The Pet Parents® Guide to Caring for Your Senior Dog
Though senior age in dogs differs according to breed, pet parents want to provide the best senior dog care available. Dogs entering their senior years need a lot of care as they deal with several changes to their lifestyle. Making devoted changes to your furbaby’s routines, home environment, and veterinary care will have an impact on their quality of life.
"By the time your dog becomes a senior, they may have new nutritional requirements. Reevaluate your dog’s diet and check if their current one is still providing for their daily nutritional needs."
Keep Them Active
As your furbaby ages, continue to regularly exercise them. Your dog’s metabolism is driven by muscle mass. If your senior dog loses muscle mass they may develop frailty syndrome which can speed up the aging process. Keep your dog active to help slow down age-related afflictions such as joint problems, as well as obesity issues. Keeping your senior dog fit is the most important thing you can do to help minimize the physical conditions of aging.
Here are some examples of exercises for senior dogs:
- Walking. No matter how old your dog gets, they still get excited about walks. But your normal routes may no longer be suitable for your dog. Instead, take shorter walks with several rest stops if needed.
- Training. Old dogs can learn new tricks! VCA Animal Hospitals states that adult and senior dogs are usually easier to train than pups because they are not as distracted. Teaching a senior dog tricks is also a fantastic way to help keep them mentally stimulated.
- Socializing. Dogs are social animals. They might no longer be able to keep up with younger dogs when it comes to running and chasing, but they will always love company from other animals. Encourage gentle play between your dog and another with toys or enrichment games.
- Swimming. Swimming is an exceptional exercise for senior dogs, because it doesn’t put as much strain on joints compared to other physical exercises.
Get Them Checked
Regular checkups with your vet will help detect underlying or early onsets of illnesses and diseases that your dog may have. During these checkups, your vet may also do blood work for your dog to check their white and red blood cell count and their liver and kidney functions.
Invest in a Comfy Bed
Dogs in their senior years suffer from arthritis and other hip and joint problems. Investing in a high-quality pet bed will provide your dog with good sleep and rest. Consider getting an orthopedic dog bed for your senior dog, which can ease achy joints, improve mobility, and offer some comfort.
Make Changes to Accommodate Your Aging Dog
Update your home to fit your dog’s age. Here are some changes that can make a huge impact for them.
- Place rugs around your home, so your dog is less likely to fall on slippery floors.
- Build or invest in ramps to help your dog get up and down furniture and beds, climb stairs, and get into cars.
- Install anti-slip treads on your staircase to reduce risk of falling.
- If your furbaby no longer finds it easy to climb stairs, you may want to move their bed to a warm area on the main floor.
- Use elevated food and water bowls to lessen the strain on your dog’s head and neck.
- Reevaluate your dog’s diet and check if their current one is still providing for their daily nutritional needs. According to the ASPCA, the main goal when feeding your dog is to maintain their health and optimum body weight, slow or prevent the development of chronic disease, and minimize or improve clinical signs of diseases that may already be present.
Invest in Pet Diapers and Pads
Many senior dogs suffer from pee and/0r poop incontinence. If your furbaby can no longer fully control their bladder and/or bowel, it can result in messy accidents. To avoid this, have them wear Pet Parents® Washable Dog Diapers. These dog diapers have sewn-in pad layers that are great for urinary messes! These are also made with soft non-abrasive WickQuick® proprietary fabric that wicks away liquid fast, helping to prevent diaper rash and urine burns, allowing your senior dog to be comfortable. Pet Parents® diapers for dogs are crafted to last and accompany your furbaby through many years.
You may also consider placing Pet Parents® Pawtect® Pads under their beds and their food and water bowls. These premium dog pee pads pack in fluids and are best-in-class absorption and odor control. Pawtect® Pads are washable, waterproof, and leakproof, and our StickyPaw™ backing grips the floor, providing an anti-slip grip.
According to the American Kennel Club, senior dogs experience many internal and external changes. Some are evident and noticeable, such as graying fur, slowed mobility, or hip or joint issues. Others may be harder to notice, such as slower metabolism or declining immune function. By the time your furbaby becomes a senior, they may need new nutritional requirements.
The right food and supplements are an indispensable building block of healthy aging to help minimize the signs of growing older and enrich your dog’s quality of life. Supplements like Pet Parents® SoftSupps® provide your furbaby with beneficial ingredients that promote powerful daily health support. These are available in Allergy, Bladder, Calming, Hip and Joint, Multivitamins, Probiotic, Skin and Coat, and Turmeric and Curcumin. Whether it’s to promote skin and coat health, hip and joint support, immune and intestinal function, or to help maintain heart health, our Pet Parents® SoftSupps® chews have your furbaby covered.
It is unavoidable that your dog’s needs will gradually change as they age. Pay proper attention to changes and offer them all of the love, care, and attention they deserve. Spending more time together, being grateful for every moment, and providing quality care help you value your dog’s senior years and the challenges that come with it.
"Supplements like Pet Parents® SoftSupps® provide your furbaby with beneficial ingredients that promote powerful daily health support."
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Hip & Joint SoftSupps®