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Basic Senior Dog Care Needs
Here are some tips on caring for your senior dog. Sometimes we forget its the little things that really matter. As a dog’s age, they depend more on us to make the right choices to keep them comfortable and pain-free.
Start with Nutrition when it comes to senior dog care. You need to discuss with your vet the proper food to put your aging pet on. The reason is many conditions that develop as they grow old each dog is different. Please discuss with your vet any additional supplements your dog may need. Your dog may be overweight resulting in worsening arthritis. If your dog is underweight that may be caused by an underlying condition. You can read more about nutrition in our dog care section.
Keep your pet comfortable. Aging can have different effects on every dog. If they are struggling with stairs, you may want to purchase a ramp. If you notice they are struggling to jump up on the bed or couch. Consider purchasing an orthopedic bed or stairs so they can get up where you want them to. Or simply just lye on a comfortable bed by your feet.
You can find a good bed for aging dogs on Amazon. Here is the one we chose for our senior dogs. This keeps them from feeling cold or drafts. The covers are easily removable to wash. I use a dog brush with the metal brushes to make them fluffy again and soft.
Keeping your dog active is important This is to prevent their joints from seizing up. It is also good for their health. Do pay attention to when they have had enough exercise. Some signs are panting and drooling. Always keep your dog hydrated during exercise.
General Dental Health
Keep an eye out for dental diseases. As they age they will develop more plaque and it can cause gum disease just like it does in humans. I found a couple of great alternatives. My senior dogs both did not like the idea of putting a toothbrush in their mouths. They didn’t want anything to do with that. I ended up using a supplement you sprinkle on their food.
There are other alternatives out there as well. I bought some recently for our current dog. You just rub it on their teeth. Mine didn’t like it at first, however, she has gotten used to it now. The younger you can start them on something like this the better. I have never had a dog with dental problems. I truly believe its because I did pay attention to that at an early age. We tend to give them little bites here and there of human food. This can lead up to dental disease if we aren’t careful.
Parasites Ticks and Fleas
As they get older they become prey to these little creatures. You will want to discuss with your vet if you should or should not continue these vaccinations first. Especially if they still go to dog parks, or walks around the neighborhood. Parasites can be easily contracted. We use to check our once a year with a fecal sample to the vet. We had a lot of feral cats in our neighborhood so the threat was very real for catching something.
Keep your senior dog groomed. It not only makes them feel better. It will make their quality of life better in the end. For instance, if you leave your dog’s hair to grow, they may not be able to see or move comfortably. Also, you want to keep their nails groomed. Not being as active you may want to keep an eye out for the foot twisting when walking. This can be very painful for a dog with arthritis.
More About Senior Care Arthritis and Incontinence
I do have more detailed blogs on senior dog care. Please stay tuned in for new information and product suggestions. In the meantime, I would like to share a picture of my two senior dogs. One you will notice has a lift harness and the other one has a dog wrap. As they got old, my one dog had mobility issues and the other one had kidney issues.
He use to dribble a bit. He still always went outside to go to the bathroom, however, he was incontinent. I bought a wrap online on Amazon and used maxi pads for absorption. I changed the pads every few hours, bathed him once a day. Here is a picture of them and the wrap I purchased on Amazon. They are washable as well.
My other dog needed help getting up. We didn’t need the back end harness, However, we did use the front one. It lasted over 2 years. And still in good condition even after she passed on to the rainbow bridge.
Here is a list of products I highly recommended in this article We hope to update more information on Caring for your senior dog with newer submissions and articles soon.