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Senior Dog Harness - When Your Old Dog Needs a Little Help

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There are many reasons that a dog may need a harness.  Sometimes it is to rehabilitate them after an injury or an operation so they don’t reinjure the site but can still get some exercise even at a young age, or to support the aging pooch that has become arthritic.

My own dog Sasha is having problems with the stairs.  She has always slept in our room which is on the second floor, but at age 12 (which is old for her breed of Pyrenees, husky, shepherd) and 65 pounds, she is much too heavy for me to carry up the stairs.

I had always sworn I would never prolong the life of a pet that was suffering.  I made that mistake a few years ago with a cat, but Sasha is otherwise happy, except for the stairs.  She takes them one at a time, very slowly as her hips have become slightly arthritic.   She can still go for her walks although not as quickly, so in my case I was looking for a mobility harness for senior dogs that would simply give her a helping hand up the stairs.

senior dog harness

As I began my research, it was comforting to know, that this is quite a common issue, and there are many mobility aids for your pets that can take them comfortably into their senior years without stress or pain.

 (Sasha pictured)

As my dog aged, I began to notice things she wouldn’t do, such as walk on the hardwood floors, or use the basement stairs, which are painted wood and not carpet.  She would use the upper stairs as there is a carpet runner but if she ended up downstairs (fear of storms!) she would have a very hard time getting back up and it took a team to do so!  I figured there had to be a better way.

After a dangerous episode on the basement stairs where she panicked halfway up with me holding her back end and almost falling, I decided we had to get some kind of aid as she was a very happy and healthy senior poochie otherwise.

Here are a few products that I thought would work great. 

senior dog harness
GingerLead Dog Support & Rehabilitation Harness - Lg Female Sling
Amazon Price: $59.95 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 20, 2015)

Dog Harness with Lead

This is perfect for your pooch that maybe has trouble with walks due to injury or arthritis if they are older like mine.  This type of support is easier on them as well as yourself.  You don’t want your dog halfway through a walk suddenly deciding he is too sore and laying down like mine did to me one day!  I had to show a neighbor she was lying on their lawn and then run home and get the car.  So, having an aid can prevent the weakness and tiring out of their limbs and give you the confidence of a nice walk.

senior dog harness
Fusion Pets X-Karimor Therapeutic Harness, 31 to 120-Pound
Amazon Price: $65.88 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 20, 2015)

Full Middle Mobility Harness

This one is heavier duty, and wraps around their middle and would be good for weakness in the legs on a walk.  You and your dog will feel more confident.  These are also used for rehabilitation from injuries.  My daughter had to use one of these for her dog after leg surgery.  It was a great way to get some exercise without putting too much weight on their joints, and easier for you to manage them.

senior dog harness
KomfyFleece Dog Mobility Sling Lift Harness, 10 by 26-Inch (large), Beige
Amazon Price: $42.99 $33.78 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 20, 2015)

Basic Fleece Wrap Harness

I like this one, as it would be easy to have on hand.  It is fleece lined and can be thrown in the washing machine.  In our case, Sasha goes for walks around the block under her own steam, but stairs are another issue.  So I thought getting two of these would work, and keep one at the top and one at the bottom so that we can quickly grab it.  It would be good for helping into the car too, as she loves going out for car rides but is finding the jump into the car difficult without one of us having to pick up her rear end which is hard on our backs.

These sling style harnesses are a perfect idea.

senior dog harness

Travel Old Dog Harness

If your dog has issues with their front legs, then this harness would help them to get started on the stairs or into the car.  This one is a lightweight travel harness.

Or Make Your Own..

I found this on Youtube and thought it was also a brilliant idea.  If you like the idea of this type of mobility aid, but not sure if your dog will like it, or maybe if your dog is not too big, try this idea using a cloth shopping bag.  I was thinking you don’t really have to put the openings in for the front legs, I was thinking you could just wrap it around their middle, but it is a cheap way to experiment.

Senior dogs have their own set of problems, just like us older humans.  As long as my dog is happy and healthy there is no reason she can’t continue living a normal life with us as she ages.  With just a few mobility harnesses or aids, she doesn’t have to put the strain on her body that will cause the pain or fear into her golden years.

 I would never prolong the life of a suffering pet, but a few aids here and there can allow you and your pet some precious time together in their golden years.



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