There is no denying it – your senior dog is very special. Together through thick and thin, your dog has been there for you. Now as your dog has started aging, you notice he’s slowed down a bit or is sleeping a bit more.
These subtle changes in behavior are expected. If you do notice extreme changes, do contact your veterinarian. Today we want to highlight ways you can give your senior dog some extra care that will make his senior years comfortable and happy.
Remember that while your dog may only appear to be a bit slower, his joint care, overall health, and well-being does depend on some lifestyle changes.
An Accessible Home
You may notice that your dog suddenly no longer wants to walk up or down the stairs or is reluctant to enter the kitchen or living room. Take a look at your floors. As dogs age, hard flooring such as hardwood, ceramic, and other strong materials can become slippery. This makes it challenging for your dog to walk easily.
Consider placing non-slip rugs or other carpeting down to make it easier for your dog to move freely in his home. Your dog needs to know that he can easily leave an area if he becomes startled or afraid – having a slippery floor surface adds an extra degree of uncertainty to his comfortability.
Ramps can also be a good addition to your home if your dog is struggling to get up and down the stairs or on and off the bed. Some dog owners also use these ramps to ease car access for dogs who have joint and mobility problems.
Keep on Moving
Your senior dog needs to keep on moving. Yes, this movement needs to change but definitely do not stop regular exercise. This movement – walking, hiking, playing, running is good for your dog’s joint care and mental health.
You will likely need to tailor your dog’s exercise routine to his unique joint and mobility needs. Pay attention to how he is walking and running. Notice if he is reluctant to chase balls or walk on uneven surfaces in the woods. Consider a change in exercise, such as swimming in warm water or taking shorter walks rather than one long walk.
Stay Warm and Dry
Your dog does have natural protection from the elements but with age comes a tendency to feel the cold more. A warm blanket in the car for after your walk in the woods or a dog sweater can make the difference for your dog. Protect your dog’s feet from snow and ice with some dog booties – these also give increased traction when walking. (We’re always on the look-out for recommendations for easy-to-wear dog sweaters and booties. If you have some favorites, please share them with our Facebook community.)
Sleep and Rest Comfortably
A supportive and thick dog bed can give your senior dog the extra level of comfort and joint care needed to rest and sleep easily. Being able to sleep well is critical in ensuring your dog can reap the restorative benefits of sleep. There are lots of dog bed options available, if possible take your dog to a pet store that allows him to try out some dog beds. There might also be specialized warming pads and heated blankets that give your senior dog that extra level of comfort needed to keep him warm and cozy.
Senior dogs can benefit from a natural supplement that supports their overall health. Many veterinarians recommend fish oil – discuss this with your veterinarian to find out if this is a good choice for your dog.
Give your senior dog the extra joint care he needs with Leaps & Bounds soft chews. These natural supplements can ease joint stiffness and improve mobility in just two weeks. Even better – they taste great and you can feel good about giving your senior dog a natural healthful treat.
Don’t assume that your dog’s food is giving him the correct amount of minerals and vitamin he needs to age well. You might want to discuss changing your dog’s food to one formulated especially for senior dogs. Before making any dietary or supplement changes, discuss these with your veterinarian.
Minor Adjustments for a Happy Content Senior Dog
It doesn’t take much to give your senior dog an extra level of care and comfort. These small adjustments can go a long way in helping your dog feel comfortable and ease any age-related problems.
It can be hard to admit that our beloved dogs are ageing and do have different needs. Be attentive to changes in your dog’s behavior but do not stress or over-react. Ageing is normal and just as we humans need to make some lifestyle adjustments, the same is true for your dog.
We want to hear from you – tell our Facebook community about changes you’ve made to help your senior dog.