Caring for your Dog if you have Mobility Issues or Poor Health

13th June 2023

Losing mobility and struggling to take your dog to the toilet can be an incredibly challenging and emotionally taxing experience.

For individuals who have enjoyed an active lifestyle, the realisation that their physical limitations prevent them from easily fulfilling their dog’s basic needs can be deeply distressing. The once simple and routine task of taking their beloved companion outside becomes a hurdle that fills them with a sense of helplessness and frustration.

The reliance on others for assistance or the need to modify their living arrangements to accommodate their limited mobility can create a sense of loss and dependence.

Moreover, the guilt of not being able to provide the same level of care and attention to their furry friend can weigh heavily on their hearts. It is a constant reminder of their own limitations and serves as a painful reminder of the life they once had. Despite these challenges, the love and bond between pawrent and dog often remains unwavering.

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Tips on how to ensure your dog has access to the toilet when you’re struggling with mobility issues or poor health

If you have limited mobility and struggle to take your dog to the toilet regularly, there are several steps you can take to ensure your dog’s needs are met:

  1. Establish a consistent routine: Create a structured schedule for your dog’s toileting needs. Set specific times for bathroom breaks throughout the day, and try to stick to this routine as much as possible. Dogs thrive on predictability, so having a consistent schedule can help them anticipate when it’s time to go.
  2. Train your dog to use indoor potty options: Set up an indoor dog toilet area that is easily accessible for both you and your dog. We recommend a soil-free, real grass dog toilet as this helps to create a grassy space for your dog to toilet on. Train your dog to use this specific area for elimination by providing positive reinforcement and rewards when they use it appropriately.
  3. Seek assistance: Reach out to family members, friends, or neighbours who may be able to help you with your dog’s exercise and toileting needs. They can assist in taking your dog outside or to an appropriate outdoor area for regular walks, playtime, and bathroom breaks.
  4. Consider hiring a dog walker or pet sitter: If your mobility limitations prevent you from taking your dog outside regularly, hiring a professional dog walker or pet sitter can be a great option. They can come to your home and take your dog for walks or provide necessary toilet breaks when you are unable to do so.
  5. Utilise mobility aids: Explore assistive devices that can aid in your mobility and make it easier to take your dog to the toilet. This could include using a walker, wheelchair, or other mobility aids that can provide you with more independence and make the process less physically demanding.
  6. Consider professional training or behaviour modification: If your dog is struggling to adjust to using an indoor toilet area or has specific toileting challenges, seeking guidance from a professional dog trainer or behaviourist can be beneficial. They can provide tailored strategies and techniques to address any issues and help your dog adapt to the new toileting routine.

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Remember, each situation is unique, and it’s important to find solutions that work best for you and your dog. Prioritise their well-being by ensuring they have regular opportunities to exercise and toilet breaks, whether through dog walking support, indoor options, or assistance from others.

Have you recently adopted a rescue dog? Take a look at our Expert Guide on housetraining your rescue.