Taking care of older dogs
As dogs get older, we need to start taking care of them in different ways. We explain how you can ensure they live happy and wholesome latter years.
Dogs are well known for being resilient, full of energy and eat up just about anything in their path. From a puppy to an adult we must look after them, taking them for walks and feeding them the right stuff but this doesn’t normally take too much thought.
When they reach their senior years, we must take a bit more time to consider our furry friends wants and needs. This spans from their exercises, reducing walking distances and mixing up their standard meals with softer foods to compensate for weaker teeth. At Raised by Humans, we’ve explained different ways to help take care of your senior dogs.
Exercise is important at any stage of life. However, as our dogs enter the senior years you must pay more attention to how they get their exercise. This is because they’re more susceptible to illness and injury compared to younger dogs. You’ll need to take into consideration what your dog is capable of, whether that’s shortening their walks, getting them a cover when walking in cold weather or completing exercises indoors to help. Here are some good examples of exercises for senior dogs:
Walks– In their youth dogs can run for hours on end without the need for any real breaks. When they reach those older years their body can’t take the strain for long periods of time. When taking your dog for a walk, it’s a good idea to take breaks. You can plan where to take the rest for your dog or just take a break when your dog decides. It’s also easier on their joints if you take a walk at a slower pace for them to keep up.
Swimming – Just like for us humans swimming can be a great exercise for dogs. With the water reducing the pressure on joints when swimming and exercising, it’s the best type of exercise for dogs with arthritis. You must make sure to dry them off as soon as they come out of any water, so they don’t get cold.
Mental fitness games – As they get older it’s a good idea to also keep exercising their minds. This can be done through puzzles and games. Motivating them to work at a problem with treats is a great way to keep their brain engaged. Dogs will really benefit from scent games regardless of age. It’s a great way to keep not only their bodies but also their brain in good condition.
Playing – It seems no matter what age our dogs are some of them never lose their want for playtime. Although they may have slowed down as the years have gone by, they will still enjoy it. To keep their enjoyment going it’s helpful to slow the pace down and keep the games gentle. This reduces the stress on their joints and muscles.
Training – ”You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is a thing of the past. Teaching your dog tricks is a great way to keep them active both physically and mentally. Although it would be best to keep the tricks to a simple standard.
Dogs generally all differ when it comes to nutritional diets. However, as they get older their need for specific nutrients increases as they need to become more specific in what they need. For example, they require meals with higher protein intake as they need to keep their muscles sustained. They are also slower at processing food properly so it’s helpful to give them smaller more frequent meals. It is also good to:
Keep your dog in shape – Having your dog keeping in shape through reducing meal sizes appropriately is key to keeping your dog healthy and living longer.
Change your dog’s dietary plan – The first steps is to reduce the size of meals however making them more frequent. This allows your dog to process the food a lot better.
Change your dog’s meals – Changing the nutrients in what your dog eats accordingly to how they are health wise is key. Increasing proteins to help battle in the decrease in protein storage in muscles.
Watch their teeth – Make sure you use a food type to suit old teeth if your dog has lost its teeth with age.
By Raised By Humans