As dogs age, they often become weak – especially in the rear legs. There can be a number of causes of this and it is important to have your dog examined by your veterinarian, but it is often not dissimilar to what occurs in elderly humans. Sarcopenia is a condition that affects humans and animals alike and is the loss of muscle tissue that occurs as part of the aging process. Sarcopenia can be prevented and to some extent reversed with regular exercise.
As dogs weaken, they often need assist for activities that they used to be able to do on their own: jump into the car, jump onto the bed, going up or down stairs, and sometimes even getting up from lying down.
There are many assistive devices out in the market to assist dogs and their humans. Harnesses can be a great asset and one harness I particularly like for older dogs is the Ruffwear Web Master Harness. It is well made, sturdy, and provides a handle on the back for easy assist. The support it provides is also comfortable for the dog.
My dog Scout is sporting her Ruffwear harness in the photo. I use it to help her get into and out of the car as well as to help her get up from lying down when she is on slippery surfaces.
If your aging dog is needing some assistance, I would recommend checking out the Ruffwear Web Master Harness.