Aging is a part of life, it’s a natural process. Here are some tips on how to care for your senior dog.
People generally do the best that they can to maintain health and age gracefully, but what can we do to help our dogs as they age?
While it’s important to provide senior dogs with a happy lifestyle as they age, we eventually need to make some necessary changes and adjustments to properly care for our aging dogs.
Here are a few things to consider.
Age Appropriate Dog Diet
As your dog ages, they need different nutrients, as well as different amounts of nutrients. These can vary depending on their age and activity level.
There are considerations to keep in mind when switching to a senior dog food. You should do your research carefully. One thing we know is, like humans, senior dogs need fewer calories, and diet changes alone may not be enough to maintain optimal homeostasis and thrive into a ripe old age.
Senior dogs benefit greatly from dog supplements. Well, actually dogs of any age benefit from dog supplements, but senior dogs benefit especially. That is one powerful example of why our dog supplement is a balanced trifecta of omegas and our industry peers call our product a “triple threat”.
Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9 fatty acids are invaluable to reduce inflammation, which is useful to help many different conditions aging dogs face such as osteoarthritis and allergic skin. The omega trifecta also improves cognitive health which affects the nervous system and brain and blood cell function. Another great example of an important ingredient is the antioxidant vitamin E which helps in supporting the immune system and prevents premature aging. Dogs with joint pain and arthritis, allergies or other skin problems, flaky or dry skin, skin problems, or digestive problems will all benefit from a proper dog supplement.
Keep Your Dog Active
Just like humans, your dog needs to stay active. As your dog slows down, don’t cut off the exercise completely, simply moderate it as you continue to exercise your dog. Your dog may no longer be enthusiastic about a 5 mile hike as in their youth, but we assure you they will benefit from, and enjoy a casual walk in the park or a slow stroll around the block. You may find that taking two or three shorter walks is the way to go for your dog, but what’s important here is to maintain optimal heart health, mobility, and joint health which will decrease the risks of arthritis. Regular exercise is essential for your dog’s health.
Support Independence and Mobility
As your dog grows old and becomes a senior, they may require special considerations and accommodations. You might consider changes around the house if they’re developing arthritis for example. Maybe they can’t walk as far as they used to, so you might do several shorter walks. Stairs may also become challenging. If your dog needs to be carried or helped up and down stairs, you can use a towel around your dog’s mid-section or find a special harness to assist with stair climbing. Depending on the obstacle, ramps are available to help your dog get on and off furniture. Adapting to your dog’s changing mobility can help keep them to be as mobile as possible.
Be aware that stamina and energy levels may decrease over time, even if their desire to please and keep going the extra mile doesn’t change. They still want to do those things mentally, but physically they might have some limitations, so do your best to support your dogs independence and mobility with love and kindness.
Mental Stimulation with Fun & Games
As important as physical exercise is, senior dogs need mental stimulation.
Find creative fun ways to engage with your senior dog. You can create a fun treat game, or get them to figure out a treat puzzle. The key is to keep it light and fun.
As always, dogs love to interact with their humans, and having fun or teaching them tricks is a great way to engage an older dog.
Update Your Dog’s Grooming Routine
As your dog ages, their grooming needs may change too.
One important area that needs consideration is dental health. While prevention should start before your dog is a senior, continued vigilance in dental hygiene is crucial to health and is often overlooked. For instance, periodontal disease in dogs can be a risk and cause detrimental impacts to the heart, liver, and kidney muscles. Healthy bones and teeth are even more critical at this stage.
Another grooming aspect to think about is your dogs’ coat. Maybe it’s time to trim that big fluffy coat over the summer so as to ensure cool comfort. Conversely, you may want to skip the trim in winter time and make sure your dog stays cozy during the chillier months.
Nail trimming can be tricky with older dogs, but should not be neglected. Longer nails can be a real issue for a senior dog’s mobility, so be sure to get their nails trimmed regularly when you visit your groomer.
Dog parents can stay aware of their dogs health, either by noticing behavioral changes, observation of their dogs’ poop, or through regular health visits to the veterinarian.
As we remain vigilant and attentive to any health changes, it’s good to know what options are available to deal with anything that may come up, and it’s good to have as many options as possible. As such, aside from the known solutions, there are also alternative ways to enhance your senior dogs health through alternative therapies.
We have already talked about the benefits of dog supplements, but it’s worth repeating that this is an awesome way to boost your pets health at any age, but especially for senior dogs. Proper dog supplements will provide needed extra care to the immune system, reduce inflammation, improve joint health, improve gut health and digestive health, regulate hormones, maintain a healthy nervous system, and maintain healthy teeth, skin, and coat.
Another great therapy to consider is acupuncture which can be very helpful to address a variety of issues and keep senior pets healthy. Be sure to do your due diligence and research service providers in detail. These therapies may help your dog age gracefully.
Create the Conditions for Your Senior Dog to Live Their Best Life
Your senior dog deserves the best and deserves a transition into old age in a way that’s as easy and comfortable as possible. Stay kind, loving, and knowledgeable so you can give them what they deserve. By accommodating your senior dog with only a few small changes you can create the conditions for your dog to live a long, happy life and live as many wonderful years as possible.