Having a pet dog that lives a long time can be one of the most fulfilling things in the world. Senior dogs offer all the same benefits of having a younger pet, such as companionship and protection. But they also offer more wisdom and less energy than younger dogs. This means that senior dogs often make excellent buddies to have around.
While senior dogs make great pets, they do require different care than younger dogs to keep them both healthy and happy. If you have a senior dog and you want to make sure that he continues to thrive, try keeping in mind these tips for senior dog care.
1. Go to the Vet Regularly
When your dog gets to be a senior, it’s important not to skip out on those regular vet visits. Your vet can spot health issues in your dog right away and ensure that they are treated or managed so they don’t make your dog sick or uncomfortable. When you go to the vet, you can also make sure you get important preventative treatments, like Bravecto, which can help protect your senior dog from fleas and ticks.
2. Switch to Senior Food
The nutritional needs of senior dogs are different from those of other dogs. Senior dogs often require foods that are more easily digested and that contain nutrients that help with anti-aging. Once your dog gets to be a senior, switch him to a food that is intended for senior dogs. But before you make the switch, consult with your vet about which food to choose. You vet will have helpful information about what specific foods will meet your pet’s dietary needs.
3. Consider Your Dog’s Environment
If you want to make sure that your senior dog is always healthy and comfortable, set up an environment that facilitates that. Look at your dog’s surroundings and make sure nothing’s difficult for him/her.
Does he have too many stairs to climb? Is her bed in a place where she may get cold? Does he not enjoy being outside as much as he used to?
Look around at the places that your dog spends time or sleeps. Then set up those places so that they are easy for him to access — and comfortable once he’s there.
4. Pay Attention to Physical Activity
Your dog may still love to run and play and go on hour-long walks. Be watchful that the physical activity your dog is doing is keeping those muscles and joints moving without overtaxing her. Consider shortening walks if necessary, and monitor how your dog feels after walks. There are many products available to assist you in keeping your pet mobile, which is essential for sustained good health.
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Having a senior dog can be a real treat, but it can also be a bit more challenging in terms of care. Make sure you put some thought into how you’re managing your senior dog’s health and day-to-day routine, and consult with your vet to make sure you’re taking care of his needs the best way possible. That way you can enjoy the company of a happy companion for as long as possible.