As people age, they often require more care and attention. The same is true for senior dogs. Dogs over the age of seven often suffer from health problems such as arthritis, heart disease, kidney disease, and cognitive decline. As a result, they will likely need more frequent vet visits, special diets, and medication. They may also need help with things like grooming and exercise. Senior dogs often appreciate a calm and quiet environment, so it’s important to provide them with a safe space to relax. It’s also important to be patient and understanding, as senior dogs may not be able to do everything they used to do. With a little extra care and attention, senior dogs can enjoy a high quality of life well into their golden years. In this article, we’ll explore ways to provide extra care during your dog’s senior years.
Top tips for how to take care of your senior dog
First, keep an eye on your dog’s weight. Senior dogs are more prone to obesity, which can put a strain on their bones and joints. Try to maintain a healthy weight by feeding them a nutritious diet and getting them plenty of exercise.
Secondly, regular vet check-ups are even more important for senior dogs. Make sure to keep up with their vaccinations and get them any necessary tests or treatments.
Thirdly, be mindful of your dog’s mobility. If they start having trouble getting around, make sure their environment is safe and easy to navigate. Consider adding ramps or stair-assists if they have trouble with stairs, or doggy doors if they struggle to get in and out of the house.
Finally, be aware of any health issues such as vision problems, incontinence, hearing loss, physical changes in body shape or composition, loss of teeth or loss of appetite. If you spot any of these, especially as your dog ages, talk to your vet.
By following these tips and advice, you can help your senior dog live a long and happy life.
Caring for senior dogs requires understanding your dog’s age
Dogs age more quickly than humans, and their life spans vary depending on their size. Large breeds tend to have shorter lifespans than smaller breeds, with an average lifespan of 10-12 years. Medium-sized dogs live an average of 11-13 years, while small dogs typically live 12-14 years. However, these are only averages, and individual dogs may live much longer or shorter lives depending on their genes and lifestyle. There are a number of ways to estimate your dog’s biological age, including calculating their age in “dog years” and using a dog aging calculator. However, the most accurate way to determine your dog’s age is to seek the advice of a veterinarian. They will be able to take into account your dog’s breed, size, health history, and current condition to give you the best estimate of their years of age in human years.
Helpful items for taking care of a senior dog
Let’s discuss the primary steps you can take to upgrade your senior dog’s lifestyle.
As any pet owner knows, a healthy diet is essential for all dogs, regardless of age. However, older dogs have special nutritional needs that must be met in order to maintain their health. For example, senior dogs require more calories than younger dogs, as they tend to have a slower metabolism. They also need more protein to help maintain muscle mass, and higher levels of certain vitamins and minerals to support their overall health. A good senior dog food will take all of these factors into account and provide your pet with the nutrients they need to stay healthy and active. So if you have an older dog, be sure to give them the best possible diet by choosing a food that is designed specifically for their needs.
Here’s our recommendation for a great dog food for senior dogs:
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Senior Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice 30-Lb
We also picked out our favorite Amazon treat for your senior dog, which is delicious and very healthy compared to other options.
Hill’s Grain Free Dog Treats, Soft-Baked Naturals with Beef & Sweet Potatoes
These are natural chicken-flavored snacks for older dogs that are yummy to taste and are not high in calorie content. These are not artificially preserved, so they are entirely safe to use for all your dogs.
Older dogs need exercise just like any other dog, to keep their minds and bodies healthy. Unfortunately, senior dogs often suffer from arthritis, which can limit their mobility. However, regular exercise can help to keep senior dogs mobile and improve their quality of life. Exercise helps to increase blood flow to the joints, which can ease pain and swelling. It also helps to strengthen the muscles around the joints, providing support and stability. In addition, exercise releases endorphins, which have natural pain-relieving properties. As a result, regular exercise can help senior dogs stay active and pain-free.
Here’s our recommendation for a joint health supplement that we love:
Nutramax Cosequin Maximum Strength Joint Health Supplement for Dogs – With Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM
Remember to keep it fun.
3. Senior Dog’s Teeth
It’s important to take care of your senior dog’s teeth just like you would your own. Just like people, senior dogs are more susceptible to gum disease and other dental problems. The good news is that there are a few simple things you can do to help keep your senior dog’s teeth healthy and strong.
First, make sure you brush your senior dog’s teeth regularly, using a canine-specific toothpaste. You may need to get creative to get your dog to cooperate, but it’s worth it – regular brushing will help prevent plaque buildup and keep your senior dog’s mouth healthy.
