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Old February 8th, 2011, 11:56 AM
Helene4 Helene4 is offline
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Helpful hints for older dogs

My dog Mickey is 15 years old. I discovered 2 simple ways to make his life easier. Maybe they can help some of you.

During the night, Michey will jump on the bed to sleep and later on he will jump down, if he's too hot, to sleep on the floor. I started to see he would hesitate to jump on the bed when it's dark. The same thing would happen during the night when he wanted to jump down; he would get up and look down and sometimes walk on the side of the bed before getting off. I fixed that problem by plugging a night light on his side of the bed. Now he doesn't hesitate at all. He just needed a little bit of light to see clearly!

When Mickey wants to jump on the bed, he gives himself a few feet to be able to run up and leap on the bed. When he jumped down, I started to notice he would kind of slide on the linoleum floor. It also happened sometimes when he wanted to jump on the bed. Are his legs getting weaker? Is he sliding because of the fur under his paws? Are his nails too long? He never had trouble when he was younger and I keep his nails trimmed. I bought doggy steps and put them at the corner of the bed where Mickey jumps on and off the bed but I didn't leave them there long. I was afraid Mickey would crash into those steps when he comes running in the bedroom and tumble over them when he wants to get down.

So I had another bright idea. I bought a small non-slip carpet. It's on the floor where Mickey gets on and off the bed. It's a dark colour so it stands out on my pale floor. Mickey doesn't slide anymore!

A night light and a small carpet... That's all it took to help Mickey
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Old February 8th, 2011, 01:59 PM
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Bina Bina is offline
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Yes, a night light and non skid rugs are simple inexpensive items to help make life safer for your senior pets.
I would like to point out that these items are great for ALL pets, young and old.

My house has many night lights; in the bathroom, kitchen, etc. and even my Goats in the barn have a night light. In case of power failures we have solar powered garden lights sitting in a couple of south facing windows.
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Old February 8th, 2011, 07:13 PM
ScottieDog ScottieDog is offline
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Great information. I know leaving a small lamp on really helped my dogs. I still use it. With a black dog, I'm always afraid I might step on her at night! The doggie stairs didn't work for me either. One dog was afraid of them, the other would climb them to get up on the bed and then launch himself across the room. Not good for a geriatric.

This is a great idea for a thread. My two senior dogs are now at the Bridge but this tip may help others. My oldest dog had a thick, heavy, black coat and the summer was brutal. I found some cooling bandannas that really helped with our summer-time walks. There are some specifically for dogs (Kyjen Outward Hound Cool-It Bandanna among others). You soak the bandanna in water and polymer crystals plump up and then give an evaporative cooling effect around the neck. You can also find a cooling neck strip in the tennis area of sporting goods stores. Before I found these, I took a regular bandanna and folded it in half and stitched a wide pocket at the fold, open on one end. I got some small ice cube type pouches of water that could be frozen and placed in cooler bags. These were the small ones that were about 1.25 x 2.5 and contained a safe water--not the blue cooling gel. I kept these chilled in the refrigerator instead of the freezer and was able to slip a few of these in the bandanna I made. Tying around the neck kept the pouches from slipping out. It is heavier than the products with the water-absorbing crystals, but is also an option. It works and keeps the dog cooler. I can still see my little guy wagging his tail when he would see me pull out his bandanna! Hope this tip can help someone.

My young dog has the bandanna for agility practice. It really works! (And Mom has one of the cooling strips as well.)
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Old February 11th, 2011, 11:34 AM
Helene4 Helene4 is offline
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The bandanna is a great idea! It goes to show that sometimes it only takes a few simple and inexpensive changes to make our seniors' lives comfortable.

At first I had a problem with the night light because Mickey's side of the bed is also my side of the bed! I was having trouble falling asleep when I went to bed or after getting up during the night. It took me a couple of weeks before I realized that maybe the light was too bright... It's a LED light so it is very bright even though the beam of light is aimed at the floor. So I put the end of an old white cotton sock on it and now I don't have any trouble sleeping and it's still bright enough for Mickey. The LED light doesn't get hot so it's safe
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Old February 15th, 2011, 06:07 PM
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totallyhip totallyhip is offline
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These are wonderful ideas. Mickey does the same thing my Luke does. I never thought that maybe he needed a light. We have lots in the house but none in our room. Have to get one that is maybe triggered by motion.
Thanks!
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Old February 16th, 2011, 05:50 PM
Floppy Dog Floppy Dog is offline
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Try using a blue or green nite lite. The blue/green end of the spectrum does not cause us humans to loose sleep the way the "white" end of the spectrum does (something about how the brain is stimulated by certain wave lenghts of light and calmed by others) and should give enough light for the seniors to see by.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 11:52 AM
Helene4 Helene4 is offline
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I tried the green light at first, before using the LED, but after a few months it had lost a lot of brightness. It got to the point that is was practically useless Maybe there are different brands of green lights and some are better than others
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Old February 19th, 2011, 11:44 AM
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Bina Bina is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helene4 View Post
I tried the green light at first, before using the LED, but after a few months it had lost a lot of brightness. It got to the point that is was practically useless Maybe there are different brands of green lights and some are better than others
I've been using the flat, pale green energy saver night lights for 2 years and have yet to replace one. Mine are on 24/7 and there is no bulb to burn out. the panel stays cool too.
It is the only one that I feel safe leaving on in the barn for my sleeping goats.

I don't know if it's okay to post the brand so let me know if I need to remove this:
Sunbeam MightyBulb ElectroLuminescent night light from Dollarama.
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