Pet Owner’s Guide to Senior Dog Care

a golden retriever on a man's shoulderAfter puppyhood, most dogs don’t require much in vet care other than the annual vaccines and shots. However, as your dog ages, additional measures will need to be taken to ensure he stays happy and healthy. These additional measures may be a bit more involved but maintaining the quality of life of your beloved pet and having him around longer is well worth it. Here are some additional pet care measures you need to learn as you enter this next stage in your dog’s life.

Customize Nutritional Needs

Most aging dogs develop health problems that require specialized nutritional approaches. We humans consider food as our medicine and the same holds true for our pets. Common health concerns that need to be managed with nutrition include heart, kidney and liver diseases. If your furry best friend is diagnosed with common heart problems like Enlarged Heart, switch his diet to a heart-healthy dog food that supports cardiovascular function fortified with omega three fatty acids. If Chronic Kidney failure is your pet’s problem, change his dog food to a low protein dog food that is also low in phosphorous to preserve kidney function.

Customize Exercise Needs

Most senior dogs may be happy to take extended naps. However, you can keep them around longer if you mandate regular exercise that is appropriate for their current life stage. Check with your vet if your dog is in his best weight and work together towards shedding any extra kilos A chubby pet may be cute but like us humans, extra fat will not do them any favors. Extra weight can present additional problems like arthritis pain so keeping them in shape will improve their quality of life. Taking your pet for leisurely walks will also help keep their lymphatic system flowing and keep their immune system active.

Customize Environment

Check your home and the common areas your dog frequents. Review if there are any signs of difficulties navigating around the surroundings. As dogs ages, their sensory tools don’t work as well as they used to so they may require additional support. Make access to food easier for him. Allow easy access to potty areas as well.

Caring for senior dogs will require changes in your routine compared to how their regular care was when they were younger. But the unconditional love and companionship they have provided have enriched your life and giving them this extra TLC is well worth it. Try these upgrades in their care to ensure they stay happy and healthy.