If you have a senior dog and are looking for ways to make him/her more comfortable, we have the best care tips for you!
Aging is a natural part of life, and all dogs become seniors at some point. The main thing to remember is that senior dogs demand different care than younger canines.
Our Betty White is an official golden girl. As she embarks upon the golden years, we want to make them the best of her life! She suffers from arthritis and is much slower than she used to be, but that is no reason to give up on her care. She is our child, and the best care for her does not stop just because she is older.
Dogs grow less mobile as they age, their hearing and sight deteriorate, and they are more susceptible to different ailments. Still, growing old isn’t a death sentence, and dogs can live out their golden years in good health and happiness.
Dogs provide us with companionship throughout their lives. As a result, when they get older, they rely on us to take good care of them. This is not the time to ignore them; rather, this is the moment when they require our attention the most, and we must always be prepared to show our senior dogs that we care. Your dog needs and deserves the best from you.
Because not all dogs are deemed seniors at the same age, it is critical to recognize the early indications of aging and take the required precautions to keep your dog healthy. To help you, we will provide some guidelines on how to make your old dog more comfortable.
All of them are critical to ensuring that your senior dog remains happy and healthy for several years to come.
Top Ways to Care For and Make Your Senior Dog Comfortable
Geriatric dogs demand different care than puppies and adult dogs. And, for you to provide the greatest senior dog care possible, you will have to do things slightly differently in order to preserve their health.
- Age-appropriate diet
A well-balanced diet is essential for keeping your dog healthy as they age. Because they no longer have the same energy levels as younger dogs, older dogs are more likely to acquire obesity.
To avoid weight gain, it is critical to shop for the best dog food specifically created for older dogs. These are frequently low in calories and fat and will supplement your dog’s nutritional needs.
And, because older dogs may have distinct health issues, you should contact a vet if your furry friend requires a special kind of old dog food. There are some dog breeds that are prone to some health issues, over others.
- Regular exercise
Exercising regularly will help your pup maintain his/her appropriate weight while also improving his/her general health. You can speak with your vet about a recommended exercise routine based on your dog’s health and limits.
Be patient, start softly, and gradually increase the stamina of your dog with daily walks and mild jogs if they can run. As a dog ages, his/her energy levels decrease, so even if your canine could run for 30 minutes before, he/she might not be able to do so now.
Betty White’s routine includes a partial walk, and when she becomes tired, she has a dog stroller to ride in. We can then continue or walk, and get our exercise, while she enjoys the outdoors.
A stroller is a great way to make your senior dog more comfortable while garnering stimulation from nature.
- Maintain oral health
Because most senior dogs fail to get proper oral care when they are adults, it is common to see senior dogs with a few missing teeth. Dental care is a vital element of grooming and should begin at the puppy stage.
Brush your dog’s teeth every day to keep them healthy, and if your dog is not a fan, try offering them dental treats. Your pup should visit a veterinarian once a year to get his/her teeth cleaned professionally. Your vet can provide expert advice for the best oral care plan as bloodwork results will often determine if a senior should have their teeth professionally cleaned.
Betty White loves the finger toothbrush, as she finds it less intimidating than a longer one for dogs. Our pup, Pharrell, used to detest a toothbrush of any kind, but he really enjoyed this no-brushing gel and thought it was a treat!
Warning– do not ever use human toothpaste for your pet. It often has chemicals such as xylitol that could be fatal for your furbaby.
- Parasite protection and vaccination
When it comes to lice, tick, worm, and flea protection, your dog’s age is irrelevant. As a result, you should continue to administer suitable treatments as before.
However, senior dogs do not require immunizations at the same intervals as younger pups. Typically, once every three to four years is sufficient, but you should consult your vet because they will know the best vaccination care plan for your pup.
- Regular grooming
As your furry friend ages, so does his/her fur and skin; what was once a beautiful and lustrous coat might become drab and fragile. Seniors may also experience dry, flaky, and itchy skin, which can become worse if not properly cared for.
