Most of us do not want to admit that our beloved dog is growing old. Even if your senior dog is still playing and running around, it does not mean that he is not aging. You need to look at the subtle changes in behavior so that you can take steps to improve his life and yours too. While factors such as regular health checkups, dental checkups, preventive medicines such as vitamins and hemp oil for dogs is essential, there are other ways in which you can make your senior dog’s life more comfortable at home. Factors such as diet are essential since the nutritional needs of your dog change as it grows older. A great way to assure your pet a balanced diet is looking for the top-rated senior dog food in the market. Understanding your dog’s needs and giving him the right products can help your pet live a long and healthy life.
Consider Adjusting His Meals
Older dogs will experience a slowing of their digestion system. It means you have to adjust their meals according to their dietary needs. They might prefer smaller portions of food throughout the day rather than three big meals. If you notice that your dog is losing his appetite, you might consider talking to his veterinarian to rule out any medical issues. If your dog is fine medically, you can adjust his meals to suit his appetite. It may just be that your dog is bored of the food you have, try changing it up with something like raw foods. You should also consider adding a few supplements to his diet after consulting with his veterinarian. Hemp oil for dogs is recommended by many for its benefits offered to aged dogs.
Make the Dog’s Sleeping Space Warmer and Cozier
If your dog is suffering from stiff joints due to old age, he will most likely look for warm places to sleep in. Older dogs are also more likely to lose their hair, and your home will feel colder to them than before. Even if you keep a constant temperature throughout the house, your dog will need a warm and fuzzy area for sleeping. You can add an extra blanket or line the pet’s sleeping area with padding. You might consider investing in an orthopedic bed that is firmer and raised from the floor.
Make Changes Around the House If Your Dog is losing his Eye-Sight
Like you puppy-proofed your house when you got him years ago, it might be time to make changes around the house so that mobility is not an issue for your senior dog. Keep food and water in an area that is easily accessible by your dog. You might want to use non-slip surfaces in the areas that your dog frequently uses to prevent falls and help them maintain traction.
Provide Regular Exercise to His Body and Mind
You should take your senior dog for regular walks to the park or around the block to strengthen their muscles and prevent obesity. Regular exercise will also keep his appetite in check, and it also helps to avoid boredom that can cause depression in dogs. Here, moderation is extremely crucial, as too much physical activity can worsen his condition. Provide plenty of toys such as food puzzles to keep him occupied.
You may have to work harder to take care of your senior dog, but caring for a companion who enriched your life would be hugely rewarding. Above anything else, they need your love and patience. Treat him with respect and do everything you can to make him feel loved as he nears his end. Be cautious of any changes in your senior dog as they might be an indication of some health problems. Consult with your veterinarian immediately and schedule an appointment every two months.
Image credit: Senior Dog via Agnes Kantaruk/Shutterstock