Here’s our recommended senior dog toothpaste:
Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste
Description: A mixture of natural ingredients can help clean the plaque and tartar and soothingly freshen your dog’s teeth.
In addition to regular brushing, you should also have your senior dog’s teeth checked by a veterinarian at least once a year. Your vet can professionally clean your senior dog’s teeth and look for any problem areas. If necessary, they can also recommend specific products or treatments to help keep your senior dog’s teeth healthy.
By following these simple tips, you can help ensure that your senior dog enjoys a healthy mouth for years to come.
4. Grooming your dog
Senior dogs have unique grooming needs that are often overlooked. As dog’s age, they can become more susceptible to skin problems and their fur may thin out or become brittle. Senior dogs also tend to have a decrease in energy levels, which can make grooming difficult. However, there are several important reasons to continue grooming your senior dog. Regular brushing can help to remove dead skin cells and stimulate circulation. It can also help to prevent mats and tangles from forming in the fur. In addition, grooming allows you to check for any signs of health problems (see also ‘How to Heal Dog Prolapse at Home‘), such as lumps, bumps, or changes in skin color that should be seen by a vet. Senior dogs may not be able to stay as clean as they once did, but with a little extra care, they can still look and feel their best.
Here’s our top pick for dog brush for senior dogs:
Hartz Groomer’s Best Combo Dog Brush
5. Beds for senior dogs
Beds for senior dogs are not only comfortable but also important for their health. As dog’s age, they may start to experience joint pain, arthritis, and other age-related illnesses. A good bed can help to reduce these symptoms by providing support and cushioning for bones and joints. In addition, a bed can help to keep a senior dog warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Senior dogs may also have difficulty getting up after lying down, so a bed with sides or a raised edge can help them to get in and out of bed more easily. By choosing a bed that is specifically designed for senior dogs, pet owners can help to ensure their furry friend stays healthy and comfortable as they age.
Here’s one our of favorite picks for senior dog beds:
Furhaven Pet Bed for Dogs – Two-Tone Orthopedic Dog Bed (Machine Washable Cover)
This Memory foam is ideal for dogs that have any orthopedic issues. This mattress is made with state-of-the-art technology and can improve air circulation and support joints better than any ordinary mattress.
6. Ramps for senior dogs
Just like humans, as dog’s age they can begin to experience joint pain and mobility issues. This can make it difficult for them to get in and out of cars, which can limit their ability to go on outings and enjoy life. A dog ramp can help to solve this problem by providing a safe and easy way for dogs to get in and out of cars (see also ‘Tips for traveling with a dog‘). Ramps are also a good option for senior dogs who have difficulty navigating stairs. By choosing a ramp that is the right size and has a nonslip surface, you can help your senior dog stay active and enjoy a better quality of life.
Here’s our pick for the best ramp for a senior dog:
PetSafe Happy Ride Folding Dog Ramp for Cars, Trucks, & SUVs
7. Easy-to-chew toys
Easy-to-chew toys are essential for senior dogs. As dog’s age, they can lose some of their teeth, making it difficult for them to chew harder toys. Easy-to-chew toys are designed to be gentle on your dog’s gums and teeth, and they can help to prevent oral health problems. In addition, easy-to-chew toys can help to keep your dog’s mind active, preventing boredom and promoting a healthy lifestyle. Easy-to-chew toys come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you’re sure to find one that your dog will love. And because they’re designed specifically for senior dogs, you can rest assured that they’re the perfect way to keep your furry friend happy and healthy.
Here are a couple of our picks for easy-to-chew toys for older dogs:
Ann Bully Dog Toys, Interactive Squeaky Dog Toys with Crinkle Paper Stuffed Plush Dog Toys Teething Chew Dog Toys
Squeak Dog Toys Stress Release Game for Boredom, Dog Puzzle Toy IQ Training
8. Patience and love
Senior dogs may need a little extra patience and understanding as they age. But they will still bring joy and love into your life every day.
In conclusion, senior dogs have different care needs than younger dogs. They may need more frequent vet check-ups, more help with grooming, and special considerations when it comes to exercise and diet. However, senior dogs can still enjoy a high quality of life with the right care from their owners. By being attentive to their needs and providing them with plenty of love and attention, senior dog owners can help their furry friends enjoy their golden years to the fullest.