Even though it is a part of normal life, watching your dog grow older can be tough. They may slow down and get a little grey around the muzzle, but they will still be the same pup you fell in love with all those years ago.
The most important thing to know as an elderly pet owner is that they will have different needs and requirements than when they were younger.
Their mobility and energy levels may decrease, their vision and hearing may be fading, and they will be at higher risk of developing a number of diseases. To help you help your dog age gracefully, here are seven ways you can support the health of your senior dog.
Keep Them Moving
Keeping your dog active is important during their old age. If your dog can’t walk as far as they used to, then this shouldn’t stop you from exercising them.
Short, regular walks are perfect for dogs who struggle to keep up with you due to their age or a medical condition, as they don’t put too much pressure on their joints and will stop them from seizing up.
Consistent exercise will also help your dog maintain a healthy weight, which will make them more comfortable and prevent many health issues.
Feed Them Supplements
Feeding your dog supplements can be extremely beneficial as they grow older. Supplements can support many different factors, like a healthy digestive system, a shiny coat, and supple joints.
If your dog suffers from stiff joints, or you have a large or active breed and want to take precautions for their future, then you should look for dog supplements like those offered by YuMOVE.
Their dog supplement contains glucosamine and chondroitin, which can help maintain healthy joints. YuMOVE vitamins are available for dogs of all ages.
Adjust Their Diet
Adjusting your dog’s diet is essential as they enter their golden years. Even if they are exercised often, older dogs are prone to weight gain due to a slower metabolism and decreased activity.
A balanced, high-quality diet will play a huge role in your dog’s health throughout their life. Feeding your senior pooch food that is formulated for their age is recommended.
This should be introduced slowly. Senior pet food usually contains fewer calories and less fat, plus additional nutrients required for their age.
Adapt Your Home
Adapting your home by senior pet-proofing it is advisable for those who own a senior dog. Older dogs may not be able to navigate their way around the home as easily, they are usually less mobile and like to have their own space.
To help your elderly pet, you should avoid rearranging the home, especially if they can’t see very well. You should lay down rugs and carpets on slippery floors, as this will make it easier for them to walk around the house.
You should also create a quiet area with all of their things.
Replace Their Bed
Once you have set up a quiet area for your grey-faced canine with all of their bowls, toys and comfort items nearby, you will need to finish it off with a comfortable bed.
Replacing their old bed for a more supportive upgrade can make resting much easier on their joints and less painful.
It will also encourage them to keep all four paws on the ground as jumping up on furniture and climbing up and down stairs can put a lot of pressure on aging joints. Orthopaedic beds are the best choice for mature dogs.
Stimulate Their Minds
Just because your dog is older, this does not mean that they don’t need to be kept entertained. Keeping their minds stimulated can improve their health and behavior.
Introducing new games and toys, teaching them a new trick, or taking them to run errands will keep their brain and body active and healthy.
Mentally stimulating activities for dogs will enrich their lives by giving them a purpose and something meaningful to focus on. It will reduce boredom and will help to keep them out of trouble.
Attend Vet Appointments
Visits to the vet aren’t very exciting for any dog, but it is one of the most important things that you need to do when caring for your elderly pet. As your dog grows older, their immune systems can weaken, which can make them more prone to illnesses.
Attending vet appointments every six months will give you peace of mind and will allow your vet to pick up any issues early on. They will also be able to provide with you with care tips and advice, and they will be able to answer any of your questions.
By following these steps, you will be able to support your pup during their golden years and improve their quality of life. It is the least they deserve for being your faithful companion for all this time.
If you notice any unusual behavior, you should get in contact with your vet.