It can be sad to watch your once-bouncy pup devolve into a senior dog—complete with the aches and pains that accompany old age. But just because your canine companion is a little older, it doesn’t mean you have to stop everything they once did as puppies. In fact, this article covers a brief list of the things you should be doing to keep your senior dog happy, healthy, and energetic for as long as possible.
Take Note of Handicaps and Accommodate Comforts as Necessary
As dogs get older, it gets harder for them to hide their discomforts and handicaps. For instance, an elderly pup might have a harder time jumping onto a couch or bed. They might wince when they make the leap, which would lead one to believe that they struggle with joint issues—or perhaps even arthritis.
Take note, bring it up to your vet, and see what you can do to make your dog more comfortable in these later years of their life.
Health in Senior Dogs Can Plummet Fast—Double Down on Vet Visits
Whereas most pups are recommended for vet visits on an annual or semi-annual basis, elderly dogs are suggested for vet visits every 1-3 months. When dogs get older, it seems like their health takes a sharp plummet. It all happens at once and very quickly, so you should double down on those vet visits to ensure nothing is missed.
You could also research the benefits of chiropractic care for older dogs to help with pain management as they develop age-related ailments, like arthritis.
Maintain a Healthy, Nutritious Diet with a Few Indulgences for the Sake of Their Best Life
Older dogs have a nutritious, healthy diet all their own. Brand dog foods often have “elderly” or “mature” written on the labels, making it easier for you to feed your pup a nutrient-rich diet designed specifically for them.
Tip: Give into indulgences for your canine companion sometimes. They’ve lived long enough to deserve that fast food cheeseburger every once in a while.
Continue to Socialize Your Pup—Friends, even the Canine Variety, are Important
Most elderly dogs have no interest in running and playing like they once did. However, they still need companionship outside of their human family. So, take your pup to see his/her friends once or twice a week. Socialization between your dog and others will keep them from getting aggressive or cantankerous in their old age.