Senior dogs have a great deal of love to offer, but perhaps require a heightened degree of care as they age.
Unfortunately, many older dogs get left behind in shelters, abandoned by owners who fail in their duty of care. While their needs may change as they grow older, senior dogs are absolutely worth all the time, money, and effort in the world. The final few years of life are when they may need you most, so it is vital to be there for them to ensure the best quality of life for them possible.
Here are some tips to help you care for your pooch as they get older.
Respect Their Limits
As dogs get older, they become far less energetic, but this does not mean they do not want to do anything at all, regardless of how sleepy they may seem.
Continue to take them for walks but try to become adept in recognizing when they have had enough and would rather return home. Some dogs may communicate this desire rather clearly, sitting down mid-walk or making their own effort to turn around. If you have had your best friend for a long time, then by now you should be able to read their behavior and understand what they are telling you. If they have relieved themselves and are no longer bouncing around trying to pick up new scents, then this could be a good time to return home.
It may also be a good idea to practice regular, shorter walks, rather than undertaking one or two longer walks a day. As dogs get older, they might want to go outside for the toilet or to quickly mark territory, and perhaps be less inclined to go running off their lead or exploring. If you are sensitive to their behavior, and their limitations in old age, you should be able to improve their wellbeing.
Lastly, try to make sure that everything they need is close by. That way, they will not need to walk far to get water, food, or rest. Making life easy for your pooch is the goal here, so anything you can do in that area will likely help a great deal.
Feed Them Supplements
While it is important to recognize your older dog’s limitations, sometimes, they can be responsive to a quick boost from some trusted tablets, giving them a lift.
You could feed them chewable supplements, an excellent source of protein and vitamins. They should help their muscles and energy levels and keep them active in concentrated bursts for a good while. Try to remember that their use is not about pushing them beyond their limits, but simply keeping them in better health during their twilight years.
If you are wondering what mussel for dogs you should go for, then the offerings from YuMOVE could be worth exploring further. Ordering from them is easy and shipping is quick, which means you should not encounter any problems when gently nurturing the active side of your pooch’s lifestyle. Their business is built around improving pet wellbeing, using only the highest purity ingredients in all their products. Whether your pooch is typically low on energy or experiences complicated joint problems, with YuMOVE’s help, your best friend could enjoy a better quality of life in no time.
Be Calm Around Them
While you might be able to help your dog’s physicality and energy somewhat, age changes a their behavior also.
When they are older, you may find that your dog’s temperament changes in some ways and remains the same in others. They may be less inclined to partake in enthusiastic cuddles, or even unwilling to play simple games like catch and fetch. Whereas before your excited tone of voice might have sparked their curiosity, in their elder years, it could be more unsettling or annoying for them. Their demeanor will change somewhat, so it is important to adapt to that where necessary.
For example, you could simply practice being calm around them. This might involve:
- Keeping your voice down: Shouting, singing, or even loud displays of laughter might be enough to unsettle an older pooch. It might not be possible to always keep the volume down but try to behave with sensitivity around their more cooled demeanor.
- Maintain low volume on devices: Phones, televisions, and radios might be a source of disturbance for an older dog. While many might not be disturbed by these noises, it could be a good idea to keep these volumes on low, or wear headphones, should your pooch show signs of being irritated or unsettled by these noises.
- Minimize sudden or quick movements: Running around your home or the open fields on your walks is a sure-fire way to get younger dogs excited. Older dogs, however, could simply be over this kind of behavior when they are trying to snooze.
Dogs are pack animals, and they are highly receptive to the behavior of their owners, so changing things with your own demeanor could be a worthwhile endeavor. If you spend the bulk of your time at home being content and peaceful, chances are your senior dog will follow suit.
Undertake Regular Vet Checkups
Vets are not necessarily for emergencies only, and they could serve as useful consultants for you should you have any doubts or concerns about the health of your senior dog.
After all, vets are highly skilled individuals, and they can recommend products and services that may have perhaps escaped your notice. Old age can bring about many health problems in animals of all kinds, so in the case of your senior dog, any mild suspicions of yours should be brought to the professionals. That way, they can either put you at ease or detect illnesses sooner, which might mean a better chance of treatment
Some animal owners will keep an eye on things themselves, looking for signs of worsening health on their own terms before seeking out a vet. It is understandable to a degree, but it in old age, minor illnesses can have major ramifications. Therefore, taking your senior dog for regular checkups with your vet is for the best.
Invest In A New Bed
Older dogs may spend more of their day sleeping and resting, which means it could be helpful to devote more time and resources to their designated resting spots.
For example, investing in a brand-new bed could be just the trick here. In a rundown of the best 14 dog beds of 2021, CNBC listed a foam bed as item no.2, citing that those made from durable polyester, cotton, and generously filled support pillars can greatly improve their comfort. In the same source, one assistant professor at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech notes that some older dogs prefer colder and harder surfaces to sleep on, such as the floor. Therefore, it might be best to provide a range of options for your furry best buddy.
Dogs may frequently switch the locations of their sleep and rest, no matter their age. One minute they can be curled up on furniture, then their basket, and then snoozing peacefully under your dinner table. When each environment offers something different for them, you can then accommodate their changing needs. Older dogs may be more picky or restless from time to time, so if you give them some choice, you may well provide a better quality of care for them.