Having a senior dog is possibly one of the biggest challenges any pet owner can face. Remember that a dog in their elderly years may not have the same physical and mental capabilities when he or she is younger. If your canine friend becomes bored during this age, some anxiety problems may occur, because having less activities will get your dog bored. Therefore, it may be time to spice things up. Here are 5 things you could do right now to improve your senior dog’s life:
More dog walks
Always remember that like people, dogs who reach their senior age will still need some form of exercise, even at low impact. Walking your elderly dog regularly is a good activity to help them maintain their joint and muscle health even in their ripe years. Walking a senior dog doesn’t need to be as frequent as with a regular dog, but they still need to experience the great outdoors in their four legs. In this way, they will be less prone to bone diseases.
You can also use dog slings if your pet is already having trouble with walking. Remember to take walks slowly and gently so that your dog doesn’t get tired easily. In addition to that, bring lots of food and drinks along with you to ensure that Fido doesn’t get dehydrated, especially on a sunny day. You can also bring a dog stroller in case your pet gets tired along the way (it’ll save you having to carry the dog).
More potty time
Like humans, dogs who get older also need more time relieving themselves to reduce “accidents” within the household. Always ensure you take your dog out regularly or train them for a more frequent potty time, as compared when they were still younger. A senior dog’s bathroom time will be much like raising puppies, even more if your pet has some urination problems.
Elderly dogs are a lot more sensitive to the heat and to the cold, and this is why you need to provide them with ample amounts of protection. Heating pads are a good choice for the winter, because not only do they keep your pet nice and warm, but they also help on your dog’s joints to relieve them with from pain. In addition to a heating pad, you can also buy a dog-appropriate sweater or coat to keep your pet warm, especially when walking outside.
On the summer side of things, giving your dog plenty of cool drinks (as mentioned above) is a good idea. You can also reduce dog walk times, especially when it’s hot, or you can walk earlier in the morning to avoid harsh sunrays at noontime. If you believe your dog is getting heated up, taking your pet to the kiddy pool can help him cool down.
Games and activities
Senior dogs need to keep their minds busy, other than walks to keep their joints up and running. Provide low impact games and toys and teach your dog some tricks that is appropriate for their age. Make sure your dog gets enough rest and if you have younger pups, be sure they don’t disturb their seniors.
If you have a vehicle, installing a ramp can help your senior dog feel at ease from getting on and off. Moreover, you can also set up anti-slip rugs around the house, especially if you have stairs at home. For food and drinks, you can also setup a raised feeder to avoid your dog having to bend their joints. These accessibility options can greatly improve your senior dog’s mobility and way of life.
Here at ThinkofPuppy.com, Anna shares her dog-loving passion with the world. She likes to give her dogs the best of everything and bring helpful, interesting information to her readers. You can catch more of her through her Google+ or Twitter