Posted - 06/03/2012 : 11:49:32 AM
| My question seems to span surveillance, pet doors, security, so I hope it's OK to post in this forum.
Our older dog is urinating a lot more frequently because she is on prednisone for a serious medical issue. She has always had problems overnight, and used to wake me or my wife up a couple of times in the night to let her out (training us I guess). But now she is weaker, and isn't always able to get up the stairs to the bedroom - and she doesn't want to sleep upstairs as much. Sometimes she has trouble even getting up from her bed. She's been trained to ring a bell by the door, which works fine during the day, but we don't always hear it upstairs at night.
I'm thinking of a number of ways to tackle the problem and would like opinions. I hope the weakness will not be an issue long term, but I don't know for sure.
1. We borrowed a Radio Shack Pet Door Bell from our daughter who's dogs learned to use it easily (and abused it so she took it away). It's a wireless system, so one end can be in our bedroom. I'm hoping that Seer could learn to use it, but she is an older dog so maybe not. Also, putting the push near the door (probably easier to train) means that it wouldn't help if Seer can't get up.
2. I don't have much hope of teaching Seer to use a dog door. And automatic opening door activated by a collar sensor might work, but again the weakness would still be an issue. And I haven't found a motorized door that would be big enough (Seer is a deerhound).
3. Some sort of monitoring or alert is a possibility. Unfortunately Seer is very quiet and stoic, so she doesn't bark when she can't get up. We put a bell on her collar a couple of days ago which has helped a bit, but it hasn't eliminated the problem.
So, with all that preamble, I think what might work would be something equivalent to the senior "I've fallen and I can't get up" alert systems. But this needs to be something that doesn't need Seer to press a button - just driven by her flopping around a bit. Ideally, this would be combined with a way to detect proximity to the back door (in case the pet door bell training doesn't work).
Ideas and comments most appreciated.