There’s No Dog Like an Old Dog
While families clammer to get a new puppy, my love is always with older dogs. But caring for older dogs has some particular requirements.
Take them on short walks to keep their mind and body from getting rusty.
Keeping your older dogs active is very important. While these walks may not be very long, they are vital to keep their joints supple. Also, being out and about keeps our dogs mentally sharp as well.
Purchase food specifically made for older pets.
Pet food for older dogs is not just a gimmick! As pets age, their nutritional needs change. These foods are packed with nutrition, are lower in calories, and have plenty of fiber. Scientific knowledge of what pets need is continually growing so we can be confident that our pets are getting what they need.
Make sure they stay well-groomed.
Stiffer joints will make older dogs self-grooming more challenging. A regular visit to your groomer will help keep your pets looking good and feeling good. Make sure to get their nails clipped while you are there if you don’t feel comfortable doing that yourself.
Try and see if their joints are beginning to atrophy.
One of the main places of pain in older dogs is joint pain. Find a good joint supplement to give your dog to help them live their final years as pain-free as possible. Check with your vet to see which ones have the best reputation.
Observe them and see if they act disoriented or confused.
Dogs can get senile as they age. So it’s important to watch if they have accidents around the home. Being on top of this issue is key to ensuring your pet’s golden years stay golden!
Keep your house quiet so that they can relax easier.
To me, there is nothing like the sweet, mellow nature of an older dog. But…they can get stressed out easily. Try to keep your home quieter which will lessen your dog’s stress. I know this may sound like a dream-come-true to you, but your older dog will thank you.
Lastly, give your dog a comfy bed. Set it close to a bathroom but far from the stairs.
Just like grandpa has his favorite chair, make sure your older dog’s bed is perfectly placed. Close to the door to go outside but away from tempting stairs. Your dog will sleep more as they age, and keeping active trips to a minimum will help them out.
So, you probably noticed that many of these tips are also the tips you appreciate as you get older! These are the years that can be the most lovely in a dog’s life when you, as an owner, take a little more care.
Special thanks to CountryLiving.com for their input on this post.