As with people, our dogs do get older and at a much faster rate, however much we wished they didn’t. They slow down, their energy levels lessen, and they may not be as excited about their walks as they used to be.
This is normal and nothing to worry about. It is important, however, that you continue to take care of them as best you can and adapt their care as they get older.
With our older dogs slowing down and perhaps not going on as many walks, it is important to monitor how much they are eating to ensure they don’t start putting on excess weight. Weight gain can put a strain on ageing joints and can cause other health issues such as diabetes and heart problems. If you’re not sure of the best ways to adjust how your dog is eating, your Vet can advise you and help you make any necessary diet changes. It is also important to make sure your dog stays hydrated.
We all experience more aches and pains as we get older, and your dog will too. They may need more nutrients in the food they’re eating, or you could consider giving them supplements that could help those common old age issues. Take a look at our blog ‘The Best Joint Supplements for Dogs’ to find out more.
Finally, if there are other, younger dogs in the house you may need to make sure your older dog isn’t competing for their food. You may also wish to consider walking them separately to meet their individual needs.
Now that your furry friend is getting older, they will need more rest. Make sure they have a quiet, comfy place to sleep. It is also important to keep their prized possessions accessible to them so that their food, water, toys and bed are within easy reach.
If you have smooth, slippery floors in your house your dog may find these a struggle to walk on. Lay down a rug or carpet to give them something to grip onto. Also, as your dog gets older, they may struggle with incontinence. Keep an eye on your pup to ensure they’re clean, dry and comfortable.
Although your dog may be slowing down, they still need gentle exercise and engagement. Take them on walks little and often, this will help to keep their weight down. In the colder months, you may want to consider putting a coat on your dog to keep them warm and dry on their walks.
You can also give them engaging toys and puzzle feeders to keep them busy and their minds occupied. It is also important to keep checking them for any changes in their body. Regular grooming can help keep them comfortable and allow you to check for lumps and bumps.
We hope this blog has helped you understand your senior dog and how to look after them better. If you like reading our blog, then please take a look at the rest of our From The Heart Blog.
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