One of the biggest challenges for older dogs is walking on slippery floors.
If your dog is incontinent, you are making it harder for them to get up and move away from their rest areas if they can’t get good traction. Slippery floors also increase the change of orthopedic injuries.
Youngers dogs may have no issues with bare wood, tile or lineoleum flooring – for for older dogs – these types of surfaces can be very problematic and really impact their quality of life.
You can certainly buy rugs – I’ve done this in many parts of my house. After my dog Sagan injured her knee when she was 10, and I decided to try Conservative Management, I went out and bought a bunch of area rugs and covered my (newly refinished) wood floors. My living room still looks like a bit of patchwork area rugs. But it worked well, she recovered from her injury, and the rugs did their job of giving her good traction on bare wood floors. I even got several area rugs for my kitchen, which may seem weird, but when you see their footing slip just a little, and you’re trying to avoid surgery, an area rug seems like a bargain.
As she got older though, and started having accidents, the rugs, which we needed more than ever for traction, now needed to be sanitized. This is not an easy task to accomplish, nor is it inexpensive. I opted to purchase a steam rug cleaner and would deep clean the rugs on a regular basis.
Eventually Sagan had to be kept in my laundry/kennel room, which has a doggie door access to a enclosed kennel run. If she hadn’t pooped by the time I needed to leave home, I would put her in this room to keep her close to the dog door. Older dogs with neurological and mobility issues have a difficult time standing up and walking quickly enough. The room had linoleum floors, super slippery for an older dog.
My solution: Yoga Mats! Less expensive than rugs, and super easy to clean up after accidents. They provide padding and traction to help senior dogs get up and get moving. And if they have an accident, it’s easily to pick up and wipe clean. It is so much easier to keep the floor sanitary when you use yoga mats vs area rugs. Yoga mats come in so many colors, there’s bound to be some that match your home decor. I opted for a light green to match my laundry room walls.
The easier you make it for your senior dog to rise up from laying down and walk away, the fewer accidents you may have. Some dogs will eat their poop if it’s in their bedding, and for these dogs, traction is a must-have. Adding yoga mats to bare flooring is a inexpensive and easy way to add traction and improve mobility for our beloved geriatric canines.