How to Keep Your Senior Dog Going Strong in His Golden Years
Nick Burton, co-founder of Our Best Doggo, shared this piece with us about keeping our aging pups happy and healthy.
Our faithful canine companions stick with us through thick and thin, and when they reach old age, we naturally want to keep them healthy and strong. As time goes by they tend to show their age, just like we do. And, while we can't stop the inevitable, there are a few things we can do to keep our aging pups healthy, strong, and comfortable. With that in mind, here’s how to ensure your senior dog enjoys the wonderful quality of life he deserves.
Oh, My Aching Back!
One of the ways age can take a toll on dogs is seen in the decline of back and joint health. The wear and tear of years of working and playing can mean reduced mobility, not to mention stiffness and pain. Thankfully, there are supplements that can help aging dogs’ joints. Fish oil, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate are just a few popular supplement options for dogs, though some people have found success by giving CBD oil supplements to their pooches for inflammation. However, you should do your research, consult your vet, and only purchase reputable brands.
There are a few practical lifestyle changes that can ease your dog’s joint issues as well. For instance, stooping to eat and drink can become uncomfortable for older dogs. However, you can build a handsome stand for food and water bowls in the space of a morning so your beloved buddy can eat in a more upright position.
Another idea is to invest in steps or a ramp for your pooch. They come in a number of styles to match his needs, from folding, portable ramps to help Fido in and out of the vehicle to more permanent, stair-like options that help him climb onto the couch or your bed. Make sure you choose a size appropriate for your dog, as height and weight capabilities vary.
Older dogs sometimes benefit from different bedding selections than their younger counterparts, and there are several aspects to take into account. For example, dogs with achy joints might feel most comfortable with supportive memory foam, and heated beds soothe joints or circulatory concerns. Additionally, dogs who have trouble holding their bladder might do best with a waterproof option. If Fido develops a hitch in his get-along, a bed that’s easy to get in and out of might be a top priority. Consider what will be practical and keep your dog comfortable so he can get a good night’s sleep!
Something To Smile About
When was the last time your dog had a dental visit? Many people think dogs clean their teeth naturally by chewing, especially oral breeds like Labradors and Goldens. However, Old Dog Haven explains that’s actually one of many myths about dog dental health. Dogs need to have their teeth cleaned on a routine basis, and that occasionally involves a vet visit and anesthesia.
Even loving owners are often reluctant to put their dogs under, fearing their furry friend won’t get through surgery. Happily, veterinary medicine has progressed in recent years, and there are a number of ways to reduce the risks associated with anesthesia. From better practices to safer medical products, you can send Fido for a dental with nary a concern.
Another way to boost your older dog’s oral health is by brushing his teeth. With at least a once-daily once-over, you can reduce the frequency your dog needs those dental cleanings at the vet’s office, as well as keep tartar and plaque under control. What’s more, it’s a great way to avoid classic doggy breath! Just make sure you use a toothpaste made for dogs, as human toothpaste isn’t good for them. (Theirs comes in fun dog flavors, like beef or peanut butter!)
After dedicating his heart and soul to you for years, an older dog deserves support and consideration.
Think about what assistance your pooch needs, make sure he can sleep in comfort, and take care of those pearly whites! Just because age takes a toll doesn’t mean his golden years can’t be the best years yet.