As our furry friends age, they often need a little extra care and attention to keep them comfortable. As a pet owner, it’s important to be aware of the changes that come with old age so you can properly support your senior dog. They were by your side all those years and you need to learn to cherish every moment you have left with them. Plus you want them to feel comfy and healthy.
Let’s explore some of the changes that come with old age in dogs and how you can adjust your care routine accordingly. We will also touch on some common health concerns for senior dogs and how you can help your furry friend age gracefully.
The right nutrition for your senior dog
As your dog enters their senior years, its nutritional needs will change. They may need more or fewer calories than they did when they were younger, and their nutrient requirements will also alter. It’s important to feed your senior dog a well-balanced diet that meets their changing needs and to work with your veterinarian to ensure they’re getting the right nutrition for their age.
Senior dogs generally need fewer calories than young adult dogs. But that doesn’t mean you should simply reduce their food intake. You also need to take into account their level of activity, health status, and any special dietary needs they may have. For example, a very active senior dog may still require the same amount of calories as a younger adult dog, while a sedentary senior dog will likely need fewer calories. It is also important to get them foods that are easier to chew.
It’s important to make sure your senior dog is getting enough of certain nutrients, such as protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. They also may need more fiber in their diet as they age. Senior dogs are also at higher risk for developing certain health conditions, such as diabetes, kidney disease, and arthritis. So it is important to add supplements to the mix. Dog arthritis supplements will ensure that your dog is not in constant pain and ensure better mobility. And while there’s no one perfect diet for all senior dogs, there are some general guidelines you can follow to ensure your furry friend is getting the nutrition they need as they age.
Let them feel comfy
As your dog gets older, you can make certain arrangements to help them feel more comfy and relaxed. Here are a few things you can do to support your aging dog:
- Get them a soft, cozy bed that’s easy for them to get in and out of.
- Ensure that they are getting enough hydration throughout the day.
- Keep up with their grooming routine, including brushing their fur and trimming their nails.
- Take them on short, frequent walks rather than long ones.
- Be patient with them if they start to slow down or have accidents inside.
Watch your senior dog joints
Just like humans, senior dogs can experience joint pain and stiffness. You may notice your dog slowing down or becoming less active. They may also stop jumping, climbing stairs, or playing fetch.
If you think your dog may be experiencing severe joint pain, get them examined. They can help you determine the cause of the pain and recommend treatment options. There are a variety of ways to support your senior dog’s joints, including:
- Exercise: Low-impact exercise is great for senior dogs with joint pain. Swimming is a great option because it’s easy on the joints. Walking and short jogs are also good options. Avoid high-impact activities like running and jumping, as these can worsen joint pain.
- Weight management: Keeping your senior dog at a healthy weight is important for their overall health, but it’s especially important for their joints. Excess weight puts extra pressure on the joints, which can increase pain and stiffness. Talk to your veterinarian about how much your senior dog should weigh and help them reach their ideal weight if necessary.
- Joint supplements: Joint supplements can help reduce inflammation and improve joint function in senior dogs. Your veterinarian can recommend a supplement that’s right for your dog based on its individual needs.
- Pain medication: In some cases, pain medication may be necessary to help manage your senior
Find mental and physical exercises for your senior dog
As your dog enters their senior years, it’s important to keep them mentally and physically active to help them age gracefully. Luckily, there are plenty of exercises you can do with your four-legged friend to keep them happy and healthy as they enter their golden years.
Mental exercises for your senior dog can include things like teaching them new tricks, puzzle toys filled with treats, and tracking games using their nose. These activities will help keep your dog’s mind sharp and engaged, staving off cognitive decline.
Physical exercise is just as important for senior dogs. Regular walks or runs will help maintain their muscle mass and prevent obesity, while also providing some much-needed mental stimulation. If your dog is starting to slow down, shorter walks more often may be a better option. Swimming is another great low-impact exercise for older dogs that’s easy on the joints.
Of course, before starting any new exercise regime with your senior dog, it’s always best to check with your veterinarian first to make sure it’s right for them. They can help you tailor an exercise plan that meets your dog’s specific needs and gives you peace of mind knowing you’re doing everything you can to support your furry friend as they age.
Love them till the very end
This is the most important step in your friendship story. They are our family members but they have a shorter life span. They will give you their heart and soul and the best you can do is just to be there for them. To love them unconditionally. To have an understanding of their aging. No one will ever replace them so cherish every moment you have together.