Caring for a senior dog is one of the greatest challenges for pet owners. In their twilight years, dogs often don’t have the same physical or mental capabilities that they had when they were younger. Sometimes, elderly dogs might even become bored during these years or anxious because they can’t do all of the fun activities that they were once able to do in their youth.
So, what can you do to help them? Well, it’s simple, just shake things up! Here are a few things that we suggest you try right now to improve your senior dog’s life:
Take More Walks
Everyone loves to get out enjoy some fresh air, especially your canine companion. And like elderly people, elderly dogs will still need some form of activity and exercise to keep them moving. Regular walks are a great way to keep your dog active and help them maintain joint and muscle health as they continue to age. It will also make them less prone to bone diseases.
Though you don’t have to take them for a stroll as frequently as a younger pup, your dog still needs and wants to experience all of the beauty that the great outdoors has to offer. If your pet is having trouble walking on their own, consider using a dog sling to help them along. The key is just to take things slowly so that they don’t tire easily.
Allow for More Potty Breaks
Again, like humans, elderly dogs are going to need more time to relieve themselves in order to reduce accidents. It’s best to take them out regularly for more potty breaks than when they were younger. You can even train them to expect these more frequent times so that they don’t become anxious with anticipation.
Plan More Games and Activities
To avoid your senior dog becoming bored, you need to keep their minds busy. Come up with some low impact games to play with new toys, and try teaching your dog some new (but age-appropriate) tricks.
Help Regulate a Comfortable Temperature
Dogs become much more sensitive to the heat and cold as they age. Fortunately, you can help them with this change, and provide them with temperature regulation and protection. If your dog becomes cold, heating pads are great for keeping warm. They also provide a great relief in helping with joint pain. If they won’t take to the heating pad, try a sweater or coat to keep them warm, especially when taking them for walks outdoors.
On the flip side, when the weather turns warm, make sure that your dog has plenty of cool water. To avoid heat exhaustion, consider cutting back on the number of walks you and your buddy take to avoid the hottest parts of the day, or simply take your walks earlier in the morning when it’s cooler.
Help Ease Accessibility
Elderly dogs often have more trouble getting around. They might not be able to do things like jump or climb stairs the way that they used to, so give them a hand, and make things more accessible for them in their elderly state. If you know that you’re going to need to get them in your car, get a ramp to help them get in and out. When it comes to eating out of their bowls on the floor, consider raising their feeders so that they won’t have to bend their joints too much.
When it comes to elderly pet care, it’s all about the little things that you can do to help your four-legged besties stay happy and healthy (and of course, a great preventive healthcare plan). So, try something new, today, to help your elderly dog better enjoy the rest of his or her years.