Your dog has always been there for you when you needed him most. Now that he’s entered his golden years, it’s time for you to be there for him too. Here are five great tips you can use to improve your aging dog’s quality of life and keep him happy and healthy throughout his senior years.
Make Sure Your Dog Maintains a Healthy Weight
Senior dogs tend to pack on the pounds, especially as their mobility begins to decrease. Try to encourage your dog to be more active with regular playtime in the yard and games of fetch. Obese senior dogs are at higher risk of developing heart disease as well as diabetes and high blood pressure. These highly preventable conditions can dramatically shorten your dog’s life.
Take Your Dog Out for Regular Walks
Your aging pup may not be nearly as active or mobile as he once was, but he still enjoys going on regular daily walks! If your dog has pain and mobility issues you can shorten your walks to make sure he still gets out but doesn’t exacerbate any existing aches and pains. Consider taking your walks on grassy areas, as the grass and dirt tend to be softer on your dog’s joints than concrete and consider alternate ways to engage in physical activities.
Feed Your Dog a High-Quality Diet
As your dog gets older, he may develop food sensitivities that he may not have had in the past. Consult with your veterinarian and they will help you choose the right food options for your dog’s specialized needs. The quality of the food you feed your dog can have a significant impact on their health and wellbeing, so keep this in mind as you weigh your options.
Schedule Regular Checkups With Your Veterinarian
It’s always important to make sure your pet gets regular checkups with the veterinarian, however, this becomes even more important as they age. By staying on top of their health and informing your veterinarian of any potential developments or concerns you’ll be more likely to catch conditions like cancer or other chronic health problems while they’re still treatable.
Treat Their Aches and Pains Holistically When Possible
Your aging companion is dealing with a lot of physical changes in his body, which inevitably include chronic aches and pains. While veterinarian prescribed pain medications can be beneficial, they often come with significant negative side effects. Consider using an Assisi loop for dogs, which can be placed on top of their achy joints to deliver quick and effective pain relief. These products emit short bursts of electricity to target areas of pain and inflammation. Each treatment lasts for fifteen minutes and has been found effective in treating a variety of conditions. These products are safe, non-invasive, and perfect for aging dogs dealing with acute or chronic pain.
Consider Raising the Height of Their Food and Water Bowls
While this may sound like an odd piece of advice, there is a reason why you may want to raise the height of your dog’s food and water bowls. Just as people have an increasingly difficult time with mobility and bending down as they get older, so do dogs.
Some dogs may resist eating or drinking because it has become too painful to bend down. If you notice your dog has been struggling to lower his head while eating or drinking, consider buying a riser to elevate their bowls at least a few inches off the ground. This will make it more comfortable for your pet to eat and drink throughout the day.
Weigh Your Options for End of Life Care
While no pet parent wants to think about saying goodbye to their companion, there will come a time when some hard decisions have to be made. While it may be difficult, it’s important to continuously monitor your pet’s quality of life as they get older.
If it is becoming increasingly difficult for your pet to remain mobile and they are under significant chronic pain with no relief in sight, it may be time to think about when the right time is to say goodbye. By putting your pet’s quality of life over your personal needs, you will be sending your friend off in the most loving way possible.
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