How to Care for Senior Dogs: Nutrition and Exercise Tips for Senior Dogs
In most cases, senior dogs require special care and attention to stay healthy, happy and maintain a high quality of life. While they may lack energy compared to those bouncy puppies that can win your heart in a split second, senior dogs have plenty of unconditional love to offer and make loyal companions that will stay by your side no matter what. Want to take better care of your senior dogs? In this case, you should start by understanding their special necessities and addressing them in an ideal manner.
Understanding the Aging Process in Dogs
Dogs age at a different pace. Generally speaking, small dog breeds age slower than giant dog breeds. Nonetheless, researchers have reached the conclusion that several factors, such as the environment, lifestyle, nutrition and genetics influence the pace of the aging process in dogs. To be able to prevent health concerns associated with the signs of chronological aging displayed by your four-legged friend, just follow the simple tips listed below.
Tips on How to Keep Your Aging Dogs Healthy, Lively and Happy
- Monitor Your Dog’s Eating Habits. A dog that eats very seldom may be dealing with one of more health concerns. For instance, many senior dogs end up dealing with dental problems. If your dog is having a hard time chewing its favorite treats, consider switching to a different kind of food. Digestive issues are another common symptom of canines aging. In this case, it is highly recommended to invest in premium foods designed especially for older dogs containing easy-to-digest ingredients. Some formulas could also incorporate beneficial supplements added to eliminate or reduce the unpleasant symptoms triggered by the aging process. As pets age, their metabolic rate slows, which can lead to obesity. This makes it important to closely monitor the calorie intake to prevent your dog from becoming overweight.
- Take Your Senior Dogs to the Vet at Least Twice a Year. How often do you take your dog to the vet? Generally speaking, aging dog should be seen by a veterinarian at least once every six months. At the vet, they should undergo a routine health checkup, similar to the one recommended for younger dogs. At the same time, additional dental care and blood work may be required, as well as special examinations conducted based on the particular symptoms that your companion may be experiencing. Prevention is always better than cure, especially when it comes to keeping a senior dog healthy, active and happy. Whenever possible, we recommend using a holistic veterinarian and using natural remedies.
- Don’t Neglect the Importance of Proper Parasite Control. Did you know that an element as simple as parasite control could prolong the life of your pet and help you prevent a wide range of canine diseases? Worms, fleas and ticks could lead to severe health problems that may be difficult to handle by an old dog with a weakened immune system. Therefore, when it comes to implementing an effective parasite control plan, keep in mind that year-round vigilance is a basic requirement. We recommend using natural parasite control such as garlic remedies and Diatomaceous Earth.
- Adjust Your Environment to Respond to the New Needs of Your Senior Dog. Most owners focus on regular checkups, pest control strategies and dietary and lifestyle changes to enhance the wellbeing of their pets, while ignoring the fact that their own environment can put their senior companions at risk. If you want to take good care of your aging dog and eliminate the potentially dangerous obstacles that could limit its comfort and/or raise safety concerns, you should start by senior-proofing your home. For example, If your dog usually sleeps with you upstairs, now would be a good time to leave its bed or mat, water and food downstairs, as stair climbing could become quite a challenge after a certain age.
- Pay Special Attention to Exercising and Nutrition. In order to help your senior dogs live a much more fulfilling life, focus your attention on two key elements: nutrition and exercising routine. Buy vitamin-rich foods and treats that your pets could easily chew and digest. Just because your dog is aging, this doesn't mean that you should let it become the victim of its own sedentary lifestyle. Keep your senior dog active and healthy, without pushing it too far. Simple exercises, like the ones that your pup would normally perform during a relaxing walk in the park, could be enough to help provide a better mobility and a higher quality of life.
Last but not least, remember that the love that you are sending to your dog on a daily basis can make all the difference in the world, by helping your beloved friend cope with the signs of the aging process with minimal difficulties.