We love our pets. And while nothing is cuter than a new puppy, our older pets have given us years of love, loyalty and companionship. As dogs age, like people, they require different kind of care. Here are five tips to keep your senior dog happy and healthy during their golden years.
Good nutrition is important at every age, but feeding your pet the proper nutrition in their senior years is essential to keep them active and playful. There are many brands of dog food that specialize in nutrition for senior dogs.Talk with your vet about the type of diet your dog needs. Your vet can make recommendations about quality brands, ingredients or special formulas your senior dog needs to thrive.
Exercise is critical to keeping your dog healthy, both physically and mentally. Your dog may not be able to go on long hikes with you but shorter, less strenuous walks will keep him feeling good.
Keep the Weight Off
Extra pounds on older dogs means more stress on their body, including joints and internal organs. If you feel your dog needs to shed a few pounds, talk with your veterinarian about a weight loss and exercise plan.
Visit the Vet
Senior dogs should visit the vet at least twice a year ask your vet about common issues specific to your dog’s breed, like predisposition to kidney problems, diabetes or severe arthritis. Find out what the early warning signs might be so you can be on the lookout. This is also a good time to talk about your dog’s diet and exercise routine as well.
Take Care of Their Teeth
Regular dental care is important throughout your pet’s life but especially for seniors. Older dogs and cats with neglected teeth can create tartar build up can cause gingivitis, which can cause bacteria to get into the bloodstream, wreaking havoc on your dog’s organs.
A great way to contribute to your senior dog’s good health is to keep his teeth and gums in tip top shape with regular at-home brushing and yearly professional cleanings by your vet.