That means you’ll need to regularly brush your dog and provide grooming haircuts on time to avoid mats and knots. We also recommend using gentle shampoos to nurture and cure sensitive skin and coats.
- Provide special accommodations
Arthritis and other bone and joint issues that impair mobility are common in older dogs. A blind dog will also have difficulty jumping on the bed or sofa at night.
In these circumstances, an easily accessible orthopedic bed that does not involve jumping or climbing and soft bedding can benefit your dog. Dog beds are available everywhere, but you will want to invest in one that provides top quality and comfort.
We were on the search for a year or so, trying to find the best bed for Betty White. She loves her pita. It provides orthopedic support and comfort. It has a bit of a memory foam type of feet to it. Since dogs sleep so much anyway, when a senior dog goes to their bed, you want it to be the best way to make your senior dog more comfortable.
Climbing the stairs might also be tough for your dog; therefore, he/she should not be doing that. Betty White has a couple of sets of soft steps to help her get onto the couch, and our bed. She loves them, and they allow her to feel independent.
If your dog is unable to avoid steps to and inside of your home, you can purchase or create a doggie ramp to make their movements easier. Another option is to limit their access to the stairs by installing doggie-proof gates.
Don’t forget, that means you’ll have to transfer your dog’s bed, water bowls, and food downstairs if at all possible. Also, placing rugs and carpets throughout the house might help an arthritic dog regain their footing as well as ease its movements.
Yoga mats work wonders on hardwood floors if you do not want put rugs or carpets all over your home. We have yoga mats and these adorable booties for Betty White. The booties provide a non-slipping grip for her paws.
Some senior dogs can become entirely blind, so you must ensure that they can navigate the house. That means you should not move furniture because it will confuse your dog and lead them to trip over objects.
- Spend time with them
Aging in dogs is totally normal, but it may be quite tough and distressing to see all of the changes that it can bring to your beloved dog. The best thing you can do is live in the moment and treasure all of your memories with your dog. In fact, it is one of the top ways to make your senior dog more comfortable.
An elderly dog might quickly become uneasy if they don’t see their owner around, which makes them afraid. Spend more than enough time with your pet. A pet webcam allows busy dog owners to check in on their pets at any time of day and communicate with them to alleviate separation anxiety. We have this one and often use it when we are in the other room, just to check on Betty White.
Even if your dog can’t see or hear you, they still require your presence and attention to remain mentally and emotionally healthy. Instead of worrying about your dog’s age, give them goodies, go for a walk, and play with them.
Treat your old canine like a best friend who deserves your love and care every day. Old dogs are special in many ways, but the fact that they have lived a life providing you with unconditional love is more than enough reason to give them the best care.
Although not all canines age the same, one thing is certain: they all grow old. Aging is a normal process, and every owner should be ready for it. Believe us when we say that we understand the feelings that are involved with seeing your dog age. We feel the anticipatory grief at times, and make every attempt to work through it.
As a dog ages, they lose energy, may have difficulty walking, and may suffer hearing loss or cataracts, among other problems. This may sound frightening, but these things do not happen suddenly, and you and your four-legged friend will be able to adjust to new situations.
Older dogs may have particular requirements that must be satisfied, and you will need to understand how to care for a senior and make your dog comfortable. Your dog’s health and happiness will be preserved with proper senior dog care and attention for many years to come. We hope you find these tips to be helpful in learning how to make your senior dog more comfortable.
Small dogs are considered seniors when they reach 11-12 years of age. Medium dogs become seniors at 10 years of age. Large dogs are seniors at 8 years of age. Giant breeds are seniors at 7 years old.
The first recommendation we have is to enjoy every single second! We have resources for handling grief of any kind in regard to your pet, on our FAQs page.
Similar to older people, senior dogs sleep a lot more in their golden years. The average for older dogs’ sleep per day ranges from 14-20 hours, in total. If you are concerned, consult your vet to check bloodwork to ensure all levels are in the appropriate range.