September 11, 2020 6 min read
In every pet owner’s life, there eventually comes a time when you have to face the fact that your beloved canine friend and companion isn’t as young as he or she used to be. I know when my dog began to age, there were days where it was just heartbreaking. Not only is it sometimes difficult emotionally but caring for an older dog isn’t always as easy as it was when they were younger.
Just as people have different needs as they age, dogs are the same. As a dog owner, when your furry friend begins to slow down and show the signs of aging, you want to be sure that your canine companion is well taken care of and lives a comfortable life.
We’ve put together 5 tips to ensure that you can make your senior dog as comfortable and happy in their old age as they can possibly be.
Senior Dog Care: How to Make an Older Dog Comfortable
As a dog owner, no one has to tell you that caring for a puppy is vastly different from caring for an adult dog. Similarly, the needs of an adult dog, and the care you give them, is different than the needs and care of a senior dog.
One of the best ways to figuring out how to care for your older dog is to think of your senior dog as you would a grandparent or older individual. Just like older humans, in order to be comfortable and maintain a high quality of life, your older pet may need different types of care than you are used to providing. As a dog owner, one of your most important responsibilities is to provide for your dog’s well-being during all stages of its life, especially during their golden years.
If your dog is starting to get along on in years, here are a few tips to help you provide the best care for them so they can continue to live a happy and comfortable life.
Tip #1. Visit Your Vet Regularly
It is always important to visit your veterinarian regularly throughout your dog’s life, but as your dog ages, regular visits to the vet become even more important. Just like older people, senior dogs can be more susceptible to health and joint problems.
When you take your dog for routine checkups it is easier to ensure that you catch any health issues early. A question that is often asked is, “How often should senior dogs visit the vet?” The American Animal Hospital Association recommends senior dogs should go in for a checkup every six months as opposed to once a year.
Tip #2. Be Aware of Behavioral Changes
You know your dog better than anyone, and the way they behave can tell you a lot about the state of their health. As your dog begins to age, it is extremely important to pay extra attention to any behavioral changes they might display.
Is your pet still enjoying the same things as they used to? Have their sleep patterns changed? Are they misbehaving, or acting up in situations where they once behaved normally? Is your well-housebroken friend suddenly and unexpectedly soiling the house?
Due to the pandemic, many of us have been able to spend a great deal of time with our furry friends, but now that we are starting to get out and about a little more, it’s not uncommon for our pets to act up while we are gone. This could indicate a shift in your dog’s physical and mental health and is something to watch closely. It could also be a result of separation anxiety…. Yes… our furry friends can suffer from separation anxiety just as we do. It’s important to make note of any behavioral changes you notice in your aging dog and discuss them with your vet.
To help support how a dog deals with anxiety, many pet owners have had great success in giving their furry friends one of NXTGEN’s Premium CBD Dog Chews or a dose of NXTGEN’s CBD Pet Drops.
Tip #3. Be Sure That Your Dog Continues to Get Regular Exercise
Exercising your dog is vital for keeping them happy and healthy. Senior dogs are no different; exercise is still incredibly important to their wellbeing. While you and your dog might no longer be up for taking that steep hike through the woods that you both love, it is still crucial to give your senior dogs a regular dose of exercise, even if it’s a scaled back version of what you used to do.
Depending on your dog’s health, you might want to consider getting approval from your vet as to exactly what type of exercise your pet can still handle. Although you might not be giving them as much or the same type of exercise you once did, there are still plenty of ways to keep your aging dog active.
Little exercises, such as playing with toys can still be fun for you and your dog. Even something as simple as rolling a ball across the floor can get him them up, moving, and energized. Another great outing is to take a trip to the dog park where you can both enjoy being outside and around other dogs. No matter how slow you may have to go, even the oldest dogs will enjoy a simple walk around the neighborhood.
Tip #4. Make Their Life Easier
As your dog gets older, it’s not uncommon for them not to be able to do some of the same physical activities they could when younger.
Many dogs like to go everywhere with you. Once of the challenges for an older dog might be having trouble jumping into the car like they used to. You might want to consider getting a ramp that makes it easier for them to get in and out of the car. A small change like this can enable them to continue to enjoy the life they’re accustomed to.
Tip #5. Shower Your Friend with Love and Affection
One of the most rewarding and best treatments for senior dog care, is showering your beloved companion with love and affection. It’s important to cuddle them, kiss them and love them as much now as when they were a puppy.
Senior dogs crave your attention and unconditional love just as much as, if not more than, younger dogs. Consider spoiling them with fun new toys and delicious dog treats. Be sure to spend more time with them and enjoy this special time in their new stage of life.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with indulging your dog and making them feel special; especially when they are getting older. Consider adding some bone broth to their food or teaching them some new tricks (yes, it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks). Treat your dog to a massage or make them as comfortable as possible with a new orthopedic doggy bed.
Making an old dog comfortable and happy really comes down to how much love you give them. When it comes to senior dogs, the more love and affection, the better.
Watching our dogs move into their senior years isn’t always easy, but understanding how to make an older dog comfortable and happy can significantly improve the quality of their life.
According to The American Veterinary Medical Association, pets are living longer than they ever have before. It’s easy to understand that when senior dogs are well-loved and cared for, they can live a long, happy life.
Our aging friends may not be as energetic or as active as they used to be, but make no mistake, they still need you as much as ever. The best way to take care of your aging friend is to continue to give them your love and affection. After all of the years of unconditional love and loyalty that your dog has provided to you and your family, it’s important that we show our furry friends the same love and loyalty.
Thanks so much for reading! To show how much we appreciate you, and in honor of our beloved Missy dog, who was with us for 17 years, we’re going to give you 17% off your next order. Just use code READER17 at checkout!
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