Elder pet care is a major priority for pet parents with a senior dog. If you’re in this situation, you already know that your animal has different needs than a puppy or a middle-aged dog.
If you have an elderly dog who’s starting to show their years, there are several things you can do to ensure your beloved pet is comfortable and happy.
If your dog is up in years but still acting spry, that’s fantastic. These tips can help your companion stay that way for a long time to come.
Info For Pet Parents: Caring For Senior Dogs
One of the most important aspects of senior pet care is keeping your dog as comfortable as possible, for as long as possible. For example, if your dog is having some issues getting around your home, there are some simple things you can do to help increase his or her mobility.
Some older dogs may be reluctant to go into parts of the home that have slippery floors. Even the most seemingly minor slip can cause a great deal of pain in a dog with joint problems due to age. They might prefer to stay in carpeted areas to keep this from happening.
Senior pets may not be able to get into the car as easily as they used to. If your pet still wants to go on car rides but can’t hop up into the back seat due to arthritis or some other health issue, consider getting a ramp.
Bedding is another important component of elder pet care. Younger dogs will typically flop themselves anywhere on the floor and be just fine. Senior pets, on the other hand, will typically need more of a cushion due to aching joints. Orthopedic dog beds provide the comfort and support our furry senior citizens need.1
Keep These Common Health Issues In Mind: Aging Dogs May Experience Both Physical And Mental Decline
Pet parents know that senior pets can have health challenges that can sometimes lead to substantial vet bills. But if you get ahead of those challenges, that will not only help the health and well-being of your dog, it could also help you save some money.
One of the best things you can do is to schedule a veterinary exam every six months. This will help your vet spot the signs of an illness or another issue that may need to be addressed.
Quality Of Life At Home: Diet, Exercise, And Overall Wellness
A well-rounded diet is extremely important for dogs of all ages. But as a dog grows old, they may have changing dietary needs.
Older dogs, for example, will sometimes need a different type of pet food — one that is easier to digest. Many dog foods actually lack the nutrition necessary for a dog to be at its healthiest. Some even contain products that may be difficult to digest. There are certain dog foods designed specifically for senior dogs, that might be better on their digestive system. You might also try giving your dog a dietary supplement to support their digestive health and get them the nutrients they need. Talk to your vet about whether or not you need to make changes to your companion’s diet.
Weight control is also critical for the health and well-being of a senior dog. When older dogs gain too much weight, they will be at a higher risk of developing health problems. Older dogs are also more susceptible to problems caused by parasites. The reason is their immune systems aren’t as strong.2
You can help your dog maintain a healthy weight by ensuring that they get plenty of exercise. Exercise is also critical to keeping your senior dog as healthy as possible. Of course, your pet may not be able to do what they used to do, especially if they have a health problem such as arthritis. But keeping your dog lean and fit can help stave off a lot of potential illnesses and conditions.
The more a dog weighs, the more stress gets placed on organs, bones, and joints. Talk to your vet to see if you need to put your pet on a weight loss program.3
Most Importantly: Take Your Senior Pets To The Veterinarian Regularly For Check-Ups And Teeth Cleanings
Dental health simply has to be a major part of your elder pet care routine. You need to pay closer attention to your dog’s teeth as he or she gets older. The reason is that older dogs are even more susceptible to major health problems due to a lack of dental care.
Not only can dental problems lead to lost teeth, but they can also be painful. If you have a bad tooth, you probably have a hard time eating. The same holds true for your dog. This can lead to dangerous weight loss. Part of your dog’s regular vet checkups will be a thorough dental exam.4
These are just some of the things you can do to help make sure your beloved pet stays healthy. Regular veterinary care, taking steps to ensure your dog’s comfort and mobility, and providing a lot of love will all be key to keeping your companion happy for years to come.