When dogs grow old, they tend to slow down – just like humans. They may show signs of aging, such as putting on weight or becoming slow. If you have a senior dog, it is important to recognize these signs to ensure that their quality of life isn’t affected.
These tips for caring for your senior dog might be useful in making life easier for your senior canine partners:
#1. Pay Attention to their Diet
A balanced, nutritious diet is important for dogs of every age. Diet becomes even more important in their senior years as it critical to keep them active and playful. Senior pets face several food issues such as chewing problems, loss of appetite, obesity and digestive problems. See your dog’s vet to discuss diet plans, supplements, and exercise routine to keep them going.
#2. Focus on Exercise
Senior dogs may experience pain and difficulty while performing physical activities. They may cease to like activities that they once seemed to enjoy. However, that doesn’t mean they should spend their days curled up on a couch. Exercise and physical activity are important to stay healthy and active. Start out by taking your dogs on short, gentle walks to help them feel good. Even their brain needs a lot of exercises. Toys such as food puzzles can help keep your dog’s mind stimulated.
#3. Dental Hygiene is Important
Dental hygiene becomes crucial as your dogs become older. As dogs age, they can experience tartar build-up which can lead to gingivitis and bacteria getting into the bloodstream. Regular brushing and check-ups by professionals can prevent disease and decay. If your senior pet doesn’t like having his teeth brushed, dental toys may be a good idea.
#4. Visit the Vet more Often
A senior dog needs to visit his vet for the checkup at least twice a year. This can make owners aware of any health issues that their aging pets may be facing, and take necessary precautions. Older pets may need additional blood tests, dental care, and examinations. Certain dogs are predisposed towards ailments such as arthritis, hip dysplasia, cancer, and diabetes. Early detection can help catch these and be treated.
#5. Senior-Proof your House
Your senior dogs might need special adjustments around the house. Dogs that have hip dysplasia or joints problems can benefit from a special ramp or stairs. You can also keep food and water in areas where they can easily reach. Heated beds may be a good idea for soothing achy joints. You can also get non-slip surfaces to prevent falls and maintain their traction while trying to stand.
As our dogs age, they need some extra care and attention. That’s the least we can do to make senior years comfortable for our canine friends who’ve loved us selflessly, all their lives.