Is Your Pup Growing Old?
Guest Writer: Meghan Belnap
Is your pup growing old? Whether you’ve adopted a senior canine or the dog you got as a puppy is reaching the end of a long life, caring for an aging dog can be a challenge. Physical and mental changes mean that your pet requires more from you to stay healthy and happy. Here are five ways you can make your aging dog’s life easier.
Feed Your Aging Dog a Healthy Senior Diet
Senior dogs have different nutritional requirements than younger dogs, and older dogs are more prone to diseases that require specialized diets. Some dogs lose weight as they age, while others become overweight when activity slows down. Ask your veterinarian for specific diet recommendations based on your pet’s individual needs.
Maintain Your Senior Dog’s Health
Take your senior dog in for checkups twice a year instead of just once. Chester Valley Veterinary Hospital recommends a yearly senior screening blood panel and urinalysis along with a rabies vaccination once every three years. Older dogs also need regular dental cleanings from a vet as well as daily tooth brushing by their owners at home.
Encourage Appropriate Activities for Your Pet’s Age
Senior dogs sometimes experience health issues that hamper movement, but exercise is still essential for maintaining your pet’s weight and overall health. While vigorous play sessions might be difficult, you can still take your aging dog for walks or engage in a gentle game of catch. Limit exercise sessions to about 20 to 30 minutes so your dog doesn’t get overworked.
Exercise Your Dog’s Aging Mind
A dog’s brain ages along with his body. Providing your pet with mental challenges, such as hiding treats for him to find, keeps him mentally alert. Teaching your older dog new tricks or providing new toys can also stimulate his mind.
Make Household Accommodations for Your Aging Dog
If your aging dog exhibits signs of arthritis or muscle weakness, consider adapting your home to accommodate his limited mobility. Ramps can help an older dog who has trouble navigating stairs, and orthopedic pet beds placed around the home give your dog a place to rest any time of day. Raised feeding platforms help put your dog’s food within easy reach.
Getting older affects every dog, and what you do to help your pet through this stage of life makes a huge difference in how easily your dog navigates all the changes. Proper care for your aging dog can help him live longer and enjoy his time with you more.
Guest Writer: Meghan Belnap / Blogger, Researcher, and Freelance Writer
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.
Other posts by Meghan Belnap:
- 4 Ways To Interact With An Unfamiliar Dog
- 4 Dog Health Myths You Need to Know
- 4 Tips to Turn Your Backyard Into a Wildlife-Friendly Habitat
MY QUESTION FOR YOU TODAY:
Is your pup growing old? What do you do to help maintain his health?
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