4 Ways To Improve Your Senior Dog’s Quality of Life
No matter how old your fur baby is, they should feel happy and comfortable. As our pets age, the natural aches and pains of life impact them, but you can help. Making home accommodations, improving their diet, and maintaining your dog’s health keeps them comfortable. Use the tips from this guide to improve your senior dog's quality of life.
Make In-House Accommodations
Like people, dogs can develop arthritis as they reach their golden years. This makes it harder for them to jump on the couch or make the big step to get on your porch. To lessen these aches, many owners invest in pet ramps. With a ramp, your dog can climb into bed or on the couch to snuggle with you.
Most vets also recommend raising your pet's food and water dishes so that they don't have to bend down to access them. If you're crafty, you could head to Pinterest for DIY inspiration to build your feeding station. Ideally, the dishes should be level with your pet so that they can access water without lowering their head.
Improve Their Diet
Another way to improve your aging dog's quality of life is to feed them the best foods. Puppies, adults, and senior dogs all have different dietary requirements. Talk with your vet about changing your dog's food to kibble for aging canines. If you change their food, do so gradually by mixing it with what they currently eat. Going straight to new dog food can lead to an upset stomach.
Typically, kibble or wet food for senior canines has fewer carbs but more protein to give your dog the appropriate nutrients. Food for old dogs also has fewer calories since exercise is harder for an aging canine. By giving them fewer calories, you'll keep your pooch at a healthy weight.
Monitor Their Health
Although your furry friend may be older, that doesn't mean you can skip trips to the vet. Continue booking annual appointments and additional ones if your dog shows symptoms of distress. These signs can include:
- Refusal to eat or drink
- More lethargy than usual
- Abnormal behaviors
- Problems going to the bathroom
You know your dog best, so if they begin displaying behaviors they’ve never had, something could be wrong.
Pet Owner Tip
Animals aren't too different from people. They can develop various health problems as they age. Some dogs even develop diabetes. An essential tip for keeping diabetic pets comfortable is to keep glucose levels in check with insulin. Talking with your vet about how to inject the insulin also prevents lots of painful poking with the needle.
Offer Loads of Love
Every dog loves some cuddle time with their owner. Remember, in your dog's eyes, you're the entire world; you lead their pack. Strive to play age-appropriate games with your canine or go for a short adventure around the block. After all, your pet is a family member, and you should treat them as one. Give your pooch all the love in the world.