If you have a dog as a pet at your home, you may notice that as the years go by, your friend changes in terms of their physiology, their mood, the speed of their movements, and so on. That’s why it’s very important to provide them with certain care as they get up older.
Today we want give to you 14 recommendations to take into account when it comes to taking care of your dog when they’re no longer that playful puppy that you first adopted, so let’s start.
1. Take them on shorter walks.
Senior dogs often develop certain conditions that limit them when exercising or going for walks, so they may walking slowly or need to take breaks a little more often. By the way, they shouldn’t stop going on walks. However, it’s best to keep the walks short and steady. For example, instead of going out for 20-30 minutes twice a day, they can take 3 walks of 7 or 10 minutes to avoid getting too tired.
2. Have them walk on easy ground.
Another aspect of dog care that you should consider when going for a walk with older dogs is letting them walk on soft ground. While it’s difficult if you live in the city, try to avoid asphalt as much as you can. Try also to avoid making common mistakes when walking, such as taking your pet out when the weather isn’t pleasant, or at times when the sun and temperature are strongest, or when it’s very cold.
3. Avoid jumps when playing with them.
To prevent joint damage, try to avoid letting your pet jump or make sudden movements when playing with them. Sure, that doesn’t mean you should stop playing with your elderly dog. On the contrary, when they get older dogs, they need more pampering and affection.
Moreover, to delay your dog’s cognitive decline, stimulate their mind through games that make them think. You can do this with simple things you have at home, for example: taking objects out of a box, then hiding items under a towel for them to find or building a maze of chairs covered with a bedsheet for them to pass through it. Just make sure not to make the game so hard, or your pet could become frustrated and upset.
4. Pay attention to their diet.
Like humans, when dogs reach a certain age, they need a special diet that meets all their needs in terms of quality and quantity. It is essential to add supplements and vitamins to their meals to avoid different diseases, especially those related to the joints, as arthritis is a common problem. You must also make sure you give them the right quantity of food to prevent weight gain or loss.
5. Massage them.
Gentle pressure massages can help your older dog relax, relieving possible pain or contractures. These massages will help them sleep better and rest. Massaging them will also strengthen your relation with them, and help them improve their flexibility and their circulatory system.
6. Get them a good quality bed.
After a certain age, your dog’s bones may start to hurt when they lie on the floor. Getting them a proper dog bed is a great idea.
By this way, they will be able to lie comfortably on it and won’t end up having sore bones and muscles. You could also consider adding more beds for your companion in different parts of your home, so they can feel comfortable and relaxed in other different environments.
7. Be more patient with them.
Over the years, pets can become moodier and crankier, so we must have more patience, tolerance, and show our affection, while strengthening our ties with them. May your dog have some reasons for misbehaving. Sometimes, it can be a sign of an underlying condition inside.
8. Encourage them to use their sense of smell as a guide.
Some of the signs that pets are getting older are the gradual loss of certain abilities, and sensory and cognitive impairment. But smell is the only sense that dogs won’t lose as they get on old. That’s why it’s so important to encourage and stimulate them to use it through some games. For example, you can teach your dog how to trust their nose to guide them. Try, for instance, hiding their favorite treat somewhere where they can use their nose to sniff and find it. Just remember it shouldn’t be so hard for them to find, or they will become frustrated.
9. Take different walks.
It is true that older dogs walks should be shorter. However, it’s important that they do a different activities, like going out to places that are new and stimulating to them. If possible, take your dog by car to a different place for a walk, preferably outdoors, so that they can keep on to stimulate their senses through new findings. If you can’t go too far for whatever reason, we suggest moving some objects around the home to create different environment.
10. Teach them new skills.
If your pet was always very active, it’s a good idea to keep on teaching them new skills or tricks even as they grow older. Just keep in your mind that it may take them a little longer to get there and learn new tricks. Also, you make sure that the exercise difficulty isn’t too much for them. Doing this will help to keep their mind active.
11. Establish a daily routine.
This routine should consist of a time for walks, breaks, and meals, always at the same time. For example: if your dog suffers from The Doggie Alzheimer’s Syndrome (Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome), establishing a proper routine will help them know in advance what the day will look like, which in turn will give them a sense of security, making them feel safe and happier.
12. Take them to the vet more often.
Routine check-ups, approximately every 06 months, are important so that the veterinarian can detect any problem as soon as possible and find the perfect solution. This way, you can avoid unnecessary discomfort to your dog or even painful treatments for possible health problems not diagnosed in time. When it comes to health, prevention is always the top way to go.
13. Reward them more often.
An elderly dog still feels happy every time and everyday they do something right, and you reward him. That’s why it’s important to continue making them feel as part of your family, so pets don’t feel displaced now that they’re a bit older. You can give them certain treats for senior dogs, always taking into account their weight and physical condition.
14. Take them for a swim.
Swimming is a relaxing form of exercise that strengthens your pet’s muscles without impacting their joints. For that reason, it’s a great idea to take your dog to a special swimming pool or somewhere where they can enjoy splashing in the water. However, try to avoid places with a strong current to help them stay afloat and in one place with little effort. At the end of the bath, don’t forget to dry them well to prevent hypothermia.
Do you have an older dog at home? Try to tell us another special cares do you provide for them?
Preview photo credit moodyfoodie99 / Reddit