Witnessing your dog reach seniorhood is no less than a blessing. However, it can be challenging for a pet owner to see the dog growing slow and weak.
You would be surprised to know that dogs of large breed reach seniorhood earlier than small breeds of dogs. Needless to say, when your dog crosses a certain age, it doesn’t mean their health will start deteriorating overnight. As humans, with dogs too, aging is a gradual process that begins with complex physical and behavioral changes. By taking good care of your aging dog from the get-go, you make growing old a natural and comfortable process for your pet. As a result, your pet lives a healthy and active life, regardless of age and breed.
Here are some essential tips that every pet owner should know to keep their elderly dogs healthy and happy when they face some challenges during their old age.
1. Set up Vet Visits at Regular Intervals
Now is the time to increase your dog’s visit to a vet from once to twice a year. This recommendation directly comes from the AAHA (America Animal Hospital Association), which explains that following this simple suggestion will help create a baseline for your pet’s health and ensure that “clinically hidden abnormalities” get found sooner than later.
2. Keep Your Pet on a Healthy Diet
It doesn’t matter if you own a large breed dog or a small breed dog. Keeping them on a healthy diet, especially when they are aging, is vital to their health. Naturally, the largest and strongest dog breeds need more food as compared to small breed dogs. Therefore, depending on which breed of dog you own, you can make changes to their diet. However, the trick is to make sure they are eating healthy food, which helps them stay fit even in old age. Food rich in calories can lead to weight gain and inflammation, both of which can cause problems for your dog in old age. For this reason, avoid giving your dogs food that has excessive amounts of calories. Instead, please provide them with a healthy and balanced diet.
3. Go Out on an Adventure
Spending quality time with your dog becomes essential as they get older. Enjoy every moment that you spend with your dog – and help them experience new sights, sounds, smells, and places to explore – by taking them out on everyday adventures. Get in your car and investigate a nearby forest preserve, park, or beach that you haven’t visited before together. Short but unforgettable experiences like these will brighten your as well as your pet’s days.
4. Play Brain Games
For the overall well-being of your dog, mental activity is just as essential as physical activity. It helps keep your dog’s brain sharp which further makes them a great addition to your family. Play mentally stimulating games like hide-and-seek, puzzles, and treasure (treat) hunt around the house to keep things interesting for your dog. These activities of the mind play a significant role in keeping your dog fit. Moreover, these activities will be a lot of fun for your dog as well as for you.
When you have a pet, it becomes crucial that you provide them all the love and care they deserve. And when you have an aging dog, it becomes even more critical. The tips mentioned above will help you achieve that understanding with your dog. Make sure you follow them and provide your dog with the benefit of a healthy and happy life in old age.