Your dog is a part of your family, and just like any family member, the time will inevitably come when they get older. You may not know how to best care for an aging canine as a pet owner. Fortunately, there are many different ways that you can help your dog through this difficult time. It is essential to first learn as much as you can about your dog’s condition. Although there is no cure for normal aging, there are many strategies that you can utilize to help manage symptoms.
1. Keep Your Dog Active
It is essential to provide your dog with a variety of stimulation throughout the day. Older dogs are less likely to be able to handle an intense burst of exercise, such as sprinting or playing fetch. They may also have restricted mobility due to arthritis and other joint issues. Instead, give your dog shorter, more frequent walks on days when they cannot handle long walks. If you have access, taking your dog for a swim can be a great way to help keep them active and happy. It will help improve their muscle tone, strengthen their back and support their joints.
2. Keep Your Home Safe for Dogs
One of the best ways to support your aging dog is to make the home safer for them. Senior dogs are more likely to have a fall than younger dogs if they aren’t able to navigate the house safely. There are many simple ways that you can help make your home safer for your dog without spending a lot of money or remodeling. These include removing the clutter and creating more defined pathways through the house.
3. Nutritional Support
It is essential to provide your dog with the proper diet. For many dogs, it is best to maintain their current weight, at least if they are not underweight. You can help your dog reach their ideal weight by ensuring that they are eating a well-balanced diet with high levels of protein and fat. Paying attention to your dog’s diet is also essential because it will influence how well they respond to medications. If your dog tends to regurgitate, you may want to ensure they are not going through periods of rapid weight loss.
Vaccinating your dog if it is not up to date with its shots is essential. For dogs that receive monthly injections, you may want to schedule a “catch-up” vaccine so that they have a complete vaccination regimen. Older dogs not regularly vaccinated can develop chronic illnesses, such as distemper or leukemia. One of the worst things for an older dog is a highly itchy response, most often caused by diphenhydramine or antihistamines. Vaccinating your dog against parvovirus and the canine distemper virus is essential.
5. Drugs and Medications
Many drugs designed to treat the symptoms of cancer or arthritis can cause liver failure if they are not taken under the supervision of a vet. The key is trying to manage symptoms as best you can without overmedicating your dog. The more medications you give, the greater the likelihood of overdose. Although many drugs seem like good options for your dog, there is often a better natural alternative. Antioxidants, such as vitamin E and glutathione, can benefit elderly dogs experiencing learning disorders, anxiety, or arthritis symptoms.
6. Ensure They are Not Feeling Any Pain
It is essential to try and minimize pain in dogs. Sometimes, the best way to relieve pain is to create a new environment for your dog to avoid stressful situations. Dogs are also very good at masking their pain with behavior, so you may need to take an objective look at your dog’s behavior even if you believe they are genuinely hospitable. Even though there is no cure for aging, there are many ways that you can help your dog cope with it in a way that is best for them. You can buy a WiggleLess dog support vest for your dog. They design it with a mesh that prevents pressure sores, and the mesh helps to breathe.
As a pet owner, you may not be able to stop your pet from growing old, but there are many effective ways that you can help them with their condition. By educating yourself on their need, you can provide a high level of care for your dog. It will significantly improve the quality of their life.