Dogs grow old, and during this time, they tend to take things easy and slow; their bodies are not functioning the way they used to when they were still puppies. There are physical and psychological changes, and these often come with special needs.
As your dog approaches his senior years, his needs will begin to change, and as your dog’s pet parent, you will have to make some changes and adjustments as well.
Here are some of the things that you could do to help your dog live a happy life during his senior years:
Help your dog mobilize
Old dogs most likely have problems with their joints due to some age-related diseases like arthritis. Joint and ligament diseases are usually very painful, but your dog will try to hide and not “complain” about it.
However, you will soon notice your senior dog moving about slower than he used to. And he might even try to avoid stairs and ramps.
The least thing you can do about this is to assist your dog whenever he tries to climb the stairs or whenever he tries to get on and out of the car. If possible, provide your dog a ramp, so that he won’t exert an effort to jump on stairs.
Play more often with your dog
Your dog may be old, but he still loves to play and spend time with you!
So, make him happy by giving him regular and stimulating activities that are perfect for his age. You don’t have to make it strenuous, in fact, you could go for regular relaxing walks at the park to allow your dog to breathe some fresh air and do some socializing.
During rainy days, you may play a simple and easy game with your dog indoors. A simple fetch game with your dog’s favorite toy would do.
Another activity you might want to consider during a rainy day is to cuddle.
Provide your dog with comfy beds
With your dog’s senior age, it’s no surprise if he sleeps more often.
Make sure that you give him comfortable beds to sleep on. Soft and fluffy beds and pillows would be perfect for his achy joints!
Regular visits to the Vet
Senior dogs are much more susceptible to health issues than the young ones, so health care is essential.
Your dog will need even more visits to the vet than he used to and as the pet-parent, you will have to watch out for signs of ailments that could arise.
Certain ailments like joint pains and other age-related diseases are not to be ignored, and you will certainly be relieved to find the onset of disease as early as possible.
Special nutrition needs
As mentioned earlier, special needs will manifest as a dog gets older. He will also need more nutrition through a special kind of diet, through food supplements, or through both, as per the advice of your dog’s vet.
If you think your dog needs a significant change in his nutritional intake, ask advice from your trusted veterinarian.