand during long grooming sessions. Consider setting up a comfortable grooming spot in your home where your dog can sit or lay down. A soft, non-slip surface is ideal.
You may also want to buy a few new grooming supplies, like a gentle brush that won’t pull at your dog’s skin. Keep in mind that older dogs have a harder time regulating body temperature. If your Yorkie typically has a shorter haircut, consider maintaining a longer hairstyle during the winter months to keep them warm.
Make Accessibility Modifications
Age-related mobility problems and vision impairments can make navigating the home more difficult for older pups. To make your home more accessible to your dog, American Kennel Club recommends laying down non-slip mats over slick floors and installing ramps along staircases. You may also want to purchase a portable ramp that you can move around the home to help your dog get onto couches or into the car.
If your dog has developed vision problems, consider creating rug paths throughout your home so they can find their way to their bed, water dish, and the door that leads outside. It’s also important to remove things from their path that could cause harm, like tables with sharp corners, and limit access to difficult-to-navigate rooms or stairs with child gates.
Upgrade Your Yorkie’s Bed
Older dogs need soft, supportive beds to relieve pressure from sore joints and prevent stiffness.
Vetinfo recommends orthopedic dog beds for senior dogs. Memory foam beds can be particularly comfortable and cozy for older dogs. Just make sure the bed you choose is big enough that your dog can stretch out completely.
You may also want to move your dog’s bed closer to a heat source in your home and add some blankets that they can snuggle under to stay warm. You can even get heated dog beds! These are ideal for pet owners in colder climates.
Just like humans, the needs of our furry friends change with age. Making a few simple upgrades to your home can do a lot to improve your older dog’s quality of life. As your dog grows older, pay close attention to their health and behavior so you can help ease their transition into their senior years.
Author a Yorkie Lover!