Bouncy and boisterous puppies don’t stay young for long. The years slip by and before you know it, your furry best friend has transformed into a sleepy senior citizen.
It’s bittersweet as they age so much quicker than us, but it’s nice to know they’ve spent their lives by our side. As your dog ages their needs change, and making sure you’re supporting them into old age is so important.
We all know that our dogs are members of the family, and ensuring they live a comfortable and dignified life during their doggy retirement years is something we owe them as responsible owners.
Photo by Lisa from Pexels.
The Doggy Retirement Years: Supporting Your Pooch into Old Age
Here are just a few ways you can go about it.
Make changes to the home
If your dog still loves to sit on the sofa or your bed, getting up and down can be problematic for them as they age. A ramp can make this much easier for them, and take the strain of jumping off their joints.
In arthritic dogs, hard flooring like laminate can be slippery and you might find they can no longer easily stand or walk on it without sliding around.
Since this sliding can put further strain on their joints it’s worth placing down rugs or long mats so that they can move around the home more easily.
As your dog gets further into old age, you might want to consider preventing them from going up and down the stairs and keep them confined to the ground floor instead.
Use a baby gate or pet gate if they’re likely to sneak up!
Improve their bed
Dogs will sleep just about anywhere, but as they get older it’s important to consider their bed. A simple blanket in a plastic bed might have been fine for them in their younger days, but older dogs (particularly those that are arthritic and in pain) can become uncomfortable due to pressure points without a decent bed.
Any kind of cheap foam pillow or mattress is unlikely to provide the support they need. Look into good quality orthopaedic beds and know that it’s worth investing the money.
If you purchase one with a washable cover it will stay fresh and last for a really long time, providing your ageing dog with everything they need to sleep comfortably.
Use natural supplements
Natural supplements along with senior dog food can be a great way to support your ageing dog. From turmeric for arthritis to cranberry supplement for dogs who are experiencing UTIs, there are fish oil supplements, glucosamine for joints and so many other options.
Do check with your vet, but most natural supplements will be safe and effective in most dogs and help them to maintain their health for as long as possible.
Cut down their walk
Your dog's walk is likely his favourite time of day, but as dogs age their exercise needs change.
Make sure you’re not walking your dog further than they can comfortably handle, you may find shorter walks on flatter terrain are needed.
It’s important to keep your pooch moving since it will keep their weight in check and their tail wagging, but you will need to adjust their exercise amounts as time progresses.