While it is a blessing to get to spend time with your dog in its golden years, it can also present some challenges. In addition to regular vet visits, you may need to give special attention to your dog in terms of diet, exercise, comfort, and companionship. Here are 5 important points to consider as your furry friend ages:
Feed your dog a well-balanced diet
A well-balanced diet becomes even more important as your dog ages. You might have to resist giving them their favourite table scraps, even if they give you their best puppy eyes. Senior dogs are generally prone to weight gain since they may not have the same levels of energy as before. If your dog is living with a specific condition, consult your vet to see if they need a specialized diet to support their health.
Just as with humans, senior dog supplements and senior dog vitamins are a great way to help ensure that your senior dog is getting the micronutrients required to stay healthy in their senior age. While there is no replacement for a well-balanced diet, senior dog supplements and vitamins can give you the peace of mind of knowing that all the essentials have been covered.
We offer three made-in-Canada supplements specially for senior dogs. Whether you are concerned about senior dog’s mobility and joint health, senior dog’s immune and digestive health, or senior dog’s brain and cognitive function, we offer researched, formulated and manufactured veterinary supplements for the specific needs of senior dogs.
Regular vet checkups
Regular vet checkups are critical to catching and preventing issues, especially in your dog’s later years. Schedule routine vet visits for your pooch every six months. Having a good relationship with your vet will also help your dog get the best possible care and support. Simple things like having regular vet visits, showing up on time, asking questions and listening can go a long way towards ensuring the best care for your dog long-term.
Exercise remains an important way to control your dog’s weight and to promote healthy bone, muscle and joint structure. Senior dogs still need a regular exercise routine, but it will have to be adapted for their health and limitations.For instance, if your dog is unable to go on longer walks, they may be able to handle multiple, shorter walks. You know your dog and their limits best!
Senior dogs can sometimes develop mobility issues and may require special accommodations. For instance, carpets and rugs can help senior dogs gain a secure footing. Your senior dog may not be able to navigate stairs the way they did before, in which case you may consider moving their bed and other necessities downstairs. They may need their food and water bowls to be elevated if they have trouble bending over. In the case of issues with vision try not to make any changes to the furniture layout that would confuse your dog.
Spending quality time with your dog will reassure them in their senior age and help keep them emotionally and mentally healthy. Play time and visiting new environments that aren’t too overwhelming will also help keep them mentally stimulated and active. More quality time also gives you the ability to closely monitor your dog and help you become aware of any changes to their health or behaviour that would indicate underlying or onset issues.
With care and attention and a few adjustments, it is possible to adapt to the needs of a senior dog and to support them in healthy aging for many years to come.