Senior Dog Blog

Senior Dog Survey Reportby Ann-Marie Fleming

18 March, 2021

It's no secret that we love senior dogs here at Dog Quality, and we are always looking for new ways we can support owners to make their dogs lives the best they can be. 

Thank you to everyone who completed our Senior Dog Survey earlier this year - we had almost 700 responses! As promised, here are the results.

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Dog Quality Team Member Spotlight: Meet Collin Bilinskiby Ann-Marie Fleming

11 March, 2021

At Dog Quality, our love for senior dogs is obvious. All our products are developed out of a desire to make the later years as full and comfortable as possible. So as you’d expect, our Dog Quality staff are people who are passionate about giving elderly dogs the dignity they deserve. 

This month, we’d like to switch up our usual informative post with a Dog Quality Team Member Spotlight. Get to know who’s who behind the scenes at Dog Quality! We introduce to you the newest member of our Dog Quality family: meet our co-op student, Collin Bilinski.

Collin approached us after seeing our ad on the co-op job board at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. A 2nd year civil engineering student, Collin was drawn to our post right away.

“It stood out to me because it was a very unique job. I care about animals, so it was a way to make a difference. My first impressions were that it was a very unique and meaningful job from a company with a lot of heart and character,” he shares.

Saying he cares about animals is an understatement. Collin has one dog and two cats, all rescue animals from Qatar where he lived as an Canadian expat for a lot of his childhood. Collin’s dog, Farrah, is getting to be a senior dog now, and though — in his words — she is very lazy and sleeps most of the day, Collin says she is still pretty independent.

“Fortunately, she has not had any mobility issues,” he explains, “but caring for dogs — and older dogs especially — is something on my radar. That was one reason that drew me to working here.”

So what does Collin do at Dog Quality? His official title is Product Development Engineer and what he’s specifically been working on is Dog Quality’s Road Warrior dog wheelchair. The Road Warrior is the first four-wheeled dog wheelchair in Canada, the prototype developed for Dog Quality by a group of BCIT researchers. Led by Silvia Raschke, an expert in medical devices, the prototype took about a year to develop and was finished in 2020.  

Up to now, dog wheelchairs on the market mainly target dogs with rear leg issues, requiring the dog to support themselves with their front end. These wheelchairs can be life-changing for young dogs that have strong upper body strength but aren’t suitable for senior dogs who are often too weak to benefit from this design. Dog Quality’s Road Warrior is unique with its four wheels, feather-light carbon fiber frame and a special support harness. The Road Warrior harness allows a senior dog to get full body, all-leg stability in a device designed with their limitations and needs in mind.

Collin is working from the BCIT prototype to create a medium-sized Road Warrior. Once ready, the Road Warrior will come in sizes xxsmall to large to accommodate dogs of all shapes and sizes. Collin shares that he’s created CAD (computer aided design) drawings for the medium-sized Road Warrior, and CAD files for parts like the chest plate for all sizes. He’s also made adjustments to the existing design and costed out parts. 

The Road Warrior is designed to assist senior dogs who can still walk but have elderly dog mobility issues from ailments like arthritis, hip dysplasia, or just overall muscle weakness. But for dogs who are paralyzed and can’t walk at all, Collin has brainstormed some modifications that could allow them to move around and have a sense of freedom.

In his development role for the Road Warrior, Collin is not only responsible for drafting plans and designs for the medium size, he’s also been working on physical prototyping using a variety of means. He says, “I have been working on creating a new prototype of the size medium utilizing 3D printing, laser cutting, and CNC machining to create the test parts.” 

Collin says the biggest challenge so far has been fine-tuning different parts so they can work well with the dog wheelchair as a whole and also stylistically match all sizes. He says, “This involved a lot of tweaking curves or dimensions slightly, making alternative versions, and even printing them on paper to get a sense of how it all looks in the real world.”

Up next for Collin at Dog Quality is creating the instruction manuals for the Road Warrior, bringing us even closer to launching our unique wheelchair for senior dogs. Except for the physical prototyping — which he did at a nearby shop — Collin has been working remotely from his home in Victoria.

Working at Dog Quality on an innovative wheelchair for senior dogs has been an enjoyable experience for Collin. “I like working for such a unique and upbeat company and I like that my skills are a good fit for the task I do, but that I am also learning a lot of new things,” he reflects. Sounds like a perfect co-op experience to us, and one that will result in many happy senior dogs out and about.

To find out more about the Road Warrior for your senior dog, contact us today.

6 Tips for Managing Dementia in Senior Dogsby Ann-Marie Fleming

20 January, 2021

So you’ve noticed lately that your senior dog is acting unlike himself — showing alarming symptoms in older dogs such as disorientation, anxiety, a change in temperament. As dogs get older, it’s common that they change, but your dog might be going through more: suffering the onset of dog dementia. 

Our Favorite Gift Ideas for Dog Ownersby Ann-Marie Fleming

02 November, 2020

As makers of premium products for senior dogs, the Dog Quality team loves to share our favorite gift ideas for dog owners. If you’re struggling to find the perfect present for the dog lover in your life, read on for our holiday gift guide for pet parents.

Dogger 101: Everything You Need to Know About Your Doggerby Ann-Marie Fleming

14 October, 2020

Designed for senior dogs in particular, the Dogger is not like any other pet strollers on the market. It has a sturdy and durable build with an emphasis on comfort for your senior dogs. 

Allergies in Senior Dogsby Ann-Marie Fleming

01 October, 2020

Fall is officially here and that means allergy season is finally behind us. No more itchy eyes, runny noses or constant sneezing for another year — and we’re not just talking about your own symptoms. Your senior dog can have allergies, too, and it can cause discomfort for your pup just like it can for you.

4 Locally Owned BC Pet Businesses to Supportby Ann-Marie Fleming

03 August, 2020

As we head into the fifth month of the pandemic, it’s more important now than ever to shop local and show our support for our fellow British Columbia entrepreneurs. Here, we’re highlighting our favourite local pet brands who are doing amazing things for the animal community. After all, we’re all in this together.

How Bamboo Inspired the Bamboo Blockerby Ann-Marie Fleming

08 July, 2020

Many of you already know a bit about Bamboo (17 yrs) who I rescued in January of 2019 through K9 Spirit Organization, but what you may not know is that he has cognitive issues also referred to as dog dementia. Bamboo was this way when I adopted him so it has always just felt like part of his quirky personality, however it is not without its challenges.

How to Teach Your Senior Dog to Use a Couch or Bed Rampby Ann-Marie Fleming

01 June, 2020

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who refuse to let their dogs on the couch or bed, and those who can’t resist those extra snuggles. At Dog Quality, we don’t think there’s anything wrong with letting your dog climb up for a little cuddle — in fact, we encourage it! But for senior dogs, getting up on the couch or bed without help can be easier said than done.

Social Distancing With Senior Dogs During COVID-19by Ann-Marie Fleming

30 March, 2020

The current COVID-19 situation has the whole world on edge. That is, except for one group that’s happier than ever to have everyone staying home. Our dogs are benefiting in a big way from social distancing protocols, getting to spend more time with their beloved owners at home every day. But you might be wondering if you can still go outside for walks with your senior dog during these crazy times. Is it safe to visit the dog park or have playdates with doggie friends?

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