15 things that can make life easier for elderly dogs
Brought to you by me and my senior goddess, Denny
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Elderly dog life: if you know you know. From supplements and prescription medications to mobility products and incontinence supplies, there’s a lot to consider as your pup ages. Whether you’re looking to optimize your senior dog’s diet with specific food and vitamins or you want to help mitigate arthritis aches and pains, I've got you covered.
My dog Denny just turned 14, so I have dabbled in many of these old-dog maintenance products. It turns out there’s also a bunch of senior dog solutions that I never knew about but will definitely keep top of mind as Denny’s needs continue changing in upcoming years. Here are some of the greatest products out there made specifically for aging pups.
1. These portable pet stairs
When it starts getting difficult for your pup to reach their favorite bed or sofa spot, these stairs can help. With no assembly required, built-in non-skid feet, and safety side rails, the PetSafe CozyUp Stairs offer the ultimate convenience. The steps also fold for easy storage. There are two different sizes to consider, so make sure you check which measurements work best for your dog. You won’t have to worry about your old pal hurting their joints by jumping from the bed anymore!
This particular stair set is also highly rated among Chewy reviewers—more than 1,100 reviewers give it a solid 4.5 stars.
2. A ramp ideal for arthritic dogs
If you want to really treat your senior dog to a VIP experience, check out the PetSafe CozyUp ramp. Although it’s notably more expensive than the steps, the stylish finish and wood construction look a little classier if you’re looking to combine function with form here. Plus, by avoiding any steps, the ramp style allows even the most arthritic dogs to reach the perfect napping location. It’s rated for up to 120 pounds, ensuring big dogs can get up and down easily.
People who've bought this ramp say it's great for dogs who can't quite jump like they used to, and that pups quickly learn to integrate it into their daily routines.
3. Pee pads, because accidents happen
It’s time to talk about incontinence. If your pup has started peeing in the house with age (like mine has), these potty pads can make cleaning the floors a bit easier. The disposable multi-layered pads come in different sizes and they include a built-in dog attractant. You can also buy scented potty pads. However, I recommend doubling up on pads and over-estimating how much space you want to cover when you use them, because they are known to leak a little.
4. Reusable potty pads you can throw in the washer
Eco-friendly consumers love these washable dog pee pads, which replace disposable paper pads nicely. Whether you want to use this as a travel pee pad or a place for your senior dog to relieve themselves inside if necessary, the reusable pads are very versatile. With subtle colors and quilting detail, the washable pads blend in with decor seamlessly. The proprietary WickQuick fabric blend is designed to absorb and hold liquid better than other options. I like that these pee pads are backed by a 2-year warranty and 100% money back guarantee, too. More than 3,000 Amazon reviewers back up these reusable potty pads.
5. Disposable diapers for all-day protection
You can also use dog diapers to deal with senior pup incontinence. All Kind has a variety of disposable diaper sizes, for both male and female dogs, and the Moisture-Alert strip makes it easy to know when it’s time for a diaper change. Liquid turns to gel in the diaper thanks to moisture-locking technology, which helps prevent leaks. Note these diapers are not designed for poop, so if that’s an incontinence situation your dog has, pee pads are a better choice.
6. Cloth diapers you can reuse over time
Like with pee pads, there are more eco-friendly dog diaper options on the market. These washable belly bands are designed for male dogs, but Pet Parents does make washable female diapers too. The three packs include several color and size options to match your furry friend’s style. If your pup is sensitive or fussy, they might like these cloth diapers better than the disposable ones because they’re softer and less crinkly.
7. A gel to help stimulate appetite
TOMLYN nutritional gel is any easy solution if your dog has become a pickier eater or started eating less. This vet-recommended oral gel claims to boost calories, help dogs gain weight, and stimulate their appetites. This product includes Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids, which are key for joint health in senior dogs. Put a small amount of gel on your dog’s nose or paws so they begin licking, or you can place the gel directly on their tongue.
8. Relief for scratchy snouts
Once my childhood dog, a golden retriever named Hobie, turned 10, he began licking his nose nonstop. This led to a dry, chapped snout that looked pretty painful. Products like Natural Dog Company’s organic Snout Soother can soothe dry skin and protect your dog’s nose from harmful UV rays to keep their sniffer more comfortable. This fragrance-free product blends grapeseed, hempseed and jojoba oils with natural Vitamin E. An added bonus: this product has more than 3,000 Amazon reviews and a host of happy buyers.
9. This protective paw wax
Protect your old pal’s paws with Musher’s Secret wax, which is made from 100% natural waxes. Whether your dog’s paws are irritated by ice in the winter or scalding sidewalks in the summer, Musher’s Secret will create a barrier to prevent cracked and painful paws and pads. This product mixes white and yellow beeswax with vitamin E for an experience that’s both soothing and protective. If your dog hates wearing booties, paw wax may be a game changer for you.
10. A comforting toy to keep them company
There’s something about this Lamb Chop toy that dogs can't get enough of. My pup used to rip up plush toys in less than 48 hours until she met Lamb Chop. Although she has thoroughly chewed his face off by now, Denny still carries him around the house two years later. When I’ve posted pictures of this dynamic duo on social media, people have mentioned that their dogs are also obsessed with this toy. I don’t know what it is with Multipet’s Lamb Chop, but for less than $10, this speaky plush toy is a worthy investment.
11. This reviewer-favorite senior dog toy
I recently purchased one of these senior-specific KONG toys to keep my old girl occupied while I work. The all-natural rubber formula is designed for elderly dogs in particular to ensure your pup’s aging teeth and gums are protected during chew time. Additionally, this KONG has unpredictable bounce patterns to stimulate a dog’s instincts to play and prevent boredom. I’m a big fan of filling and freezing this KONG toy, which helps my dog focus on the activity longer.
12. A delicious treat to stuff in toys
I spent many years sloppily stuffing peanut butter into KONGs with a butter knife. I do not recommend this method. With KONG Stuff’N Easy Treat, the process is faster and way less messy. The uniquely designed nozzle lets you fill up KONG toys with one simple motion. The filling has no trans-fats, and your dog will love the peanut butter flavor. It’s important to mention that the flavor is highly concentrated, so a little dab will do, or your pup might not be into the taste. Regardless, this filling is the perfect product to pair with your senior KONG toy, helping your elderly pal get the most from their new toy.
13. A pup sling to help with mobility
You’ll be able to help your old-timer stand up, tackle stairs and get into the car more effectively with the LOOBANI portable dog sling. The soft interior is comfortable for your pup while the adjustable, heavy duty handles are ideal for you. From arthritis pain to hip dysplasia to surgery recovery, there are many instances where this dog sling may come in handy as the parent of an aging dog. Going outside for the potty, getting onto the couch, and getting exercise will be easier than ever for your furry friend.
14. This dog-approved orthopedic bed
Elevate your senior pup’s snooze game with an orthopedic bed that offers head and back support. My dog absolutely loves this bed; we call it her throne. This is her first bed with bolstered sides, and it turns out they are her passion. FurHaven’s quilted orthopedic bolster bed is offered in five sizes and five colors, and I ordered a size up to truly provide Denny with next-level luxury. My favorite part is the removable and machine-washable cover. I’ve washed it several times and it still looks great.
15. These treats that can help with joint pain
Zesty Paws makes several chewy treats that provide your dog with vitamins, nutrients and supplements, including these Mobility Bites. These bites claim to offer hip and joint support for old pups who have arthritis pain. My dog really likes these, as well as the Omega Bites for skin and coat support. Nearly 1,500 reviewers at Chewy agree, saying their dogs love these bites.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.