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5 Ways to Support & Lift Your Senior Dog

As dogs age their body slows down and tasks that were once easy may become more challenging. Not only does a dog “slow down” when they’re older, but their routine changes. They nap more frequently, their bathroom needs change, and they may need more help for you. Your senior dog may need the right harness and a lift to keep them on the move.

Signs Your Senior Dog Needs a Little Extra Support

1. Difficulty on the Stairs

Your dog may never have had trouble on the stairs before, but as they age you notice a change. Your dog may need your help and assist on the stairs if you notice:

Dog rear support leash for stairs
  • It takes them longer to go up or down the stairs
  • Your dog stops frequently on the stairs
  • They are no longer able to control the speed they descend the stairs: they move too quickly or seem to propel themselves down without control
  • A hesitancy to use the stairs
  • You’ve seen your dog stumble, trip, or fall on the stairs

If your dog has experienced any of these issues on the stairs, they need your assistance and guidance to safely use the stairs.

Solution: The Up-n-Go Support Leash to help a senior dog on the stairs. The harness adjusts for a comfortable, snug fit to provide hind end support perfect for helping your dog up the stairs.

2. Struggling to Stand on Their Own

dog rear lift harness

Slowing down and struggling to stand up is quite common in senior dogs. As dogs age they lose strength their back legs making it difficult for them to push themselves off the ground after laying down.

If a dog has arthritis as well it may be painful to bear full their full weight and stand up. They most rise more slowly or be completely unable to stand without assistance.

Solution: Assist your dog to stand with the Up-n-Go Leash. With two sizes available, this easy-to-use and simple rear support leash is can help every dog 5 lbs. or larger!

3. Getting Your Senior Dog In and Out of the Car

Bella in a rear leg support for dog's with weak back legs

Getting in the car is a breeze for puppies and adult dogs, but it can be much harder for an elderly dog. If your senior pet doesn’t want to jump do not make them.

A refusal to jump out of the car or struggling to get into a vehicle is a sign that your senior dog needs a boost. Your best friend still wants to go for a ride, but as dogs age jumping can become painful. They may not feel safe making the leap or are afraid that they will hurt themselves by trying.

Solution: To assist your dog in and out of a vehicle they require support from you and a lifting harness. The Warrior Rear Harness will provide the lifting aid and control your dog.

4. Lifting Support for Surgical Recovery or Injury

Dogs recovering from injury or surgery will need a hand to stay mobile as they heal. A towel can be used to gently support their hind end for quick trips outside, but this can be cumbersome and not to mention a strain on your back!

Make your life easier, and use an assistive device that’s designed to safely support your senior pet.

Solution: The Buddy Up Harness supports your dog’s entire body as they heal. Full-body support may be necessary during recovery to minimize the strain on their weakened legs and help keep them mobile. Allowing you to assist your dog on short walks for rehab or quick trips outside to relieve themselves.

5. Loss of Balance or Coordination Due to Mobility Condition

German Shepherd DM harness

Many canine mobility conditions are degenerative, meaning they will likely progress and worsen over time.  

Keeping your dog active and mobile can help them maintain the muscle tone and strength they have while improving their quality of life. In these instances, your dog will require lifting support that can adapt to their changing mobility needs. It’s likely that as their disease progresses your dog will likely require a dog wheelchair at some point in their diagnosis. There are harnesses available that are designed to be used with a canine wheelchair as well as on their own.

Solution: An older dog dealing with mobility loss needs a harness that will change with them. The Buddy Up Harness is the ideal lifting support for dogs with a mobility condition like degenerative myelopathy or neurological condition. Start with the rear harness when dealing with hind leg weakness and add the front lifting support as it moves forward.

Did we answer all your questions on "Support"?


  1. I have a small martise mix with poodle that is having problems going up and down the stairs do i take him to a doctor or can you tell me what is wrong also he does not seem to be in pain he is 8 years old

    • Hi Ronald,

      I would recommend at least speaking to your veterinarian about it, unwillingness to go up or down the stairs is often an early sign that your dog may be experiencing some loss of leg strength, pain from arthritis, change in eyesight, or another medical reason. Take note of your dog’s behavior, the frequency it happens, as well as the circumstance (such as only at the end of the day). These details can be extremely helpful as your vet determines what’s might be going on.

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