Depending on the breed, you'll know if your dog is officially a senior once they celebrate a certain birthday. For larger breeds, this is typically around 7 years old, whereas small dogs become seniors around 11 years old. When your dog reaches this point, you'll notice subtle changes and slowed behavior, much like humans. Like people, aging dogs can experience several challenges. Many share the same symptoms as older adults, such as weight gain, diminished hearing and vision, poor mobility, and energy loss. Assuming your aging dog remains healthy, there are ways to care for them to ensure they stay happy and independent. This blog will help you take care of your senior dog's health with some of our best tips.
Tips for Maintaining Your Senior Dog's Health
Set Up Semi-Annual Vet Visits: Vet visits are so incredibly important for your pet's health - not just in their senior days, but throughout their whole life! Animals need annual checks and examinations at least once per year just like humans do - and sometimes even more often depending how old (or young) the animal is. Taking them to the vet will help to catch things early before problems arise, such as high blood pressure (which can lead into kidney failure eventually if left untreated) or skin conditions caused by poor hygiene. From your dog's ears, eyes, heart, and more, the vet will check everything to ensure your furry friend is happy and healthy.
Stick to a Healthy Diet: This point is self-explanatory! A healthy lifestyle is important for both humans and animals. Focusing on your dog's nutrition will not only make them more active, but also reduce inflammation. Feeding them the right kind of food (aka healthy food) can help them live a longer, healthier life - and on top of that, make their coat more shiny! (What dog wouldn't love a shiny coat!?) If you're constantly feeding your dog tons of processed foods that are filled with artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, it could lead to significant health problems down the line. So, we recommend an organic diet! We offer organic dog treats that are both healthy and delicious! Shop now on our website!
Introduce Supplements as Guided by Your Vet: The older your dog gets, the more likely it is that they'll experience some health problems. As they age, the joints in their bodies may become less flexible and muscles may start to lose strength. That's why we recommend giving them supplements! Supplements can help with everything from maintaining your dog's weight to fighting off infections. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog supplements!
Keep an Eye Out for Subtle Signs of Discomfort: Any time your senior dog shows any sign of discomfort, it's important to closely pay attention. Your first step should be to call your vet and depending on how serious their discomfort is, you may have to schedule a vet appointment. It's always better to be safe than sorry, so bring them in to ensure you're doing everything you can to keep them happy, healthy, and comfortable!
Monitor Your Dog's Activity Levels: Senior dogs tend to be much less active than younger dogs - (for obvious reasons). So, this is something that should be expected. However, when it gets to the point where they don't have energy to get up to go to the bathroom, or even walk over to their water bowl, we recommend speaking to their vet for ways to help them feel as comfortable as possible and make their everyday exercise more simple.
Play Some Brain Games: Keeping your dog mentally engaged is a fun activity for you both to do together. With the help of brain games, you can keep your senior dog's mind active and sharp. Some good options for brain games include hide-and seek around the house with some treats hidden around them, tug o' war with one of their favorite toys, etc!
Go For Adventures: Just because your dog is in their senior years, doesn't mean they wouldn't enjoy going on a little adventure with you! Depending on their health and energy level, it could be a long walk at the beach, or just a short walk down the block! Wherever you go, it'll be a fun adventure for you and your furry friend. Making memories is what counts!
Add in More Grooming Sessions: Grooming your senior dog is just as important for their well-being and happiness, if not more so than with younger pooches. They may have some health conditions that need regular care such as skin problems caused by allergies, an unbrushed coat which can lead to tangles, tear stains from aging eyesight, etc. Even if you yourself gives them bi-weekly baths, they'll greatly appreciate it and feel good!
Don't Neglect Dental Care: Dental care is super important. Senior dogs can experience many different dental problems, including gum disease and tooth loss. So, when bringing them to the vet, always get their teeth checked and get advice on how you can help them at home! It can be hard to brush their teeth yourself, but there are other ways to assist.
Make Some Home Updates: Ensuring that your dog is comfortable is a priority! Whether you need to move their bed in a spot that has easier access to get to, or put more water bowls around the house for them, there's so much you can do!
Conclusion of Tips for Maintaining Your Senior Dog's Health
In conclusion, remember to take your dog for more frequent check-ups with the vet to catch any potential health problems earlier and eliminate them in the beginning. If you are a pet owner, you must do your part to ensure that your dog is as happy and healthy as possible. Diet plays a vital role in making your furry friend healthy, so try to ensure you make your senior dog's food healthy by including healthy dog treats!
Here at Lord Jameson, we offer a range of healthy dog treats devoid of artificial ingredients. We have flavors that include strawberries, sweet potatoes, beets, turmeric, blueberries, and other all-natural ingredients. Explore our wide range of healthy dog treats and start spoiling your dog - regardless of their age or breed!