Hip dysplasia in dogs can sometimes be a real handful. Feeding and walking your beloved furry companion several times a day is in itself an added load to an already busy schedule. With a degenerative joint disease like hip dysplasia, dog owners need to be even more careful and mindful of their dog’s needs.
Dogs with hip problems might have trouble running around, climbing stairs, and even just getting up from bed. Dogs with a limp or dislocated hip likely need assistance getting around the house. Taking these symptoms into account, dog owners can help make life easier for their ailing pets by taking conscious steps to creating a safe home environment.
Prepare Slip Safe Floors
A recent study found that puppies continuously walking over slippery surfaces have a much higher risk of developing canine hip dysplasia than puppies that walk and exercise over soft surfaces with substantial grip, like they have in outdoor parks.
The bones and cartilage of puppies continue to develop as they mature into young adults, which makes them much more susceptible to falling and hurting their joints. Slippery floor surfaces, such as sleek tile and linoleum, can be dangerous for young puppies. Dust and grease are also sneaky threats to dog safety.
Just one bad fall could have long lasting ramifications on joint health. The good thing is that now that you’re aware of the danger, you can make the necessary changes to prevent unnecessary falls and sliding.
To follow are five easy ways to improve floor friction and keep precious dogs out of harm’s way:
- Clean your floor. Regular cleaning gets rid of grease and dirt as well as dust buildup in corners, all of which increase the likelihood of slipping. Make sure to match cleaning products with type of flooring material. Use of the wrong kind of cleaner can end up leaving behind slippery stains.
- Keep the floor dry. Wet surfaces are slick and can also collect other debris. A good practice is to wipe up right after spills and to dry the floor with a mop after cleaning.
- Place rugs and mats. There should be a rug by every door that leads outside and probably on the floor near water sources, like sinks and toilets. People can then wipe their feet dry as they enter the house. Rubber mats with holes in them provide a high amount of traction because any small spills fall beneath them, permitting the surface to stay dry.
- Apply anti-skid tape on bare floors. Although not the most aesthetically pleasing tool, anti-skid tape has a rough surface that offers excellent traction.
- Check out non-slip floor treatments. For floors made of porcelain, ceramic, or concrete, you can apply an invisible, non-slip etching that makes surfaces less slippery when wet.
Steer Dogs Away From Stairs
Repeatedly going up and down stairs can gradually injure joints and may lead to hip dysplasia in dogs that are susceptible to the disease. The negative impact of stair climbing is especially pronounced in puppies whose joints are still forming and whose muscles are still weak.
Ideally, puppies should be not be using the stairs at all. And grown dogs should only be using stairs on occasion. Constantly using stairs could result in a nasty fall at any age.
Placing a stair fence is a simple way to keep your dog safe from stairs. Some mature dogs are capable of knocking fences down or jumping over them, so they should be sturdy. Dogs can also need to be trained to stay clear of stairs without the use of a fence.
Pick up After Yourself
Dogs, like people, can trip over any number of small objects commonly found on home floors. A good habit is to pick up any objects left on the floor, especially sharp objects that can prick unsuspecting paws as well as ropes or strings that can tangle dogs.
Larger objects, including new furniture or boxes, can disrupt the path over which your dog tends to trot through the house. Suddenly stopping and then starting can harm joints and lead to hip problems in dogs. Ideally, your home should be free of any loose objects, be they bulky or tiny, that could potentially get in the way of your pet.
Try to Keep From Startling Your Dog
Startled or over-excited dogs are quick to leap and dash from one end of the house to the other. Research shows that anaerobic exercises performed by dogs, such as jumping and sprinting, increase the risk of developing canine hip dysplasia.
Unnecessary bursts of activity can be reduced by minimizing how often your dog gets startled or agitated. You can start doing this by lowering the volume of ringing telephones and keeping vibrating electronics away from your dog. Music and television speakers would be best placed far from where your dog likes to rest.
Place Routinely Used Objects Wisely
Leaving a walking leash near the door can stop dogs from running through the entire house every time you get ready to take them out for a walk. And keeping your dog’s bed on the floor can reduce the extra hop up it would otherwise need to take to get onto a raised bed.