Aging is a natural process for both you and your dog. It’s important for owners to understand that senior dogs have different needs than younger pups. With the right care and attention, you can help your senior dog to have a comfortable life and enjoy their final years.
As dogs get older, they are likely to start having some canine mobility problems, require more rest, have diminished hearing or sight. These issues are common but require special treatment to manage for the best quality of life.
It’s up to owners to keep an eye out for small changes in their dog’s behavior as they age. You may notice that your dog is sleeping more, has difficulty getting up or down, and has changed their eating habits. With the right healthy dog food, regular moderate exercise, and lots of attention, you can successfully take care of your loving senior dog.
A balanced, age-appropriate diet plays an important role in taking care of your senior dog’s general health. As older dogs start to slow down, they are at higher risk to develop problems with obesity. When your dog is carrying around extra weight it can have a harmful impact on their heart and immune system. Find a low-calorie dog food formula that is specifically produced to be beneficial to an older dog.
Although your senior dog may not have the same kind of energy as they used to, regular exercise is still an important part of their care. Moderate daily exercise can help you to manage your senior dog’s weight.
Short, low impact walks and puppy play sessions help to keep muscles limber and can reduce the chance of injury. Talk to your vet about an exercise regime that will work best for your dogs’ breed and age.
A healthy dog only needs to see the vet when they are sick or are getting their shots updated. With senior dogs, regular vet visits are an important line of defense against sickness or disease. For example, you see that your dog’s stool is consistently turning into an unusual color. By taking your dog to the vet, you will get more information, and determine what exactly is going on.
You should be seeing your vet every six months with your senior dog. Health problems can develop more rapidly in older dogs and regular vet visits can help you keep on top of any developing problems.
As your dog gets older, their hair, skin, and fur will need more attention. Their once glossy coats and luxurious hair may start to turn brittle, tangled or itchy. Regular brushing and skincare treatments like oatmeal baths can help maintain a senior dog’s coat.
Your dog has brought so much love and joy to your life that it’s important to do everything that you can to make their senior years comfortable. You may need to make some small changes around your home to make them more at ease.
For example, senior dogs may have trouble getting around or jumping so a set of pet stairs to help them get up on the bed at night for a cuddle is helpful. You also may want to invest in a plusher more comfortable bed for them to take their naps.
Every dog will eventually start to show some gray and slow down from their normal pace. As your dog ages, it’s important to take notice, be understanding, and make the changes that are necessary to give them the best life in their final years.