All puppies - with seemingly boundless energy in their younger years - eventually grow up to be senior dogs who require assistance to simply get comfortable and through their day to day activities—a sentiment that's hard to remember when they are chewing up our best shoes and running circles in the backyard.
Our pups become such an integral part of the family- shouldn't we treat them as special as they are even in their old age?
Here are our top 5 ways to care for your senior dog in their golden years, keeping their health and happiness a top priority!
How to Comfort an Older Dog
1. Keep old dogs active with exercise and play
Just like humans, dogs need consistent activity to stay happy and healthy. Even though your senior pup might be moving slower, exercise is good for their mind, body, and soul!
Gentle, low impact walks around the block are perfect for an older pup with joint concerns. Swimming is also a great option- just make sure they wear a life jacket for an added layer of safety.
While exercise and play are important, closely monitor your older dog while they are engaging in physical activity. Overdoing it could cause your senior pup injury so it's something to keep a sharp eye on.
Get started with our quiz to find supplements to support an active senior pup!
2. Make vet visits an annual routine
We get it. Life gets busy and it's easy to get behind on those vet visits. But, keeping a close eye on your senior dog and their health can make a big difference.
Staying current on vaccinations and wellness checks is key for aging pups. If you notice any changes in mood, behavior, eating habits or even weight loss or gain it's always best to consult with your veterinarian. Don't just attribute it to old age- these could be signs of other issues that may need closer attention.
Grooming is also something to keep in mind! As our pups age, their skin can get dry. Prioritize brushing out your dogs coat and trimming their nails more regularly. A thorough rub down to check for lumps and bumps is also a good preventative measure to catch issues before they become more serious. As our dogs age, extra attention and awareness towards potential "red flags" can make a world of difference.
3. Socialize your old dog with both younger and older pups
Hey, we all like the occasional night out with friends too, right? Our pups are no different!
No matter their age, doggos are naturally pack animals. Setting up playdates or heading out to the dog park can work wonders for any senior dog.
Doggy daycare is another way to help keep your pup socially engaged with all day supervision. They will have a fun day out of the house and you will be worry free knowing they are staying young at heart.
4. Show senior dogs you care with a little extra TLC
A little TLC never hurt anybody. These little "extras" can go a long way for senior dogs.
Think about investing in a high quality orthopedic dog bed, perfect for supporting their joints and hips as they slow down.
Have hardwood floors? Lay down carpets or rugs to prevent slips and falls that could cause injury. Even something as simple as a soft spot to cuddle up or a quiet place to decompress can do wonders for your senior pup.
It's time to be extra careful when it comes to stairs and high jumps in and out of the car. If you notice your senior dog becoming timid with these everyday obstacles, consider buying a ramp for your car or installing a ramp outside your door or backyard deck. Ramps allow older dogs to maintain their independence without the anxiety of a fall. Ramps can also be a safer option for dogs and dog parents alike!
5. Fill in their health gaps with supplemental care
As dogs get older, certain things don't work quite like they used to. Kidney and Bladder formula, for example, is the perfect supplement to add to a senior dogs daily routine. This formula contains ingredients that support urinary and digestive health- something senior dogs could use a little help with!
Another great option for older dogs is a Hip and Joint supplement. This soft chew typically helps to naturally restore joint and bone health, help with mobility improvements and provide joint pain relief. Taking the appropriate dosage for your dog's weight is a key factor in getting the maximum benefits. Make sure to look at the active ingredients for each supplement you choose to be sure it's the perfect fit for your special pup.
To learn more about finding the right supplement for your dog- take the quiz for recommendations that are personalized to your dogs specific needs. You can also learn more about what ingredients are included, dosage instructions, and how each ingredient makes an impact on your dog's health.
There are many ways to make sure your older dog stays comfortable later in their life. After all the years of loyalty they give us, it's only fair to give that love back. Being patient with a slower moving canine companion can be hard, but more personalized attention is very important as they continue to age. Providing just one extra layer of care can make a big difference in the longevity and health of your senior dog! Get out there and find what works best for you and your best buddy.