It can be tough to feel okay with the fact that your dog is getting older. You may well have had your dog since they were a puppy, and the idea that their muzzle is going grey and their run are getting slower can put you in a state of denial. The truth is that – in the same way, that you are – your dog is aging. You’re already tuned into your own needs as you age, taking care of yourself as the years add up. It’s time to look at your dog in the same way and start looking after him, too.
Thankfully, there are a lot of things that you can do for your dog as he ages. You can keep him as comfortable as possible, and you can ensure that he feels happy and balanced as time goes on. Let’s take a look at eleven ways that you can maximize your dog’s future.
Maintain Regular Exercise
Just because your dog is tacking on the years, it doesn’t mean that you slow down on his usual walks and runs. Your dog needs regular and moderated exercise so that he can be fit and well. Keeping his muscles healthy, his joints moving and the wind in his face is essential for his mood and ability to stay healthy. Preventing age-related obesity and anxiety is vital, and you can help him there.
Enable Accessibility At Home
The house can get a little challenging for your dog as he gets older, so you can make adaptations where you can. While your dog has run around your home for years, you may notice that he becomes a little reluctant to go into certain rooms – more like certain surfaces. Puppies love to gallop and slide along the floors, but older dogs? Not so much. Lay down non-slip carpeting in some of the rooms that have vinyl, wood or tile flooring so that he won’t hurt himself. Make his favorite places easily accessible, too, with his bed low down, and his food bowls at a comfortable height.
Upgrade His Bed
As we get older, we often need more support while we sleep so that we don’t wake up aching and finding movement difficult. We can do the very same with our dogs by providing them with a supportive and comfortable surface on which to sleep. Orthopedic dog beds are a winner here, and you can give your dog the right joint support by purchasing one.
Make Incontinence Bearable
As much as you hate leaks and dribbles around your home, your dog doesn’t like it, either. They will have spent years going to the bathroom in the same places, places that they know is okay and with permission. When incontinence sets in, instead of making a big deal about it, premium male dog wraps could be the right answer. These can help to catch those leaks as they happen and make your dog more comfortable, while your home remains clean and tidy.
Put The Seatbelt On!
His whole life, your dog, has lolled his head out of the window and enjoyed the breeze. Now he is a little older, using a harness and safety belt in the car is just good practice. He needs your protection on a drive, and you can provide that.
Senior dogs often need more than their food and water to get them through the day. Supplements are the perfect addition to their diet, and you can add things like fish oil to help with his aging joints. Arthritic dogs often need a little extra help to keep them supple and moving the right way, and while you watch his bones, watch his weight to ensure he doesn’t become too fat to enjoy running!
Groom Him Well
Geriatric dogs need a little extra care when it comes to their grooming. Closer haircuts, clipped nails and regular brushing his coat all help his quality of life. When you brush his coat, you improve his circulation. When you clip his nails, you prevent infections and debris building up. Long nails cause your dogs pain, and you can help him to avoid it.
Spend Time Checking Him Over
You’ll have regular vet visits, of course, but you should always check your dogs for lumps and bumps across his body. Age can lead to new growths that shouldn’t be there, and the moment you feel a bump that shouldn’t be there, you need to be on top of it with your vet. It’s essential to look at your dog’s body as often as you can.
Gradually Change His Diet
Dogs need different diets from puppy to adult, adult to senior. Sometimes, you need to switch out for a food type that is easier for him to digest, and sometimes this means reducing his calories. Before you make any changes, see your vet and get some advice. Some older dogs need some help chewing and wetting his food can help, but you should only do this on the right information.
Get His Weather Wardrobe Ready
Extreme weather, such as snow and ice or heavy rain could feel great for a puppy who loves to bound around outside. However, for a senior dog, it can be really uncomfortable. You can buy coats for your dog as well as dog boots to keep his feet comfortable in the cold. He still needs walks and time to exercise, and he can’t do that if he can’t manage the cold.
Senior Dogs May Need Therapy
Not the counseling kind, of course, but your dog can find age brings him a new limp and painful movement in his joints. He can’t tell you this, so you have to go with what you see. There are lots of working alternatives for your dog than medication, including hydrotherapy, laser therapy, and acupuncture. Pain relief is essential for your dog, and you should ensure that you give him the treatment he needs while he needs it.
Newly middle-aged wife of 1, Mom of 3, Grandma of 2. A professional blogger who has lived in 3 places since losing her home to a house fire in October 2018 with her husband. Becky appreciates being self-employed which has allowed her to work from 'anywhere'. Life is better when you can laugh. As you can tell by her Facebook page where she keeps the humor memes going daily. Becky looks forward to the upcoming new year. It will be fun to see what 2020 holds.