Pets are full of energy when they’re younger. They will happily run around the house for hours without getting tired.
As dogs and cats age, their energy levels often decrease and they tend to prefer a quieter, more relaxed life. Their needs and preferences change and we must do our best to accommodate them as their trusted owners.
Keeping your dog healthy becomes even more important when they reach their senior years. As a result, they might need to eat a different diet to avoid dietary issues, take regular medications for arthritis, or exercise less to prevent fatigue.
Your vet will be able to provide the best individualized advice for your pet so it’s always a good idea to chat with them if you’re unsure how best to look after your aging pet.
Every animal is unique and it’s important to consider what your furry friends need when you’re looking after them. However, there are some general tips that apply to every senior dog when it comes to staying healthy.
In this article, we’re going to give you some important things that you can do to keep your older pet happy and healthy. Whether you’re keeping your dog at home or you plan on taking your dog on vacation, keep these tips in mind.
Find the Right Dog Food
As dog’s age, their nutritional needs can change. Your dog might have loved a certain brand of food when they were a pup but they might now thrive on a completely different type of dog food.
Finding the right food for you dog is important so that they can stay as healthy as possible. Older dogs need a nutritious diet that supports their muscles, joints, and cognitive function. Otherwise, they are at an increased risk of developing age-related conditions, such as arthritis, dementia, and cancer.
There is a wide variety of different dog brands out there so you might take a few months to find the best option for your pet. You can try different combinations of food if you suspect your dog will prefer a more varied diet but be careful not to overfeed your pet.
You can use a UK dog food delivery service to make ordering the right foods easier. You can get top-quality dog food products delivered to your door regularly so that you never run out.
Chat with your vet if you aren’t sure where to start when it comes to finding the best dog food for your furry friend. Some dog breeds thrive on a specific diet and if your dog has been diagnosed with a long term medical condition, they might need to follow certain dietary restrictions to avoid the problem from getting any worse.
Regardless of the diet that your dog needs, focus on getting high-quality food. Avoid going for the cheapest option if your dog doesn’t seem to enjoy eating this brand of food, and consider their overall nutrient intake.
Don’t Let Your Dog Get Overweight
Obesity is just as unhealthy for dogs as it is for humans. It can increase the risk of a range of problems in your pet, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer. An aging dog is already at an increased risk of each of these health conditions and being overweight only accelerates the risk.
As much as you want to treat your pet and let them indulge in their favorite treats every day, it’s important not to overfeed them. Stick to three meals a day with just one or two small treats in between, and try not to give in to the puppy dog eyes when your pet is begging for extra food!
Avoid feeding them scraps at the table as this only encourages them to continue begging when you are eating dinner with your family or friends. Instead, give them the leftovers from your dinner if you have spare cuts of meat.
Part of maintaining a healthy weight is regular exercise. Alongside eating a nutritious diet, your senior dog needs to exercise every day to stay healthy and prevent obesity.
Exercise is also important for boosting your dog’s mental health. It causes the release of endorphins in your dog’s brain and if you’re taking your dog to the park, it exposes them to fresh air, sunlight, and other animals that they can interact with.
Older dogs usually can’t run around like they once did but that doesn’t mean they can’t still enjoy a trip to the park. Take a gentle walk outside with them and if it’s safe to do so, let them off the lead so they can explore the area.
If your dog starts getting tired at any point during the walk, take a breather and wait for him or her to re-catch their breath. Avoid overexerting your pet as this can make them lethargic and fatigued.
Be Patient and Treat Your Dog With Love
As your dog ages, they will become slower at everything. They will walk, eat, and move around much more slowly than they once did, and this might get frustrating at times.
As the owner of a senior dog, you will need to spend more time with them and your general tasks, like walking and feeding, will take longer for you to complete. For example, it might take much longer for your dog to walk around the block and, as a result, your daily walks extend into your working day even more than before.
Aging is a process that affects every part of your dog’s body and they might also suffer from health conditions that contribute to their slowness. Many older dogs develop arthritis, which causes painful joints, and this often causes them to walk more slowly and stiffly.
It’s important to be patient with your furry companion and understand that they aren’t doing anything wrong. Congratulate your pet when you get round the block or when they finish their meals to show them some love. Give them a stroke and shower them with kisses to display your gratitude and appreciation for them.
Thank you for reading.