It might seem like only a few years since you held that little puppy in your arms, but now your beloved dog has lost a little spring in his steps and might need a bit more care. Now it’s your turn to pay attention to your loyal companion who sees you as the center of his world.
Tailor Your Dog’s Meals
Senior dogs can have conditions that require special diets. If your dog has kidney problems, restricted protein and sodium levels in his food can be a big help. High-quality food is essential in giving your dog the proper nutrition for his age and whatever conditions he has. Certain dog breeds can be more prone to certain maladies and need very strict diets. Consult your local vet on the optimal diet for your dog, but make sure that you’re also giving your dog the right amount of food. Like humans, overweight dogs are more likely to develop diabetes, heart diseases, and even cancer.
Care for Those Canines
In this case, your dog’s teeth. Brush your dog’s teeth with brushes and toothpaste specifically for dogs. Dental problems can restrict your dog from eating and cause extreme discomfort or pain. Bacteria that accumulates because of dental issues or a lack of hygiene can enter the bloodstream and damage your dog’s kidneys, lungs, and heart. Have your dog’s teeth cleaned when you visit the veterinarian and provide your dog with chew toys that are specifically made to massage their gums and clean their teeth.
Get a Bit of Sunlight
Take your dog for a walk. A senior dog might not be as active, but a little bit of sunshine and exercise will do him a lot of good. Exercise keeps your dog’s weight in check and preserves the strength of his muscles. While running might not be ideal, walking your usual route won’t be a problem. Make sure to keep an eye on your dog and note the distances when it appears tired or winded and adjust your course accordingly.
Provide a Good Bed
Even dogs get tired as they grow old. Buy your dog a special bed (if he doesn’t already sleep in yours) to make him sleep more comfortably. Certain dogs might need a little head support, so a pillow might be necessary. Towels and blankets can substitute for a bed if your dog sleeps outside of the room. An older dog is more prone to arthritis so make sure that your dog doesn’t get too cold wherever he sleeps.
Take Regular Trips to the Vet
As your dog ages, regular trips to the vet becomes essential. Vets can screen for diseases and catch them before they become dangerous or prevent their onset entirely. A vet can guide you on how to better care for your dog, especially if it is already suffering from certain conditions. Consulting with a vet will also give you the right information regarding diet and whatever special needs your dog might have.
A senior dog might not be as spry as he once was, but the loyalty and love that he has for his master are ever unchanging. As your dog reaches the twilight of his life, it’s time to give him the love and care that he deserves.
former owner of a commercial landscaping service business. Retired at the age of 44 after selling his business. Tony spends his free time reading the paper and watching house flipping and real estate shows on the FYI Channel.