Dogs grow up really fast. Your cute little pup fills your heart with joy by the abundance of their energy and innocence of their curious eyes. But the law of nature makes aging an unavoidable fact. Eventually the time comes when your little goof ball becomes a ‘senior dog’. While we cannot avoid certain things, we can definitely do much to Take Care of Senior Dogs just like we care for an aging family member.

Usually we call them Senior Dogs when they  are 7+ years old. Each dog ages differently and the care they require may also vary. But there are some common care requirements that you need to be aware of while you Take Care of Senior Dogs. Just like senior members of our family, senior dogs are also susceptible to certain age related health issues.

Arthritis, Joint Displacement, Cardiovascular diseases, Decaying of Bones etc being some of those. But this does not mean that the love and companionship would take a backseat. You only need to devote some time to carefully check for any symptom of these age related issues. This would ensure that your furry friend lives a comfortable and healthy life during their ‘senior years’.

Health Supplements & Medication-

Senior dogs may need some additional support to maintain their health. You may need to give them some health supplements like vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium supplements etc . Consult with your vet well in advance to make sure your dog gets what they need at the right time. Along with health supplements make sure that you do not miss their regular medications, deworming schedule etc.

Senior Dog

Gentle Exercises-

As dogs grow older you may notice a change in their energy level. Though they still remain a puppy by heart, they are likely to lose that abundance of energy. You need to be careful about the exercise requirements of a senior dog . They still need a daily walk but the duration may need an alteration. Gentle exercises are important to keep the bones and muscles of senior dogs healthy and active. Along with daily walks you can also introduce a treadmill to their daily exercise schedule. Be watchful about their stamina and energy level to understand the right amount of exercise they need. Regular exercise also makes sure that your dog has a healthy wight. If the weight is more than the moderate level then chances of developing bone and joint related issues may increase.

Image of a lady walking with her senior dog

Mental Stimulation-

While you Take Care of Senior Dogs, do not miss the mental stimulation part. As their outdoor activities and duration of walk may decrease, mental stimulation would still play an important part. You can give them interactive toys , play fun puzzle games and spend a lot of quality time with them. If you want some idea about how to provide your dog adequate mental stimulation then you can check this article.

Activities for mental stimulation of dogs

Comfortable Living-

Senior dogs prefer a relatively quiet and comfortable environment to relax. Provide them a separate room with everything they may need. A comfortable bed, a play zone with adequate food and water are must for them. If you have young kids at home, make sure that they learn to respect these specific needs of your senior dog.

A senior dog relaxing

Bone & Muscle Care-

Muscle Atrophy, Osteoarthritis are some common bone and muscle related issues that senior dogs may suffer from. Along with necessary medical treatment, light impact exercises like swimming and walking are great ways to keep them fit and healthy. Your vet may also suggest higher protein intake to maintain muscle strength of your dog. Follow the vet’s advice sincerely and be vigilant about any noticeable changes in your dog’s behaviour or movement to point out discomfort they may be facing.

Nutritional Diet-

Dietary requirements of senior dogs are somewhat different than young dogs. You may need to add certain food items to their daily diet and you may need to cut down some fats from their food. Once they start aging, make a visit to the vet and ask for a complete diet plan for your dog. Follow the diet plan strictly and update your vet if your dog has any digestion issues.

Nutritional dog diet

Arthritis Care-

Senior dogs often suffer from age related diseases like arthritis. While you Take Care of Senior Dogs, carefully monitor their movements. If you notice any difficulty in walking or if they experience joint pains, immediately consult with a vet and go for all necessary tests and health check ups. An early diagnosis of diseases like arthritis would ensure that the condition remains stable. It may actually get better with prompt diagnosis and thorough treatment.

Dental Hygiene-

Dental care is an important part of your senior dog’s care requirements. Calcium and vitamin deficiency may severely impact dental health of senior dogs. Regular brushing and occasional dental examinations are very important to maintain their dental hygiene. Make sure to occasionally check for bad breath and cavity so that you identify any abnormality on time.

Dental care for senior dogs

Regular Vet Visits-

Regular vet visits are must especially for senior dogs. Aging dogs require much more attention and your vet is the best person to identify any unusual health condition. Keep your senior dogs well groomed, well exercised and well fed. Also, Take Care of Senior Dogs’ grooming requirements. Hygiene plays an important role in the overall health of any dog. If you take care of that part, chances of some common health issues like parasite-borne diseases, ear infections, matting of hair etc reduces significantly.

Senior dog at vet's clinic

 

Apart from all the care requirements, take care of their emotional requirements. Do you know that the number of senior dogs has a major contribution to the abandoned dog population? Most of the dogs at animal shelters today are older dogs. This is mostly due to the lack of awareness about the commitment it requires to take care of dogs. There are many people who adopt a dog without prior planning.

Once the responsibilities outweigh the ‘cuteness factor’ , they readily surrender their senior dogs to shelter homes or simply abandon them by the street side. Isn’t it heartbreaking for those poor souls? The same puppy who was once your whole world now became a burden due to their age. Please Take Care of Senior Dogs with the same love and affection as they are used to receive. Do not abandon them when they need you the most.

Senior Dog care

Make necessary arrangements to take care of their health requirements so that both you and your dog enjoy each other’s company and stay happy and healthy. ‘Man’s loyal friends’ deserve at least this much. Isn’t it?