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Senior dog with his veterinarian doctor

How to Care for a Senior Dog

As dogs age, they begin to experience changes in their physical and mental abilities - just like we do. This can make them require a bit more care than the younger members of your family. Picking up on these needs and working with your dog's ageing schedule will help you keep him healthy throughout his senior years.

Keep reading to know what you should do to care for your senior doggo properly.


A dental exam should be part of every senior dog's checkup.

Older dogs are at greater risk for tooth and gum problems than younger dogs, so regular dental examinations are an important part of preventative health care for older dogs. Dental issues can lead to other health problems and even cause your fur baby pain, so it is essential to notice if your dog's breath smells bad or if he refuses food because it hurts his mouth. Plaque can build up and harden on your dog's teeth over time, causing painful dental disease that may eventually require a root canal or extraction.


Nurture your senior dog's mind as well as his body.

Just as humans need to take care of themselves physically, so do dogs. As your dog ages, he will exhibit signs of physical and mental decline. You must nurture both his body and mind so that he can live a long and healthy life with you.

Man's bestfriend on a walk with his human


"If you don't use it, you lose it" is a phrase you've probably heard. Dogs can learn new and intriguing hobbies to keep their minds challenged, much as some older adults do things like crossword puzzles and brain teasers to keep their minds fresh.

When their minds are forced to work and concentrate on achieving something, deterioration is slowed. To keep their canine minds sharp, try different toys, new forms of exercise, or even training.

Take walks together every day-even if they're just around the neighborhood block while talking about a new episode of "Game of Thrones" or whatever TV show happens to be popular right now (we recommend Stranger Things). This helps build a bond between owner and pet while getting fresh air into one's lungs and exercising muscles throughout one's entire body, including those little paws that get tired after being indoors all day long!


Make sure your dog is comfortable.

A comfortable dog is a happy dog. For the most part, there are a few things you can do to ensure your senior dog's happiness:

  • Make sure your dog has access to cushions and pillows. Dogs tend to sleep on their beds, but they sometimes find it challenging to get up from a flat surface as they get older. If this is an issue for your senior pup, place some pillows or cushions around his bed so he can use them as leverage when he needs them.

  • Consider heating and cooling options for hot or cold weather. As dog's age, their metabolism slows down significantly; therefore, they require less energy than younger dogs (and thus less food). A senior canine may not need air conditioning in the summer months if he sleeps indoors. But if you live somewhere with colder winters (or even just chilly spring nights), consider installing an electric blanket under his bedding so that he'll feel warmer at night!

Adapt your home to make it easier for your doggo to get around.

Labrador dogs with their humans

Adapting your home to accommodate your dog's needs will help him get around more efficiently and make it easier for you to care for him. Here are some things you can do:

  • Remove furniture that blocks his path, like coffee tables and bookcases.

  • Put food and water bowls where he can reach them without jumping or getting on furniture. If you have an elevated feeder, be sure nothing is blocking the way between him and the bowl when he stands up, so he doesn't have to jump on top of something else (like a chair) to eat his dinner every night !

  • Install non-slip rugs in front of doors that need extra traction (like around bathtubs) or if you have hardwood floors throughout most of your home. A mat will help protect paws from painful slips when coming in from rain or snow; this goes especially for senior dogs who may already be less agile than their younger counterparts due to arthritis or other conditions related to ageing, such as cancer.


Feeding your senior dog the right food

Feeding your senior dog the right food will go a long way toward keeping him healthy and happy for years to come. As he ages, it's essential to change the composition of his diet. A senior dog's nutritional needs change as he ages, so you'll want to make sure that what you feed him is geared toward meeting those needs.

White dog with a female dog owner holding a dish bowl

For example, seniors tend to have more problems with their teeth than younger dogs do. Because of this, they may not be able to eat some types of kibble or other hard treats without getting sick or hurting themselves trying too hard (and thus developing bad habits). 

You could also try Dr Shiba's Jolly Joints. It supports your dog's hips and joints with 100% natural ingredients. It has pre-and probiotics to help your furry family member become a goofier and carefree pup at home and outdoors. 


With the right type and amount of exercise, your ageing dog can stay agile and alert.

If you're lucky enough to have a senior dog, they may be slower and less active than they used to be, but that doesn't mean they can't stay healthy. Regular exercise is crucial for the health of your older dog. Your ageing dog can remain agile and alert with the right type and amount of activity.


Conclusion

The desire to care for our pets never stops, even when they get old or sick. No matter how old your dog gets and what kind of health issues they may have, it's essential to stay on top of what you can do to keep them healthy.

That means regular vet visits, plenty of exercise and attention, and a balanced diet with as much variety as possible. It also means knowing when to consult a vet about medications or special equipment (a senior dog will often need at least one type of prescription medication to help manage pain or other symptoms). 

Monitor their weight closely; many seniors lose muscle mass as they age, so maintaining a good activity level is important for keeping their bodies strong enough to carry around excess pounds without causing too much strain on bones or muscles.

The good news is that many of the things you can do to care for a young dog will also work on an older one. There are a few things to consider when caring for a senior pooch. Simply put, your dog may need more frequent health checkups and dental cleanings as it gets older. It may also need a different diet, and staying active should be encouraged as much as possible.

The best thing you can do is educate yourself and take the time to learn all that you can about caring for a senior dog. Your dog will likely have a longer, healthier, and happier life if you do this.

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