7 Tips to Caring for a Senior Dog

Two large dog lying down on pillow

Senior dogs are an honor to have.

Your furry friend, who was once a boisterous pup and full of energy, is now a little bit older and needs more care.

man and woman smiling with coffee mugs and pug on a bench

Having a senior dog is equally fulfilling as having a young pup. They may want to cuddle more and play less, which is a win-win for you both!

They require a balanced diet and good nutrition, more love and affection, regular checkups at the vet, and proper grooming. You may also have to make your house senior-friendly, considering that things like climbing stairs won’t be as easy as they were.

Making these adjustments will make your dog’s senior years much easier.

At What Age Is a Dog Classified as a Senior Dog?

The classification of a canine as a senior dog isn’t fixed. It varies, depending on the breed of dog.

Smaller dog breeds tend to live longer, while larger breeds have a shorter life span. A Great Dane will be classified as a senior dog earlier than a Maltese.

Below is a table showing some dog breeds, their sizes, and the ages at which they are considered to be senior dogs.

Dog Breed Age Dog is Considered Senior Dog Size
Great Dane 5-7 years Large
Basset Hound 7-9 years Medium-sized
Chihuahua 9-12 years Small

Senior dog classification is also based on the dog’s lifestyle. Canines that live a more sedentary life don’t age as fast as dogs that work on a farm or as guard dogs. More body wear and tear can make a pup age faster.

For a proper classification of your dog, ask your veterinarian on your next visit.

An older dog will face some changes such as:

  • Poor eyesight or cloudy eyes.
  • Increasing difficulty in moving around.
  • Poor oral health.
  • Behavior changes such as excessive barking.
  • Greying in some of their fur and texture change.
  • Shifts in sleep cycles; some may sleep for long periods and others less.
  • Sudden weight loss or gain.

Regardless of these changes, your dog is still the same little guy he or she was as a pup, and they still can go on to live a long and fulfilling life with you right by their side.

Below are some of the tips you can employ in caring for your senior dog to make its older years comfortable.

Maintain an Appropriate Diet

As dogs age, a balanced diet will help them stay healthy. Ensuring that your dog gets all the necessary food groups like proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals is important.

Issues like constipation and obesity may plague your furry friend at this stage of their life. Introducing fibers in the diet will help with digestion.

Another measure to take is reducing carbs in older dog’s diets. It helps combat obesity, which is common in older dogs.

Work hand in hand with your vet to find a senior dog food that suits your older pet’s needs. Whole foods are better for them than highly processed foods because they have more nutrients.

Supplements are also an important addition to older dogs’ diets. At Doggysups, we have a wide range of all-natural supplements to improve your older dog’s immune system, skin and coat, hips and joints, and digestive health.

Frequent but Moderate Exercise

Exercise is integral in caring for an older dog. These exercises should be both physical and mental.

Older pets need to physically exercise to maintain their weight and for their overall health. The exercises should be moderate because they may have mobility issues, joint pain, and low energy levels.

Exercise also helps prevent old pets, especially dogs, from excessive weight gain. This is because they still eat as much but don’t lose calories fast. Regular activity will help cut some of their body weight.

Mental exercises help to maintain ageing dogs’ mental acuity and alertness. Simple toys and food puzzles help exercise your dog’s mind and keep it engaged.

Regular Checkups With the Vet

With older dogs, seeing the veterinarian should be a more frequent venture. Dogs at this age have special needs and are more prone to health problems like kidney disease, cancer, and joint diseases.

Because of this, their care requirements in regards to vet checkups need to be more frequent. If your senior is healthy and generally ageing well, a visit to the vet three times a year is an excellent idea so that health issues can be nipped in the bud.

If your senior dog has any chronic health problem or condition, they may have to go to the vet more frequently. 

Proper and Regular Grooming

Seniors should be bathed fortnightly or weekly, depending on what the pet owners can manage. Our Dog Shampoo with Argan Oil and Aloe Vera will do a great job of cleaning your senior dog’s delicate skin.

This should be gentle and comfortable for the dog; they may not be able to stand up for too long as you scrub them or brush them.

For grooming, a softer brush should be used as the dog’s hair coat isn’t as strong as it used to be.

Washing and grooming your dog is also a very good chance for you to be able to spot any age-related concerns like lumps and bumps, which, if left unchecked, could be cancerous.

To finish off your dog’s grooming session, you can give him or her a gentle but relaxing doggy massage. This makes them more comfortable, keeps their blood circulating, and is a lovely way to bond.

Quality Time and Tender Love

As your dogs get older, it becomes more and more important to make the most of your time with them.

Your tender love and care will make for special memories in your dog’s sunset years. Endeavour to do something special for your dog at least once a week. Overall, value every extra minute that you cuddle them.

Car rides, special toys, a nice walk, and plenty of tummy rubs are some of the ways that you can go the extra mile to offer your dog care.

Spending time with your dogs also relieves them with the natural stress that may come with old age. 

Make Adjustments to Your Home

Senior dogs will generally have a harder time navigating your home, and it’s important to make some adjustments to your home to make it comfortable.

Some can’t climb stairs easily, so find a way to move their bedding downstairs if they used to sleep upstairs.

Due to vision loss, some older dogs will tend to bump into furniture, which will hurt them. Aim to keep things out of the dog’s way to prevent nasty accidents.

Another great way of making adjustments is changing up their bedding. Investing in an orthopedic dog bed ensures that their sleep is comfortable as possible and their joints can rest comfortably after a long day.

Care for Their Oral Health

Senior dogs' oral health can deteriorate in their later years, and are more prone to contracting periodontal diseases. These diseases cause swelling of the gums or infection of the tissues that surround the teeth.

These diseases make your dog’s teeth become weaker, and as a result, they fall out.

To prevent this, we have Greenies Fresh Dental Dog Treats in stock. These chewy delights are senior dog friendly, delicious, and will ensure that plaque and tartar in your dog’s mouth are kept at bay. 

Greenies Fresh Dental Dog Treats
Greenies Fresh Dental Dog Treats

Your dog’s breath will be fresh and clean, with natural soluble ingredients that are safe for your dog.

Finally, you’ll have to be more keen and observant of your dog. Whether it’s noting down feeding habits, sleep cycles, or even if it can see and hear.

Because of your dog’s age, you need to monitor any issues that may crop up in the later years. They may need to be looked further into by a vet, or you may need to make an extra effort to make your dog comfortable.

Your Dog Is Older Now; All That Means Is You Need to Be More Present

Even if your dog is old, it still deserves love and care, now more than anytime in its life. This includes getting quality supplements that’ll keep them at their best and healthiest even in old age.

DoggySups has collaborated with vets and scientists to formulate all-natural supplements that’ll make your dog’s senior years easier for them.

Our supplements will always ensure that your dog’s quality of life is maintained throughout each cycle of its life, including old age.

Choose us today for more enjoyable and easier senior years with your precious dogs.

Featured Image: Unsplash by Alonso Romero

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