Are you the proud owner of a senior pup? Older dogs tend to be wiser and more settled than their younger counterparts, giving their owners love and companionship without some of the training concerns that go along with puppyhood. Keeping an older dog comfortable, healthy, and happy can be a bit challenging, but thankfully, there are ample resources available to help.
The Underlying Worry
If you own an older dog or are considering taking one under your wing, it’s likely that lingering in the back of your mind is the same worry that goes through all owners of senior pets: the end. Eventually, we all have to say a final farewell to our beloved companions. It’s important not to let that inhibit your enjoyment of your furry family member. Rather than focusing on the inevitable, make it a point to savor the here and now.
Supplements for Health and Wellness
Just like people, dogs often experience a general decline in health as they age. For example, their mobility may wane, their energy levels may drop, and they might have issues with digestion. As Science-Based Medicine points out, there are many supplements out there for treating specific issues. There is glucosamine for joint support, probiotics to improve digestion, and herbs and vitamins for a wide variety of health concerns.
Instead of trying to accumulate a supplement for each possible issue, another way to help your pooch is to use CBD oil. CBD oil appears to be effective for a variety of health-related troubles, such as settling your dog’s nerves during thunderstorms, reducing general inflammation, and helping get skin issues under control. Discuss any treatments you’re considering with your veterinarian before you begin.
When You Need to Lend a Hand
Older dogs often experience a loss of mobility. Even if they are healthy, there can be a reduction in strength, arthritis may develop, or he might experience issues with balance. There are a number of assistive devices you can use to help your pooch remain independent when these issues set in. For instance, pet stairs or ramps can help your dog climb into the car or join you on the sofa. A stroller can keep little dogs coming along to the park, and there are lift harnesses for you to help hoist your pooch into the car or onto the bed.
Your dog may also begin to make messes in the house as they age. You’ll want to address these accidents as quickly as possible to help avoid stains and lingering odors. In addition to good dog-safe cleaners, you may also want to schedule an appointment with professional carpet cleaners to take care of the more serious issues.
Verbal Signs of Pain
It’s important to know when your senior dog is in pain so that his symptoms are treated right away. He could be experiencing an underlying condition, such as arthritis, a urinary infection, or an illness. While limping, squinting, and a hunched-over posture are visible signs, dogs can express pain through sounds, too. Listen for yelping, howling, whining, or whimpering. If your dog makes these sounds consistently or when touched, get him checked out by a vet.
More of Him to Love?
One important way to help your aging dog is to ensure you keep him at a healthy weight. Being too heavy can result in wear and tear on your dog’s joints and aggravate issues such as arthritis, and just like humans, sometimes dogs become more sedentary with age and pack on pounds. Basically, you want to be able to feel your dog’s ribs under a light layer of flesh. Compare your dog’s weight with Pet Care Rx’s chart to get an idea of whether you need to make adjustments in your dog’s diet or activity level.
You Are What You Eat
The old expression applies to your pooch just as well as to people. It’s important to feed your dog a balanced diet designed specifically for his age group and activity level. There is a wide variety of senior dog foods, such as high-fiber choices, options with supplements included, foods that cater to dogs who aren’t active, and selections that help with allergies. Some senior dogs require prescription dog foods. If your vet recommends a prescription diet for your dog to help control a health condition, it’s important to stick to that diet.
When it comes to helping your senior dog relish every moment, you have resources available. There are pet doctors, supplements, devices, and nutritious diets to help keep your pooch in top form. With a few good choices, your canine companion can continue to enjoy all that life has to offer.
Thanks to Nick Burton at https://ourbestdoggo.com/ for this contribution