Whether you’re the type of person who buries their head in the sand or you face anything that comes your way with confidence, we can’t get away from the fact that aging is inevitable. While human beings can live a lifespan of over 100 years, most dogs barely make a fifth of that. If you’re one of the millions of dog owners in the United States, doing what you can to keep your pooch happy and comfortable by using senior dog care tips is essential for their health and wellbeing.
As your dog ages, their wants and needs will change, so it’s your responsibility as their owner to make relevant changes to keep your canine friend happy and mobile. If you’re not sure what to do, here are some useful senior dog care strategies to try out today.
Feed an age-appropriate diet
As your dog gets older, the foods they eat play a huge part in their health, wellbeing, and enjoyment of life. As the owner, you’re in full control of what your pooch eats, so if you’re the type of person who gives in to your dog’s demands and feeds them more treats than you care to imagine, it’s time to change your habits. Your dog must follow a healthy, balanced diet, especially during their senior years, as the more weight they carry, the more they will struggle to get around.
Whatever you do, make sure you pick a dog food that is low in fat and contains fewer calories. Any treats you give your dog should be packed with vitamins, nutrients, and protein that will keep them feeling fuller for longer. You can also purchase supplements from YuMove that can go hand in hand with your dog’s diet to support their joints. YuMove is regarded as the best joint supplement provider for dogs, helping to keep your senior pooch leading an excellent quality of life.
Get regular veterinarian checkups
When we’re not feeling our best, we don’t hesitate to make an appointment with our doctor, so if your senior dog is acting unusual and you want peace of mind, make sure to take your pooch to see the vet. While your dog may not be delighted at the fact of going to the vets, you must take them regularly to ensure they’re in good health.
As your dog moves into their senior years, their immune system will become weaker, putting them in the firing line of all kinds of ailments. Don’t be afraid to take your dog to the vet as they’re there to help you and support your canine, not cast judgment. Once your senior dog gets the all-clear, this will be a huge weight off your shoulders.
Maintain oral health
As a dog owner, you must regularly inspect your dog’s teeth and gums. The majority of senior dogs don’t receive the best dental care throughout their adult years, so it’s not uncommon for senior dogs to have a couple of missing teeth. Your dog’s dental hygiene is crucial as they move through the aging process, as any tooth pain can make it hard for your dog to eat.
While some dogs will be more than happy for you to brush their teeth for them, others may not like the idea of you getting up close and personal, so if your dog shows signs of agitation or aggression, there are dental chews they can eat, which should help keep your dog’s teeth and gums clean and healthy.
Make exercise a priority
Many dog owners love nothing more than to go for daily walks with their best friend by their side. Even as your dog gets older, many of them love to get out of the house and explore the outdoors. However, your dog’s mobility will decline as they age, so it’s your job to keep a close eye on their health and to check whether they’re in any pain or discomfort. While regular exercise is key for keeping your dog healthy, the type of exercise they do should correlate with their health and wellbeing needs.
For example, if you’re taking your pooch on regular walks and find they’re struggling to keep up and appear out of breath, they may benefit from more gentle activities that allow them to walk or run at their own pace and leisure. Only you will know what’s right for your dog, so try and find the right balance regarding exercise. Otherwise, your dog may find it hard to keep up.
Make time for grooming
Keeping your dog’s coat healthy and shiny is crucial as they get older. While some dog breeds rarely malt, others shed tons of fur that can be a nightmare to maintain. It’s your job as a dog owner to make time for grooming to keep their fur in tip-top condition. Whether you take your dog to the groomers or go down the DIY route, properly caring for your dog’s fur will prevent it from becoming brittle and dull-looking.
Tangles and matted fur can be a nuisance to sort out. Therefore, brushing your dog regularly is recommended. If you’re not sure what to put on your dog, it’s best to stick with natural shampoos that won’t irritate their coat and skin. If you’re unable to take your pooch to the groomers because of the coronavirus pandemic, you may want to call them for tips and advice.
Install a ramp
Whether your dog is coming in and out of the house, climbing into the car, or getting up and down off the couch, a senior dog-friendly ramp can transform your dog’s life and make it much easier to perform the simplest of tasks. If you’ve noticed your dog having great difficulty getting up and down, rather than watching them suffer, installing a ramp is the way to go.
You must provide all kinds of special accommodations for your senior dog, especially if they develop arthritis or suffer from joint problems. You can also purchase an easily accessible bed, which means your dog won’t have to jump or climb anymore. If your dog loves to explore around the house, you can lay a ramp on the stairs for them.
Spend quality time together
Many people regard their dog as their best friend on earth. As your canine companion ages, try your best to factor in more quality time together. If you work long hours or have a young family to provide for, it can be hard to pencil in time for your dog, but even 5 minutes in the morning for a cuddle can make all the difference, and your pooch is sure to appreciate it.
Dogs only have a limited lifespan compared to humans, so spending as much time as possible with your best friend is important. When your pooch eventually heads to doggy heaven, you don’t want to have any regrets of not spending enough time with them. Managing your schedule better will help you allocate time that can be spent with your best pal.
Senior dog care advice
Unfortunately, the aging process happens to us all. Before you know it, your once hyperactive pup has turned into a subdued, relaxed senior. To keep your dog happy and comfortable in their golden years, make sure you refer to the guide above, which will ensure their health and wellbeing are at the forefront of your mind.