Is your health important to you? You have a salad at least once a month, right? Well, we hope your Senior dog’s health is important to you too. Tips are great. A bullet point system that quickly and efficiently helps direct your path. This article will inspire you to dial into your aging K-9’s habits, inform you of just the right bed to aid in supporting him, and even a few tricks to deal with possible diseases.
First of all, you know your dog is nearing senior-hood if he’s at least 5 years old. Those determining factors differ by dog breed, so research your specific pet to understand what to expect and when.
1. Good, & The Right Amount, Food
Wet or dry, damp or dry…this is a really unimportant question. What is IN that damp or dry food, is what really matters. There is no magical ONE answer for the right ingredient, but depending on what YOUR specific dog needs, will depend on what type of food you should buy.
For instance, if your dog is suffering from any of the following, you would respond likewise: arthritic pain=increase glucose for relief, kidney problems=decrease protein, constipation=more fiber. If your dog doesn’t have anyone specific ailment, try to at least buy food with this statement somewhere on the packaging, “AAFCO “complete and balanced” label.” Doing so will ensure that the food is manufactured according to said health guidelines.
Once you have the right food, don’t overfeed your pet. Research how much he should eat, and only offer that given amount, split twice a day. An overweight dog will suffer, probably mentally as well as physically.
2. Proper Exercise
Scooping up your dog to give him a hug doesn’t count as arm reps for you…just as taking him outside to relieve himself doesn’t count as a walk. Dogs need 30 minutes, to 2 hours, exercise daily. Discipline is doing what needs to be done, even if you don’t want to do it.
Hook on that leash, strap on some waterproof walking shoes, and get outside! Don’t be afraid of winter. That’s why beanie hats, hot hands packets, and wool socks were invented. Commit to be fit!
3. Proper Sleeping Quarters
My dog snores. A lot. So I know he is sleeping well, and on an orthopedic dog bed I know that he is enjoying his time and getting the rest he needs.
It comes in all sizes, has a memory foam core that is both supportive and comfortable, and even has a 12-month manufacturer warranty. Help your dog age peacefully, with as little pain as possible. The right bed can do that for him.
4. Clean Your Dog Regularly (Including Their Teeth!)
In the shower/bath, there is probably a loofah and a razor involved, once out a brush through your hair, even a brush through your mouth. You take care of yourself thoroughly, so do the same for your dog.
Cleaning your dog more frequently will provide for you the opportunity to observe/regularly feel his body, scavenging for any abnormalities. Find it fast, fix it more quickly! Cancer steals the spotlight on how dogs die most. And I know reaching inside a dog’s mouth can be terrifying, but he’ll totally appreciate the clean, fresh feeling. If you’re too scared, pay a vet to do this work- the result will make your pet happier and healthier!
5. Prevent Infections With Proper Bug Repellents
Senior dogs have weakened immune systems. They’re weak and need protection. Whether you offer your dog a pill slathered in peanut butter, some topical ointment, or do more natural preventative measures (use a flea comb regularly to catch fleas, wash their bed frequently, vacuum regularly, bathe your pet), your dog will appreciate the absence of needing to scratch.
Not to mention a deer tick can cause your dog lime disease, which may, in turn, cause him to be lame or have kidney failure.
6. Vet Exams, Twice Yearly
Now that you know you have a senior aged dog, it is time to accept your role as Informant. We’re talking full senses on alert. What do you see, hear, smell?, feel, and maybe even that X-factor? Pen down all you’ve realized about your dog, and take the notes to the vet.
You are speaking for your pet, communicating possible clues to problems that need to be resolved. Vet’s test urine, blood and even take x-rays if necessary, to try to help understand your dogs’ needs.
7. Accepting the Trial & How to Deal
Many things can go wrong with one’s health. A dogs body is a complex system. Have you been feeling like your dog is being stubborn and disrespectful…well, maybe he is just becoming hard of hearing. Try teaching him some signs so you can find a new way to communicate.
Flickering the lights too might help him understand what you may be trying to say…like get in your crate, it’s time for bed. Is Scruffy bumping into walls, and maybe trying to lick his food (thinking it’s water)? Perhaps his vision is diminishing.
Seeing all black can be a terrifying thing, and some dogs howl non-stop. Hold him, console him, then offer him a few new fun toys that call to his other senses. Like filling a toy with food (he can smell that across the room), letting him search out a scented toy, or even accidentally find a toy that makes a squeaking sound.
If cancer is the label they stamp into your dogs’ file, don’t despair. Surgeons offer dogs surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.
8. Safe-Proof Your Home
No matter what age your dog, you’ll want to provide him with the safest environment possible. Continue to keep dangerous chemicals and small bite-size objects off the floor and out of reach. Also, relocating your dog, so he doesn’t have to use the stairs will help prevent him from accidents and stressing out his old bones.
9. Give Your Pooch Lots Of Love & Attention
A Healthy Dog is a happy dog. Even if he doesn’t express his enthusiasm about life like he used to, he still needs affection and positive affirmations. Make your dog happy, you know what he likes.
Now that you know more about how to help your senior dog DO what you know. Make yourself small goals if necessary. And though this tip is last on the list, it is the most important element to remember to keep your senior dog happy and healthy!