Some simple steps help ensure happiness for Charlie or Bella
If you or your aging loved one have a pet, you know how it helps fill the home with love and companionship—all the more reason to find out how your home can be made as pet-friendly as possible. That way, your furry friend will continue to enjoy the twilight years with you.
Therapy and support animals are becoming more in use for their contributions to all ages.
Cleveland Clinic physician Dr. Marwan Sabbagh has said, “Simply petting an animal can decrease the level of the stress hormone cortisol and boost release of the neurotransmitter serotonin, resulting in lowered blood pressure and heart rate and, possibly, in elevated mood.”
Some other health benefits of pets for seniors include easing of anxiety and pain, increased mobility and subsequently independence and more focus on living in the current moment.
So when you take inventory on what might be needed for pet-friendly modifications for aging in place in Avon Lake, or other community, keep in mind some simple steps that help make life easier for both you and your pet as time goes on.
One of the first considerations is to determine whether you need to build or add structures, ranging from ramps for elderly dogs, to a tree cat tower house to an invisible fence to keep pets inside your yard.
Cat scratching poles offer a way to exercise unlike a a mere romp outside. The resistance and friction a pole supplies help to strengthen a cat’s limbs.
Ramps are often better than steps for elderly pets since even gentle steps can put unwanted torque on knees and hips. It may be difficult to find a manufactured one the right size for your application, and a custom-built one is a good solution.
Small dogs will need about 11-12 inches of width for a ramp, while medium size canines will need double that. The incline angle should be about 18-20 degrees for small dogs and 22-25 degrees for medium dogs. Ramps for those people in wheelchairs and who use walkers are less steep in comparison, based on only two legs for a person versus four for a dog.
If the ramp leads to a sofa or bed about 14-16 inches tall, the ramp length will need to be about 3 feet in length. For safety, the ramp should have a horizontal landing at the top and edges on either side to give a sense of boundary for your pet. The surface should be covered with carpeting with a short nap.
A pet that gets exercised well is less likely to get into mischief and has a better chance to sleep at night instead of barking or crying for attention. If you have an entry area that can be converted into a mudroom, it would be ideal to add a cat or doggy door that has access to a fenced in yard or dog run. That way, they are free to run outdoors when they want.
Pets often can open cupboards—and even refrigerators—to access food, cleaning products and hazardous items, so the kitchen obviously needs a thorough review.
Kittens and puppies love to sneak into an open clothes dryer (or a small place where they can get stuck). Make such places off limits with gates or Dutch-doors and give them their own space.
For flooring, carpet often provides challenges for pet owners, but if you insist on wall-to-wall, you can choose a color that matches your pet to mask any hair that is shed. A wear performance rating of 3.5 or higher should be used. Hardwood with ample urethane finish is a common material for small dogs, and ceramic tile for larger dogs.
When it’s time for some pet-friendly modifications for aging in place in Avon Lake, or other communities, contact Sciarappa Construction. By calling (440) 930-2882 or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, you can start the project rolling. We are located at 32961 Oak Pkwy., Avon Lake, OH 44012, and have more than 40 years of combined experience in remodeling within the Bay Village, Avon, Avon Lake, and Greater Cleveland, Ohio areas.
Sciarappa Construction, a family-owned and operated full-service construction company, offers services including new home construction, subdivision, development, apartment, and existing home and commercial rehab, plus general contracting and construction management.