There is no way to avoid your playful puppy turning into a senior dog . Unfortunately, time flies when we are having fun and the saddest part about life with your best friend is watching them age. You notice that they have more gray around their face, their energy levels drop, and they rely on you more for help when it comes to daily activities. As your pet transitions to being a senior, there are many ways that you can care for your senior dog and make them feel happy, comfortable, and ready to take on this new stage of life.
One very important aspect is their diet. If your dog is overweight, it can be good to help him or her lose a few pounds to help them feel lighter on their paws and more active. Another thing to keep in mind is the nutritional value of their food. When consulting with vets, they always recommend a dog food that has a lot of protein, is low in fat and calories (for those trying to shed a few pounds), and one that coincides with their size and activity levels. You can research and pick the brand that you think works best for your dog or you can consult your vet for additional help and information!
Exercise is another very important aspect in a senior dog’s life. Just as you would listen to what your body is telling you, make sure to do the same for your pet. You know your pooch best, so you have to be the one to determine when enough is enough. Older dogs do require exercise to stay fit and in shape cardiovascularly but running can be hard on joints. Try walking, slowing down the pace or the exercise time, break it up into shorter but more frequent bursts of activity, or give water exercise a try. It is easy on achy joints, refreshing, and is a great cardio workout! Do not forget, if you live in a colder climate, investing in a light jacket to help your pup keep warm will aid in his desire to exercise.
If your dog suffers from arthritis pain, invest in some supplements designed for senior dogs that will help with not just arthritis but general well-being. If you are feeding your dog good quality pet food, he should be getting a good dose of nutrients, however, some additional vitamins for a senior dog never hurt, just make sure to double check with your vet what is best specifically for your dog!
You and your pet have had many wonderful years together, with the proper care and attention, you can extend your pet’s life and make their “retirement” years healthy and comfortable!