There’s no denying that being a senior dog is hard work. There are a lot of physical and mental challenges associated with growing older as a dog, so the last thing you want to do is add to your dog’s stress. But that’s exactly what happens when we don’t make the necessary accommodations for our aging friends. In addition to making sure your senior dog has plenty of opportunities to move about without putting strain on his body, there are some small things you can do daily that will have a huge impact on how content and happy he feels in his golden years.
1. Make Daily Walks a Priority
The single most important thing you can do for your senior dog is to make sure he gets his daily walks. Just like people, dogs who walk regularly are less likely to develop health problems associated with aging. Not only does regular exercise improve your dog’s cardiovascular health and lower his risk of developing heart disease, but it also helps to reduce his risk of developing diabetes and osteoarthritis. Before you head out, remember that your senior dog will probably be less mobile than he used to be, so you’ll want to make sure that he isn’t overdoing it. If he’s having trouble keeping up, you may want to consider making the walk shorter than usual.
2. Don’t Forget the Grooming
Your senior dog’s coat, skin, and fur all go through a lot of changes as he ages. One of the things you might notice is that his coat becomes dry and brittle, which makes grooming almost a necessity. Your dog’s coat is a big part of his ability to regulate his body temperature, and dry, brittle fur can make regulating his body temperature more challenging. Make grooming a part of your daily routine for your aging dog, and be sure to use a conditioner on his coat to keep it healthy and hydrated.
3. Keep A Supply of Fresh Water at Hand
As your senior dog gets older, his kidneys are less able to process toxins. This means that he will lose water from his body at a higher rate than he did when he was younger, which can lead to dehydration. Make sure that your dog always has access to fresh, clean water. This can help to slow the rate at which his body loses water, helping him stay hydrated and healthy.
4. Add a Soft Bed for Extra Comfort
As your dog ages, his joints may begin to ache. That’s OK, but it can make him uncomfortable and less willing to move when you’re trying to play. A great way to help your dog feel better is to add a soft bed to his environment. This can help to alleviate any joint pain that your dog may be experiencing, making him more willing to move about when you want to play. It can also be a great place for him to rest when he’s feeling a little under the weather.
If your dog is experiencing joint pain, you can also try supplementing his diet with one of our joint products.
5. Don’t Forget the Vet Visit
As your senior dog ages, his doctor’s visits are going to become more frequent. This is a good thing, though. It’s important to monitor your dog’s health regularly as he ages, especially in the early stages. If you notice any changes in your dog’s behavior or physical appearance, or if you notice that he’s not as active as he used to be, make sure that you visit the vet