As dogs get older, much like humans, their bodies start to change. With an older body, your canine friend may no longer be able to go on long neighborhood walks or play fetch at the park. However, even as your dog ages, they still deserve to live a high-quality life. Read more about how to care for an aging dog.
Adapt Exercise To Fit Their Needs
In your dog’s younger years, you may have struggled to keep up with their high energy. Now, it seems, they struggle to keep up with you. Lower energy doesn’t necessarily mean your pet has to eliminate all types of physical activity. These activities can be adapted to fit their current needs.
Taking your pup on long daily walks or runs is likely no longer practical for your aging furry friend. Instead, reducing both intensity and duration of physical activity is healthier for your older pup. Take them on shorter walks four to five times a week and make sure the terrain is flat and not icy.
It is also important to be patient and let your pet take their time during walks. Rushing your pet or making them go at a speed that isn’t appropriate for them can lead to injury. Additionally, to promote healthy cardiovascular and joint function, look to CBD oil for dogs.
Pick the Right Diet
Your pet’s diet also needs adjustments as they age. Unfortunately, you may not be able to feed your pet those fun treats or table scraps like you used to. It is a great deal harder for older dogs to work off those fatty treats due to less activity and a slower metabolism. In addition, certain types of food can be rougher on their digestive system and more difficult to chew.
Consult first with your vet on the best food for your older pet. Since your vet knows and understands your dog’s overall health, they can recommend a diet that is best suited to them.
Recommendations by your vet may include a low-fat and low calories diet to prevent weight gain. They may also suggest adding foods high in dietary fiber to help with digestion. Or, if your pup is dealing with a chronic condition, they may suggest feeding them a special type of dog food.
Modify Your Home and Furniture
To increase your dog’s safety and comfort, make small changes and adaptations to your home. There is a good chance your furry friend can no longer jump onto your bed or couch. For better access to these places, purchase a small ramp or set of stairs.
Also, consider putting rugs or carpeting on hardwood floors to prevent them from slipping. For animals with poor vision, block off stairs and put soft padding on hard edges or furniture that is eye level to your dog.
Placing food and water bowls in easy to reach places for your pet is also important. Along with placing them in convenient places, set up multiple food and water locations. For animals that struggle to bend over to eat and drink, prop up their dishes with small boxes.
Schedule Regular Vet Visits
Scheduling regular vet visits are even more important when your pet is in its golden years. Two yearly checks up are recommended for older dogs. These regular vet visits are recommended due to older animals’ weaker immune systems. With a weaker immune system, animals become more susceptible to various illnesses. However, when these illnesses are caught early, they are easier to treat.
Dental care is also important for your pet’s health. You can take care of your pet’s teeth by brushing them regularly or feeding them special dental treats. In addition, scheduling yearly teeth cleanings with your vet is another good way to take care of their dental health.
As a pet gets older, it is not always easy on you or your pet. Ways you can help your aging furry friend have a comfortable and enjoyable life include adapting exercise to fit their physical needs; selecting healthy pet food; modifying your home and furniture; and scheduling regular vet visits.