Caring for Your Senior Dog: What You Need and What You Need to Know

Our beloved pets go from energetic little puppies to lethargic older creatures in the blink of an eye. They walk a little slower, sleep a little more, and have more and more grey hair as the years pass by.

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Dog coats may not be as lustrous as they used to be, and they might even smell bad, so it’s important to groom your old dog regularly
Photo from ASPCA

It can be hard to watch our pets grow old before our eyes and it can be especially difficult for them if we fail to understand their needs. That’s why we’ve listed down a couple things you need to know if you want to give your senior dog the best of their golden years.

They’re not what they used to be

All those days you spent playing outside aren’t the same now that your dog’s grown a bit older.

You’ll see that senior pets have a harder time breathing and keeping up during playtime, so it’s your job to limit it and tone down the intensity (even if your dog thinks they can keep going, their body will likely disagree).

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Boiled potatoes and pureed carrots are great “soft” foods for your senior dog
Photo from Vegetarian Times

The diet’s also got to change as older dogs’ stomachs have a hard time digesting hard foods. You may want to look into softer foods that are easy on your pet’s teeth. Also consider boiling some vegetables and mashing it up for easier digestion.

They’re going to be more expensive

Just as you paid what seemed like a fortune in vaccines, puppy food, vitamins, and toys when you first got your pooch, you’re probably going to have to pay that same amount and more for your little senior citizen.

Vet checkups need to be done more frequently, at least twice a year to check for any growing lumps or complications. You’ll also need to spend more money on vitamins and supplements to ensure that your dog is staying healthy throughout the years.

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Orthopedic dog beds like Furhaven’s help ease arthritis and provide support for the joints
Photo from Amazon

It’d also be wise to invest in orthopedic dog beds (especially for bigger, older dogs whose joints often have trouble supporting their weight) and non-slip mats to place around the house. These ensure that your dog is comfortable and living in a safe environment where they can’t fall or slip easily.

They’ll be relatively easier to handle

They say old dogs can’t learn new tricks. We say it doesn’t matter.

Chances are, by this age, your dog has learned all he needs to know i.e. what time to eat, where to poop, who to snuggle up to for extra treats.

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Older dogs sleep for around 16-18 hours a day; don’t worry, that’s normal
Photo from Pawtracks

Add this to the fact that old dogs are generally less energetic and more interested in napping all day, and you’ve got the perfect situation.

You’ll find that older dogs have a better temperament, as they’ve experienced more of life and have less to get surprised about. They are also more trained, calmer, and less jumpy, a great match for children.

They will give you just as much love

Years of staying by your side has made your pet love you more than you could imagine.

Long days playing in the yard, warm afternoon naps, and exciting car rides out of town are all things your old dog knows and appreciates. And while they can no longer jump like they used to, our dogs are sure to be happy with what they’ve received.

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Photo from BeChewy

So with that, we’ve concluded that the most we can do for our senior furbabies is love them until the end. All they want is to spend their remaining time with us, and we should be more than happy to give that to them.

ALSO READ: 6 Places Where You Can Order Pet Food Online

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