Your home is your pet's home, too! Here's how to keep things comfy as your furry friend ages or develops physical challenges.
Your furry friends are an important part of your family. You work to make sure your fur babies know that your home is their home too. (Psst…have you read our article on Making a Home in Your Home for Your Pets?)
Unfortunately, as pets get older they can develop some limitations that make it difficult to get around. That’s why we’ve assembled this new pet-project DIY guide! Now you can be the hero your pet needs and deserves. So let’s get to it and learn what we can all do to help our elder and mobility/sight impaired pets live their best lives.
As pets get older, they can develop hip issues that make it difficult for them to jump onto the couch or the bed. This is particularly common in certain dog breeds, but could happen to any animal over time. (Real life is so rude.)
One way that you can help your pet get around more easily is by building them a ramp! You can position the ramp near your bed or your couch, angling it in a way that makes it easy for your pet to climb up.
Note that this will also maximize overall pet + human engagement. (Read: the cuddles!)
We highly recommend this application. You can even use these ramps to help your pet get into the car. Ramps put far less stress on the joints than stairs, so your pet can use them comfortably.
There are so many options with DIY dog ramps — you can completely customize yours to suit your home. You can even add storage underneath the ramp, which makes it perfect for extra toys and blankets! This ramp from HGTV is a great example of a DIY ramp with storage.
Elevated Food Bowl
Bending down to eat or drink water can put strain on your pet’s neck and back. Mealtime can get increasingly difficult over the years if your pet is struggling with this issue. One way to combat this is by building them a stand for their food and water bowls.
There are many different ways to build an elevated food bowl — we like this option from Centsational Style because of its elegant, minimalist design. By setting the bowls higher up, your pet won’t have to strain to get their nom on. Some elevated bowls even offer extra food storage underneath, such as this option from This Old House.
Lastly, elevated bowls are great for your pets even if they don’t have mobility issues! The higher position of the bowl can help slow your furry friend’s gobbling, and keep the kibble where it belongs – in the bowl.
Comfy Pet Retreat
It’s not uncommon for pets to lose their sight as they get older. Having a designated safe space in your home can make life a lot easier for a pet who's losing their vision. If you don’t already have a soft and comfy pet bed, now is a great time to add one to your home!
Something we love about DIY pet beds is that they’re another great opportunity for customization. By doing it yourself, you can fully tailor the bed to your pet’s specific size and personality. You can select the colors and fabrics that you think your pet will enjoy the most.
Pro-tip: bright colors are easier to spot for tired eyes. ❤️
One of our favorite examples is this super easy DIY bed from Sniff Design Studio. It’s just so cute and easy to customize. It’s also super soft and doesn’t require your pet to jump or climb. If you have a larger dog, this no-sew bed idea from the Hallmark Channel provides plenty of cushy support for your pup!
Even if your pet hasn’t fully lost their vision yet, they might lose their ability to see in the dark. Putting night lights up in your hallways will help your pet stay oriented and avoid injuries at night. Bonus points: they can help keep you safe while walking around at night too! This is a very easy thing to DIY — you just need some strip lights and an adhesive to install them with.
Accessible Litter Box
For older cats with mobility issues, using the litter box can be a bit of a challenge. Consider DIYing your litter box to make it a bit more accessible. Removing barriers on one side eliminates the need for jumping or climbing inside, minimizing stress on their body.
This option from Cat Toy Lady is a very simple DIY project that makes climbing inside the litter box much easier for your feline friend.
We hope we’ve shown you how simple it can be to improve your fuzzy buddy’s life just with a bit of effort! We definitely hope you’ll get creative and pay attention to your pet. If you see them struggling with part of their routine, always ask yourself, “How can I help?” They deserve it. 🥺