“The best therapist has fur and four legs.” Summer is here, which means it’s time…
Dog’s bodies changes as they age and their needs will differ as a result. Our senior dogs are going to develop special needs over time. Their minds and bodies start to change and as a result, they become more physically and mentally sensitive. Your senior dog is going to need a helping hand in retaining their quality of life, so here are some senior dog care tips to get you started.
1. Stay Active
Even though your senior dog is older now, he still wants to spend active time with you. The trail adventures of younger years may be behind your dog, but walks around the neighborhood still, do the trick. As long as your dog isn’t in pain, reinforce activity, and exercise daily. An active senior dog is a healthy senior dog.
2. Add Extra Beds
As dogs age, their sleeping habits start to shift. They’ll spend a longer duration in slumber so additional beds around the house are most welcome. Keep in mind that as your dog ages, its body will stiffen as arthritis sets in. Hard surfaces become painful to lie on and firm carpets become uncomfortable at best. Feel free to leave the occasional hoodie or jacket in a comfy spot. Your senior dog will appreciate it.
3. Install Ramps
Just like we humans, aging dogs experience stiff joints and impaired mobility. Your aging dog still values your company and wants to be at your side wherever you go, but stairs and short jumps into the car become daily obstacles. Leveraging ramps and stepping stools in your senior dog’s life will help keep him at your side.
4. Increase Veterinary Care
Your aging dog will likely need to visit your veterinarian more often. Over time ailments set in and joint pain, issues start to develop, as well as joint pain and a weakened immune system. As a result, age-related illnesses commonly develop in your dog’s senior years. If your veterinarian recommends more frequent check-ups, it’s best to take this advice since organ diseases and cancers need to be detected in the early stages.
5. Adjust the Thermostat
In your senior dog’s later years, they will become more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. Put appropriate measures in place to ensure they stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Your aging dog’s coat will help keep him warm and strategically placed fans will help keep him cool.
6. Monitor Weight
Your aging senior dog’s need for calories changes over time, as well as the variety of nutrients he intakes. It’s very common for a senior dog’s weight to fluctuate. Senior dogs are known to consume too many calories, so you’ll often see obesity in dogs as they age. In contrast, you’ll also see many aging dogs struggling to maintain their weight because their bodies have become too weak for the task. Their muscles weaken and in correlation, they become notably thinner. Keep an eye on your senior dog’s food intake and adjust the amount accordingly. It’s also a good idea to consult your veterinarian on this topic.
7. Consider Joint Supplements
As noted earlier, ailments like arthritis develop as a dog ages. Regular activity is a good way to assist in maintaining their mobility as they age. This regular activity will help prevent muscle fatigue and atrophy in your senior dog. Furthermore, consider administering joint care supplements for your dog. Consult your veterinarian on whether joint care supplements are appropriate for your aging dog. These supplements are known to remedy pain in dogs.
Our senior dogs need our assistance in their later years, so it’s up to us owners to be there for them. Hopefully, these senior dog care tips will aid in the care of your senior dog. Use the comments section below to share any senior dog care tips you may have for properly caring for senior dogs.