By Veselina Dzhingarova
We never like to admit it when our beloved dog is getting older. We remember them fondly as puppies and enjoy their various stages as they get older, but their later years are filled with concern. However, it is of vital importance that you acknowledge both when your dog is getting up in years and the visible signs that he or she is starting to feel the time adding on.
The reason is because there are careful steps that can be taken to maintain the quality of each day they enjoy. Once you know what you can do, it’s up to you to be make the extra effort and be mindful of any special needs that they may have.
Let’s look at a few things that you can do to help your senior dog get the most out of their life.
A Highly Nutritious Diet
Just like with us humans, consuming a healthy and nutritious diet is important to overall health and well-being. It’s just the same with your dog. You want to seek out dog food with natural ingredients and no unpleasant additives.
When you go natural, you rule out the sneaky little extra ingredients that some pet food companies like to include in their dog food, either because they think it’ll help or due to its cost effectiveness even if it’s unhealthy to include it. Their bottom line is not what we’re concerned about here, it’s the health of our senior four-legged friend that matters the most.
Good Weight Management
When a dog is younger, they can happily carry around a little extra weight on their tummy and legs without causing any health issues. However, as they age and their joints begin to show the signs of an active life, any unnecessary weight becomes a hindrance to their health because it places added stress on their internal organs, bones and their joints especially.
In keeping with our previous statements about a healthy diet, a meal plan is still unhealthy if you’re feeding your pet either too much food or too frequently. They will often eat to excess if allowed to do so and get used to larger portion sizes too, so be careful there. It’s a good idea to discuss any appropriate change in diet with your veterinarian to see what they recommend that’s healthy and natural.
Older Dogs Should Still Be Walked
It is a common misconception that as a dog gets older they should exercise less often. It’s true that they may not bound up to you and chase after a tennis ball as enthusiastically as they once did, but they still have a lot of energy to burn off. It’s important they still get regular exercise to keep their heart in good shape (just like your own) even if there’s more walking and less running involved in their future.
Obviously, they probably don’t have extensive mountain hiking in their futures. People who have a more active lifestyle will need to adjust their shared physical activities to manage their dog’s lessening physical abilities. But make no mistake, barring serious injury or illness, your buddy is still pretty capable and shouldn’t be allowed to lounge around sleeping all day. Physical activity is still good for them.
Do They Have Any Special Needs?
Many dogs, unfortunately, develop arthritis as they get older and find it more difficult to climb up onto the sofa or into a doggie bed. If your vet has advised you already that your four-pegged pal now has arthritis, you may want to consider creating a softer bed that’s easier for them to get into and out of. The main change is a softer bedding surface either using new cushions that crush down well or blankets or towels that are plush.
For getting around in multi-story homes, they either need to be accommodated on the ground floor only, or installing a ramp system might help them get up and down the stairs. A doggie gate installed at the foot of the stairs to prevent them from trying to climb up when you already know they’ll struggle is sometimes a good idea. For the ground floor, any slick or smooth surfaces could become a challenge with arthritic dogs, so it’s helpful to carpet the floors or use non-slip rugs so they have something to grip more easily.
Natural Supplements Just for Aging Dogs
We’ve looked for common sense natural supplements designed specifically for old dogs in the second stage of their lives. They’re surprisingly difficult to find. Then we found the Elk Velvet Antler which is a natural supplement for senior dogs. The elk antler is derived from a herd of over 200 Elk on the Wolf Creek Elk Ranch run by a local family.
The natural supplement includes elk velvet antler (EVA) and a special mix of herbs that have been shown to assist senior dogs throughout their immune system, joints and kidneys. Wapiti Labs Inc. use their own herbal formula and mix in some ginseng, which in combination promotes better mobility, good joint support, improved eye functionality, and props up stamina. The ingredients are natural and the supplement is produced in the USA.
Dental Care for Seniors Dogs
Their teeth are just as important as ever. Keeping teeth clear of tartar buildup avoids the onset of gingivitis. Should gingivitis set in, it delivers bacteria to their bloodstream which affects organ functionality. Therefore, it’s important to tolerate their doggie breath while you give their teeth a good brush on a regular basis. There are healthy dog treats that help with oral care and a yearly cleaning by the vet is a good idea too.
Taking care of your dog as he or she ages is part of your responsibility as a pet owner. They give you all the love that they are capable of during their younger years and now it’s time that you, as their friend, provide the care they need to live a longer, happier and healthier life. It only takes a bit of time, patience, and love to achieve a qualitatively better standard of care for them and it’s not expensive to do either.
Guest Author Bio:
Veselina Dzhingarova is a traveler by soul and a pet lover. She is trying to live a better life using only natural products and eating healthy food and in her believes this should be followed both for human beings and pets world.
✔ You may also be interested in reading:
The Best Natural Foods and Supplements to Help Your Dog Live Longer
Pet Arthritis: Holistic Prevention and Natural Treatment
Top 12 Natural Supplements for Senior Dogs (Infographic)
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