I own a 13 year old cocker spaniel. I like to drive him around in my 2002 Toyota highlander. I'm worried though, because he has to jump about 2-3 feet down whenever we get out. I think this may damage his joints. He doesn't like being picked up, but he tolerates it. Should I carry him out of the car?
We kept large dogs (GSDs and Labs) for many years. All of them became arthritic in their old age, and getting in and out of vehicles could be a problem. Some of the dogs didn't mind being lifted in and out, but others found that to be painful, especially if you caught a hip joint awkwardly. The solution was simple enough: a ramp made out of a piece of plywood with some carpet glued on for traction. This allowed the dog to get in an out of a vehicle in its own time, and without the risk of being inexpertly handled. You can buy pet ramps if you do not want to make your own, although a box large enough to act as a step may be all that is needed.
Carolina Biscuit Company