Keeping Your Older Dog Happy

November 19, 2021

Keeping Your Older Dog Happy

Keep Your Senior Dog Active

Muscles support joints, and sometimes it's tough to get your older dog outside to exercise. Joints in motion continue to be flexible. On the other hand, joints get stiffer the less they move.

Many folks notice that their dogs slow down over time. Go for a nice brisk walk with you older dog instead of a jog or run.

Long walks are great too. Walks let your elderly dog sniff around and take in all sorts of sensory information.

Your Dog's Sharp Mind

One trick is to hide treats all around the house and say, “find!” Your dog will need to use their nose to smell and find all the dog treats! 

Puzzle toys and mats are excellent options to challenge their minds. Your dog will have certain limitations that they will need to work with. Just be aware.

Let your elderly dog sniff around your property or at a dog park. This is a nice way for your dog to spend energy. Make things interesting with a new toy, or switch the route during your walks.

Physical Fitness

And active dog with a healthy body weight has a better chance to avoid sickness. Having a leaner body weight will put less stress on the joints, heart, and lungs.

Most dogs love water. If you have access to a poochie pool, or if you have a lake that allows dogs during the summer, go swimming with your dog!

Your Senior Dog’s Joints

Lots of older dogs suffer from arthritis. Fresh towels hot from the dryer placed over your dog's sore joints can help. Consult your Veterinarian about massage, chiropractic adjustments, etc.”

Some dogs run a bit hot and others run a bit cold while they sleep. Just like some people!

Dogs found snuggling under blankets or sleeping by heat vents are generally cold. Try a warming bed for those pups.

Some dogs like what's called a snuggle ball-’type bed. Dogs will burrow into these and make a little home to sleep in every night.

Orthopedic beds are great for the bigger dogs that need joint support. Talk to your Vet first before you go out buying a new bed! Just like with people, a new bed is a big change.

Extra Grooming Sessions

Frequent grooming is important as dogs get older because they can develop more matting. An incontinent senior dog also needs the hair on their bum clipped short. And you should be checking daily to ensure the area is clean.

Daily brushing your senior dog is a good idea too.

Older dogs generally don't groom themselves much. Brushing keeps the natural oils on the coat spread evenly. You can also check for new lumps and bumps- a mini check-up!

Plus, the affection and attention feels just great to your older dog

Take Care Of Your Older Dog's Teeth

As dogs age, they become more susceptible to sensitivity. You need to stay on top of your dog's dental health. Dogs can get loose and infected teeth in their advanced years. Make brushing your dog’s teeth a routine part of the day, to start taking care of your dog's dental health.

IF you see any funky looking teeth in your dogs mouth? Or maybe any loose teeth? Get to a doggy dentist ASAP. Dogs can't communicate how much pain they are in!

Bottom Line: Keep A Good Eye On Your Senior Dog

Adopting a senior dog is a wonderful thing. And it comes with lots of advantages: No need to potty train, easy to go on walks, etc.

But as dogs age, you can't always let them bound out the door into your yard if you have one. Your older dog might need you to keep a close eye on them.

A big problem is the hearing and vision loss that comes along with aging dogs. When a dog can't hear or see, they easily become disoriented and lose their way. The last thing you want is your dog wandering around, lost. Always keep a lose eye (or a leash) on your senior dog. 

As elder dogs, they need support so that they don’t get into dangerous situations. A potty accident is one thing, but a tumble could be serious. Elder dogs just need an extra big of loving attention.