Just like us humans, dogs, our loyal companions, age gracefully. As they enter their golden years, they, too, deserve a little extra love and care. Aging can bring about various changes in a dog’s health, behavior, and mobility, too. Here are some of the best ways to make sure that your furry friend enjoys their golden years to the fullest:
Dogs age at a different rate than humans, with larger breeds typically aging faster than smaller ones. Generally, dogs are considered seniors at around 7-10 years old, but this can vary. So, what can you do to make their golden years truly golden?
There are several reasons why a balanced diet is crucial for senior dogs. As they age, their metabolism and nutrient requirements change–just like humans. They may need fewer calories, but require higher levels of certain nutrients such as proteins, certain vitamins, and minerals.
A balanced diet is also critical for helping your dog maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is a common issue in older dogs, which can make certain health problems like arthritis and heart issues worse. Additionally, older dogs have more sensitive digestive systems and are more likely to have dental problems–a balanced diet will make them feel more comfortable.
Consult your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your senior pup. Consider high-quality senior dog food, specially formulated to meet their specific nutritional requirements. These foods are typically lower in calories, making them ideal for preventing age-related issues.
As mentioned above, older dogs are more prone to joint pain and arthritis. You’ll want to keep an eye out for signs like limping, difficulty getting up, or a reluctance to play or be active. Joint supplements for dogs, such as Synflex America’s Synflex for Pets, can help in this regard.
What makes our joint supplements for dogs so great? It contains 1500 milligrams of liquid glucosamine HCl and glucosamine sulfate, along with 25 milligrams of chondroitin sulfate, which work together to rebuild and protect your pup’s joints from both damage and pain. These joint supplements for dogs also contain boswellin, yucca powder, manganese (ascorbate), and bromelain, as well as omega-3 and -6 fatty acids and vitamins A and E. These ingredients help prevent the destruction of cells and can help slow down joint and cartilage aging, while protecting them from free radicals and inflammation.
Additionally, you’ll want to consult with your vet to figure out pain management options, which may include additional medications or physical therapy.
Dogs also tend to lose muscle mass as they age–again, just like humans. To help maintain muscle strength and tone, physical activity is an absolute must. Moderate exercise can also help towards the lubrication of your furry friend’s joints and prevent stiffness.
Physical activity is also helpful towards helping your dog maintain a healthy weight, as well as for their mental health. Senior dogs need mental stimulation to keep their minds engaged and sharp! It’s also beneficial for their cardiovascular system, their digestive system, and to help them stay balanced and coordinated.
It does, however, need to be the right type of exercise. If you used to go on long and strenuous hikes with your dog, you may need to replace those outings with shorter walks and gentler play. It’s important to observe your dog’s comfort level at all times and to make sure that they aren’t overexerting themselves. A good rule of thumb is to aim for regular but low-impact exercises that will help keep their muscles and joints in good shape.
As mentioned, older dogs become more susceptible to dental problems as they age. They may suffer from dental diseases such as periodontitis and gingivitis as they grow older, which can lead to pain, discomfort, and even tooth loss. These issues may also interfere with their ability to chew their food properly, which can then lead to poor nutrition. Finally, dental problems can lead to bacterial infections that not only affect the mouth, but other organs such as your dog’s heart, liver, and kidneys.
Proper dental care can help prevent these issues. In addition to regular veterinary check-ups to monitor your furry friend’s oral health, you may want to look into professional dental cleaning, which can help remove plaque buildup and tartar.
It’s also a good idea to implement a home dental care routine to further benefit your senior dog’s dental health. This can include regularly brushing your dog’s teeth, providing dental chews, and using dental rinses or additives to their water.
As your dog continues to age, they will need to be seen more frequently by your veterinarian. Ideally, you’ll want to bring your pup to the vet at least twice a year. This will help detect and manage age-related health issues early, which can significantly increase the chances of treatments being successful.
Your veterinarian can also provide guidance on preventative care measures, including vaccinations and parasite control, which are critical to maintaining your pup’s overall health. If your dog’s medication needs adjusting to manage chronic conditions, your veterinarian can help with that, too.
Finally, regular visits to your veterinarian can help towards assessing cognitive dysfunction syndrome–a condition similar to dementia in humans–which can affect senior dogs. They can also recommend interventions that will help support your dog’s cognitive health.
Your dog’s golden years can be some of the best years of your life together. With the right care, attention, and love, you can ensure your furry friend lives comfortably and happily through their senior years.
Remember: you have the power to make your furry friend’s golden years truly golden. With the tips outlined in this guide, you can give your aging dog the best life possible. It’s what they deserve, after giving you their love and loyalty throughout the years. Return the favor today and provide them with a happy, healthy, and comfortable senior life!