If you’re a dog owner; you’ll understand the basic needs of your pet. All dogs tend to love the same things, no matter what their size, age, or breed. Much like humans; the older a dog gets, the more they are likely to slow down and change their pace. Therefore, you must be prepared to adapt your routine and how you care for your canine companion when they reach their golden years. Senior and elderly dogs are still the same pooch on the inside, even if they can’t quite manage to jump over the gate or take long swims in the lake anymore. Just like you would with any loved one or member of your family; the important thing is to ensure they’re as happy, healthy, and comfortable as possible, and they still have a fun and fulfilling life.
It can be challenging to see your dog get older; however, it’s a natural part of life, and it doesn’t mean your good times together have to end. If you own younger dogs; it’s crucial that you can make the allowances needed for your elderly pet, and that they don’t feel like they have to compete with the more springy members of the pack. The following are some areas of your senior dog’s life to consider, and how to help them maintain happiness, health, and a love for life! There’s no better time of year than the holidays to spend some quality time with your dog so that you can head into the new year with a better understanding of their needs, so read on and get some ideas and inspiration.
Whatever age your dog is; it’s an important part of their to consider their age, and to feed them accordingly. There is an array of dog food on the market, designed for senior dogs; they are often aimed at specific health concerns and keeping an older dog as fit as possible. If you are unsure; go and speak to your vet about the best options for your pooch, and if there are any additional things you could be adding to their meal times. Think of food that will help with your dog’s joints, eyesight, and inner health so that they can continue to function; even if it’s a little slower than previously. It’s also nice for your canine if they actually enjoy their breakfast and dinners. Therefore, it’s worth investing in food that they’ll eat and finish so they can keep their weight on and their strength up.
As many older dogs slow down and become less active; they can start to gain more weight. Portion control will help with weight management, and you can adjust depending on how active or inactive they become in the future. Sometimes you might want to add a supplement to your senior dog’s diet. Websites like https://topdogvitamins.com can offer help and advice on what will help with specific needs. Your dog’s health will become more of an issue as they age. Therefore, you need to continue to talk their diet through with your vet, as you may be able to enrich their diet to ensure they are feeling their best.
Again, just like with humans; your dog’s teeth will become more vulnerable as they age and the chance of gum disease will rise. Therefore, it’s crucial to keep up a great dental hygiene routine and encourage them to snack on treats aimed at canine dental health. There are plenty of chews, treat, and even toys on the market that will help keep your pooch’s mouth and teeth in tip-top condition; allowing them to continue eating and chewing as normal. If you notice particular bad-smelling breath or pain that stops your dog eating; take them to see the vets immediately as they may need medication or antibiotics.
Another common issue with older dogs is their mobility and the fact it will slow down and be more limited than before. Muscle, ligament, bone, and joint issues along with potential arthritis can all lead to aches, pains, and difficulty when moving. Therefore, your first port of call should be to the veterinarians again. The vets will be able to x-ray your dog, test for any pain, and take blood samples to see if they’re deficient in anything that’s contributing to the problems. Your dog may be prescribed medication for particular issues, and perhaps pain relief for ones that cannot be treated in any other way.
If your dog needs to slow down due to ability or pain; make sure that you don’t give up on a regular routine of exercise. They may not be able to run, sprint, or jump; however, a daily walk will stop their limbs from ceasing, prevent weight gain, is great for their circulation and heart health, and will stimulate their senses, which every dog appreciates. Still, play a game or two of fetch with them in the week; you might be waiting longer for them to return the ball, but the fresh air and stimulation is good for both of you so stick with it! Check out sites like https://www.petful.com for some inspiration on what games o play with senior dogs who still want to have fun!
All dogs require comfort, care, and a warm place to rest and relax. However, when a senior dog becomes less mobile; they are more likely to need extra comfort and bedding as they will be spending more time sitting and lying down inside their home. They may begin to feel the cold more, so a throw or cozy blanket will help them to stay warm during the winter and as they sleep at night. There are various pads available that you can heat up in the microwave and they are safe to leave in your dog’s bed to ensure it’s a comfortable environment. Make sure you keep showing your dog affection with grooming, petting, and hugs in front of the T.V. However, be mindful of the fact that if they are very tired, feeling unwell, or in pain; they’ll want their own space to unwind and feel better again.
Treating your aging pooch with the same care and consideration as you would any family member will ensure you have one happy dog in your home, who loves their life as they grow older.