17 Jul 2018 Tips for Keeping Your Senior Dog Healthy
It’s a fact of life that our dogs will one day turn from lively, rowdy puppies to seniors. Just because your dog is getting up there in age, that doesn’t mean that they can’t live out their golden years healthy and happy. With these tips, you can keep your senior healthy so they can continue enjoying the activities they love.
Schedule Regular Checkups
Just like humans need regular checkups at the doctor, so does your senior dog. Most vets recommend senior dogs get regularly checked up at least twice a year, and even more if they have existing health conditions. As your dog ages, their risk of getting illnesses like heart disease, kidney disease, dental disease, and arthritis increases. Your pet can get an early diagnosis of any disease with a thorough vet examination. With regular checkups, you can be prepared to address any health issues before they worsen and impact the quality of your dog’s life.
Pay Attention to Your Pet’s Behavior
Unfortunately, your dog can’t tell you when something is bothering them or when they’re in pain. Instead, they often communicate what’s wrong by their behaviors. It’s important to pay attention to the way your dog is acting and if there have been any changes in their behavior recently. Changes in urinary habits, bowel movements, sleep routines and irritability can all be signifiers that your pet has developed a disease or is in pain. If you do notice changes to your pet’s behavior, it’s a good idea to consult with your vet as soon as possible.
Help Your Dog Get Around the House
Most senior dogs are affected by arthritis pain that can make it difficult for them to move around the house like they did when they were younger. Making modifications to your house like adding ramps to your stairs or a step stool for them to jump up on high places like a bed or couch can make all the difference. Remember that senior dogs can also easily slip on tiled and wooden floors, so it’s helpful to replace those floors with carpets or rugs.
Make Sure Your Pet’s Diet is Age-Appropriate
As your dog gets older, their bodies change and so do their diets. Older dogs generally get less exercise and gain weight more easily, meaning they need a diet with more portion control. On the other hand, some older dogs have a hard time keeping weight on and may need a shift in diet that is more palatable and higher calorie. Some diseases can also be controlled by changing up a dog’s diet. It’s best to consult your vet to help find the best diet for your pet’s nutritional needs.
No matter the age of your dog, with a little love and care it’s possible for them to live a long and healthy life. To maintain the quality of life of your senior dog, these tips can help keep them healthy and feeling as young as a puppy.