Senior Aids

DasaquinThere’s nothing better than growing old with your dog, but it can be challenging sometimes. There are many ways to make “the golden years” a bit easier for your senior Great Pyrenees. Start with regular vet visits to check bloodwork for low thyroid levels or other issues that come with age.

Like many of us, your senior may be developing arthritis, and benefit from combination glucosamine/chondroitin supplements such as Dasuquin with MSM  or Joint Max Triple Strength Chews  Special doggie aspirin or a dog-specific “NSAID” (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory) can make them much more comfortable, just as the human versions do for those of us whose joints are aching. Natural products such as “Doggone Pain”  use natural substances like bromelain and cayenne to address inflammation.

If you have wood or tile flooring, rubber-backed runners from places like Home Depot or Lowes will make your senior feel more secure and prevent them from slipping and falling; stair treads make it easier for those giant paws to get a grip on stairs, and trimming the fur on the bottom of their paws also helps their pads get better traction.


Ramps can make life much easier for everyone. You can build a ramp for outdoor access and cover it with outdoor synthetic grass carpeting stapled to the ramp, (available from various home stores) or use the natural sisal runner that Sammie (right) is usingin this video.


For indoor use, aluminum “suitcase ramps” commonly used for wheelchairs or disabled and available online from home and specialty suppliers, can provide smoother access over a couple stairs or even be used outside when covered with an outdoor runner for extra gripping.


Lift wraps like this one from Drs. Foster & Smith can help when you need to take your senior (or recent orthopedic surgery patient) outside or to the vet.



There are various types of lift harnesses that can be used to help dogs with weak rear ends, such as this one from In the Company of Dogs; and the full body combination harness (right) that can be used for either front or back support or both.


Your senior pyr will need a dog bed that won’t sink to the floor under his weight, from places like Big Barker, or like this 6” deep orthopedic bed from Drs. Foster & Smith (and you can also get an available waterproof liner for occasional “accidents”). There are also orthopedic crate pads (and available waterproof liners) for those who prefer the coziness of their crates.


If your dog is starting to experience incontinence or “dribbling,” there are male “belly bands” or “no-leak wraps” as well as female wraps. Whatever brand you choose, xtra-large works best for most male Pyrs, especially as the bands shrink with repeated washings. A sanitary pad or napkin inserted in the bottom of the band can absord extra moisture. Your vet may want to prescribe a special diet, or even a drug such as Proin, to help tighten the bladder sphincter, (though no drug is without risk).  Natural, non-prescription products include Nutri-Vet’s Bladder Control, Vetri Science Bladder Strength, and Homeopet’s “Leak No More”.

There's no doubt that our seniors require extra special treatment as they age.  More information on understanding and dealing with your aging pet can be found here.