As your dog ages, their needs will change. Some of these changes may be obvious, while others may be less so. But no matter what stage your dog is in, it’s important to understand the changes that are happening and what you need to do to keep your dog happy and healthy. If you have an elderly dog, it’s a good idea to take some time to understand their needs and how to take care of them in the future. This article will help you understand what you need to know when it comes to caring for your elderly dog.
Keep Them Active With Regular Exercise
One of the best ways to care for your elderly dog is with regular exercise. The older a person gets, the less active they become, and this can be true for dogs as well. But it’s important that you keep your dog active, so they don’t get stiff. There are many ways to do this: from taking them on walks to letting them play in the backyard or even just playing fetch in the house.
Invest In A Heated Bed
There are a few things you can invest in to make your dog’s life easier as they get older. One of the most important is a heated bed. As dog’s age, their joints become stiffer, and it becomes more difficult for them to stay warm. A heated bed will keep them warm throughout the night, help ease their stiff joints, and will even turn off after they fall asleep so that they don’t overheat.
Consider Feeding Them Bone Broth
As your dog ages, they may have a lower stomach acidity. This means that their ability to digest food will decrease, and they may not be able to absorb nutrients like they could in the past. Consider feeding them bone broth to ensure that they’re getting all of the vitamins and minerals that they need. Additionally, there are many benefits to feeding this to your dog, and you can learn more in this guide about bone broth for dogs.
Take Them For Regular Vet Checkups
One of the most important things you can do for your elderly dog is to take them for regular vet checkups. As your dog ages, their risk of developing health-related problems will increase. As a result, it’s crucial to keep an eye out for any signs that something may be wrong. This means that regular vet visits are essential because they give your vet the chance to screen for any potential health risks. If your vet does find a problem, they can help manage it before it becomes more serious and expensive to treat.
Maintain Their Oral Health
As your dog’s teeth and gums start to diminish, there’s a risk of oral health issues. Are they eating less? Have they been drooling more? If so, it could be a sign of dental problems that need veterinarian attention. Make sure you’re brushing your dog’s teeth regularly, or at least as often as you can, and use dental treats in between brushing to keep plaque build-up to a minimum. This will help remove plaque and reduce the risk of any oral health concerns. You should also be brushing their teeth with special toothpaste meant for dogs. Be sure you talk to your vet about what toothpaste to use if they recommend something different than what you find on the shelf.
Keep Their Brains Sharp With Puzzle Toys
As your dog ages, their neurological system will change too. To help keep their brain sharp, it’s a good idea to give them puzzle toys on a regular basis. Puzzle toys come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but they all require your dog to do some sort of activity in order to get the treat inside of them. By giving your dog puzzle toys consistently over time, you’ll be keeping their brain sharp and reducing the chance of cognitive decline.
Increase How Often Your Groom Them
One of the most significant changes in caring for an elderly dog is how often you should groom them. As your dog ages, their skin becomes thinner and more delicate. This means that it’s important to groom them more often with a brush or a comb to help keep their shedding under control. Grooming also helps remove any dead skin on their bodies that can cause irritation or infection.
Speak To Your Vet About Joint Care
As your dog gets older, it may not be able to walk as well or keep up with the same level of activity. That’s OK, but you will need to take some steps to make sure your dog can still enjoy a comfortable life. Speak to your vet about joint care like glucosamine and chondroitin supplements. These are great for older dogs because they help relieve the pressure and pain in their joints, so they are able to move more freely. You should also speak to your pet about supplements for other health concerns that may arise in their old age, such as bladder control.
Get Them Pet Stairs
One of the most important things you need to know about caring for an elderly dog is that they are more at risk of injuries and pain. A pet’s joints, bones, and tissue can wear down over time, which leads to a decreased range of movement. But if your dog has trouble climbing stairs or getting on the sofa with the rest of the family, then it’s time to think about investing in a set of pet stairs. Some people may not think that getting something like this is necessary for their older dog, but this could be one of the best investments you make for your pup. Elderly dogs have difficulties moving around as easily as they once did, so having stairs in place can help them avoid falls and injuries as they try to get on the couch or bed.
Caring for an elderly dog can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. As your pup ages, their needs will change, and you might need to make some adjustments to their lifestyle. Some of the things you’ll need to do are: get a heated bed, take them for regular vet visits, groom them more often, buy them puzzle toys, speak to your vet about joint care, and get pet stairs. Some of these changes are anticipated, but others might catch you by surprise. Be prepared for anything and everything so that your pup can enjoy life to the fullest.