Tips for taking care of senior dogs

As our dog’s get older, their energy, level of activity and overall health may decline. However, armed with a few tips, you can maintain and even lengthen your dog’s quality and quantity of life.

Nutritional Needs

Senior dogs have very different nutritional needs than puppies or younger dogs. There are now specially formulated dog foods available just for senior dog’s nutritional needs. In addition to senior foods, there are also supplements available which typically include glucosamine, fatty acids, antioxidants and other vitamins and minerals.

Activity Needs

A senior dog will naturally slow down, but health willing, senior dogs should stay as active as physically possible. Be sure to take time to walk and play with your senior dog. Activity is just as important for a senior dog as it is for a puppy, it’s just that the kind of activity might be a little different. Don’t forget to exercise your dog’s mind as well, give him or her new toys or introduce new activities.

Health Needs

Many older dogs develop arthritis, where it may become difficult for them to get up after laying or sitting down, especially after a long period of time. Thankfully, there are ways to remedy this problem. Some joint supplements are available specifically to combat arthritis pain in senior dogs. Often, just by using the appropriate supplement, you’ll see a marked improvement in your senior dog’s physical mobility.

Dogs often develop sight problems as they get older, you can make life easier for a sight impaired dog by keeping walking paths clear inside and outside of the home. For dog’s who have trouble leaning down to get their food or water, simply placing the bowls higher, on a platform of some kind, will make it much easier for the dog to get their food and water.

Dental health is also extremely important to an older dog’s quality of life. Don’t forget to check on and brush their teeth as often as possible. Poor dental health can lead to poor nutrition and eating habits.

It’s also important to monitor your dog’s weight. A few extra pounds on a senior dog are much more worrisome than on a younger dog. Keep your dog’s weight a healthy weight by purchasing the best food you possible can, in a senior formula preferably.

Don’t forget the most important way to care for your senior pooch, which is to make sure to visit the vet more often. At least once or twice a year or more often, if trouble arises. Prevention or early detection is often the best form of treatment for so many canine diseases. Prevention is the key to your dog’s health and quality of life.

Normal Signs Of Aging

Normal signs of aging for any dog include graying hair around the muzzle, cloudy or blue-ish eyes, a general slowing down of activities, loss of muscle mass and minor loss of hearing. These symptoms are usually nothing to worry about and are typical with aging dogs.

With just a few considerations and adjustments for your dog, you can extend their quality and quantity of life.

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