5 tips for caring for a senior dogs
The joy of a senior dog is undeniable. A senior dog has so much love to give, and they’re ready to be your best friend for life. But as they get older, their needs change. As the owner of an aging pup, it's important to make sure you're doing everything you can to keep that senior healthy and happy. Here are my five tips for caring for a senior dog:
Keep your dog moving
As your dog ages, it’s important to keep him or her moving. Exercise can help prevent health problems associated with aging—joint stiffness, arthritis, and obesity are all common in senior dogs.
Exercise is also beneficial for senior dogs because it gives them an outlet for some of their energy when they may not be able to play as much as they used to (or as much as you want!).
How much exercise is enough? As a general rule of thumb, all dogs should get at least 30 minutes of activity per day on top of regular walks and play time with you. If your dog is overweight or out of shape at the beginning of your exercise program, start slowly so that he doesn't hurt himself during the process.
Focus on your dog's diet
It's important to pay attention to your dog's diet as they age.
- Feed your dog a good quality diet. A healthy diet is beneficial for all dogs, but it can be particularly important for senior dogs. As your dog ages, their digestive system may not work as well as when they were young. In addition, their ability to absorb nutrients from food may decline due to decreased kidney function and digestive organ health issues such as irritable bowel disease (IBD).
- Consider supplements if needed. If you're concerned that your senior dog isn't getting enough nutrients from their diet alone, talk with your vet about whether supplements are needed or recommended for additional support in helping maintain optimal health throughout the aging process.
- Feed according to size and activity level—and consider a Senior Diet! Just like humans, some breeds reach old age quicker than others; so it's important that dogs' diets are based on both breed type as well as weight/size considerations (elderly large breed dogs will need more calories per pound than their small breed counterparts). It's also helpful if caregivers know whether their older pets have any physical limitations that might limit how much exercise they can do each day—this way caregivers can adjust feeding schedules accordingly so that meals make up enough calories without overfeeding them too much at once (which could cause gastrointestinal upset). For example: A large breed adult weighing 70 pounds who spends most days indoors would probably need around 2 cups of kibble per day while an active large-breed puppy weighing only 20 pounds could easily eat three times this amount daily because of higher metabolic rates associated with younger animals vs adults
Stay on top of preventive care
When caring for a dog of any age, it’s important to stay on top of preventive care.
- Vaccinations: Vaccinations are given at regular intervals throughout your dog's life and can be administered by a veterinarian or by yourself if you are comfortable with the process. A full vaccination schedule will include several different vaccines that protect against various diseases and conditions that your pet may encounter in its lifetime. Some examples include rabies vaccinations, which protects against rabies; distemper/parvo vaccinations, which prevents viral disease; parainfluenza virus (PI) vaccinations, also known as kennel cough; leptospirosis vaccinations to prevent leptospirosis; bordetella bronchiseptica (Bb) vaccines for canine flu; Lyme Disease vaccines for Lyme Disease; Bordetella bronchiseptica (Bb) vaccines for kennel cough.
While you’re at it, consider supplements to help with joint pain, digestive issues and cognitive decline. There are also supplements that can help with urinary tract infections, arthritis and more.
Talk to your vet about which supplements might be right for your senior dog.
Make adjustments for chronic conditions
When a dog reaches the golden years, it's important to make some adjustments. While this can be difficult given that you've been used to treating them as if they were still puppies, it's important to keep in mind that they now have different needs—and new challenges.
If your senior dog has any chronic conditions (like arthritis or diabetes), then make sure their medication is up-to-date and that they're getting enough exercise so as not to exacerbate their condition. If you notice that your senior dog is limping more than usual or seems tired throughout most of the day, talk with your veterinarian about possible causes and treatments for these symptoms. It may also be time for an updated physical exam from your vet if these issues persist over time; some older dogs might need extra care beyond what can be provided by their owners at home without medical intervention from a professional veterinarian instead!
Additionally, consider whether or not pet insurance would help cover any unexpected medical costs down the line should something happen unexpectedly like when I recently had surgery due to an injury I sustained while trying out new hoverboard technology after testing out my mom's old one outside our house when she wasn't looking). This type of insurance coverage can come in handy during times like these--and doesn't cost too much either!
Another tip: consider hiring someone local who specializes in walking dogs if yours needs more attention than just feeding them twice per day while going outside occasionally during those summer months where temperatures soar above 100 degrees Fahrenheit outdoors without air conditioning inside our house which makes me think about moving somewhere else entirely but now back on topic
We hope you’ve enjoyed this look into caring for a senior dog and feel inspired to offer the best possible life to your furry friends. As we mentioned, there are many things you can do to help your senior dog stay healthy and comfortable. Remember that what works for one pet might not work for another, so it’s important that you keep an open mind when evaluating options. Most importantly, remember that every day with your dog is one worth celebrating!