Have you watched your dog grow from a pup to a senior dog? Are you wondering what you could do to ensure that your old dog still enjoys life as much as it did when it was younger?
Taking care of older dogs is a bit different from caring for young puppies in the sense that they are more mature and not as energetic as they used to be. These changes in their body will also cause their likes and interests to change.
Here are some simple ways to keep your senior dog happy and healthy:
Stimulate your dog’s sense of smell
The sense of smell is a very important one for dogs and keeping it active will ensure that their brains are always active. You can stimulate your dog's sense of smell by introducing new scents every once in a while to keep its senses sharp.
Keep them out of extreme weather
Your senior dog does not have as much tolerance for extreme weather as younger dogs. This is because older dogs are more sensitive to heat and cold.
As such, it's important to maintain a comfortable temperature for it. Ensure that your dog spends less time outdoors, especially in extreme conditions. You could consider fans and air conditioners for hot weather and blankets or coats for cold weather to ensure that your dog is comfortable.
Take them on regular slow walks
Your senior dog is not as energetic as younger dogs and may not be able to go on fast, long walks.
However, this doesn't mean you should keep your dog idle. Constant activity is necessary for a healthy and happy dog. You can take your senior dog on slow but regular walks and encourage your dog to sniff different scents as they go along.
Get your dog some mobility aid
As dogs grow older, they are more susceptible to ailments like arthritis, which is characterized by joint pains and discomfort.
It's best to make moving around the home easier for your dog to help ease off the pain. For instance, you can invest in orthopedic dog beds to make it more comfortable when asleep. Also ensure to remove objects on the floor to prevent your dog from walking into or tripping over them.
Change your dog’s diet
As your dog ages, its nutritional needs and tastes will change as well. As such, it is important that you change its diet to meet the current nutritional needs. For instance, you should feed your older dog meals with less calories. Foods that are easy to digest are also ideal.
Also, make sure to get them supplements that can help with their joints and teeth to make feeding easier for them.
Pamper your dogs
Your older dog would love to get a bit of pampering as it makes it feel loved and cherished. This could include regular grooming to help with itches as it becomes difficult to reach the sweet spots.
Also, trim its nails regularly to keep it from hurting itself or damaging items in the home.
Eventually, the time will come when you have to say goodbye to your beloved pet. Contact us at River Valley Gateway to provide professional end-of-life care for your dog.