5 Simple Ways To Help Your Senior Dog Live Longer …
It can be tough to watch when our special four-legged friend reaches those senior years and the things they’ve always done effortlessly, seem to be getting harder for them.
You see them just starting to hesitate before they get up into the car or up the stairs, even jumping up onto the couch is becoming a challenge.
You notice they are getting up a bit slower from their bed and looking a little stiff and sore …
… and that little voice inside of you says.
Am I doing enough to keep them as pain-free and mobile as possible?
Is there more I could be doing to help them live a longer, happier life?
Have you ever asked yourself that?
The good news is there are plenty of simple things you can do now, which can be real game changers … even life extenders for your special senior dog.
I’d like to share 5 easy to implement tips, you could use right now to help give your senior dog more precious time with you.
1. Adjust the way you exercise them
As we get older, we start to feel the changes in our own bodies.
Those sore muscles or achy joints start to talk to you more and more.
We aren’t able to exercise as long or as often or at the same intensity, we used to when we were younger.
It’s exactly the same for our dogs.
Yet many senior dogs are still chasing after balls or being exercised to intensely.
This increases the injury risk significantly on their older bodies, which can often lead to joint issues like arthritis and unnecessary pain and suffering for them.
So regular walks are great, but just be mindful they are not too long or too intense for your senior dog.
If they are sore after their exercise, then it’s a good indication that you need to change the way you exercising them.
The most important thing to remember is that the walk is for your dog, not you!
So never force them to keep up with you.
Is this making sense to you so far?
2. Create the safest home environment possible for them.
If your dog likes to get up on the couch or bed, think about introducing a ramp or a halfway step to help make it easier for them to get up and down.
This will make it easier for their aging joints and help reduce the risk of injury.
Just like ourselves, our dog’s balance and stability get worse as they get older.
So wooden or vinyl floors that once upon a time were easy to negotiate for them, can now become slippery like an ice rink for them and big injury risk.
This can not only cause them to hurt themselves when they slip but can also start to damage their confidence levels to move around the home safely.
Just simply putting down a non-slip runner or matting can help your dog to move around the house safely and with more confidence.
Also be aware that your senior dog’s sight, smell and hearing will deteriorate with age. So they have to rely on their memory more when moving around the house.
So be mindful of not leaving clutter on the floor or obstacles that your dog might be unfamiliar with, which may lead to them having a fall.
Just like ourselves, the quality of your dog’s bed could be the difference between them having a comfortable night’s sleep or waking up with stiff and sore joints.
So think about a bed with thick memory foam that can mold to your dog’s body shape and ease pressure on their aging joints.
How does that sound to you?
3. Make sure you are not overfeeding them?
This may make you a little unpopular with your senior dog …
… but the reality is your dog’s metabolism will slow down with age.
So if you continue to feed them the same amount of food, this will eventually lead to weight gain.
Carrying this excess weight will start to impact on many areas of their health and crucially their joints …
… and because senior dogs are less active, this can lead to joint pain and arthritis for them.
Obesity is very common in senior dogs and a serious health issue.
Reducing your dog’s food may be hard for you to do and make you unpopular with your dog, but it could help improve their mobility, quality of life and ultimately give you more precious time together.
Don’t cut their food significantly overnight.
Just gradually reduce the amount you feed them to help keep them at a healthy weight.
4. Give their diet a boost!
There are some great things you can add to your dog’s food bowl that could make a world of difference for them.
A great way to support your aging dog’s joints is to make up a bone broth for them.
It will give them crucial nutrients that can reduce inflammation and even help improve their digestive health …
… and they’ll love you even more, when you pour the broth into their bowl.
A small amount of nutrient-packed organ meat, a couple of times a week will be like adding a powerful multi-vitamin to their food bowl.
Another game-changer you can add to their diet is a natural supplement to boost their joint health and reduce pain and inflammation.
I’ve seen many times over my years of working with senior dogs, what a difference a quality natural supplement can make to their quality of life.
If you would like to know more about which natural supplements we recommend for our senior dog clients, check out www.bothendsofthelead.com.au/shophome/
5. A little Massage can go a long way!
Many senior dogs develop muscle and joint pain over time and this can often impact significantly on their quality of life.
There are many effective health care options available to you, like Acupuncture and Physiotherapy …
… but not everyone has access to a professional to help their senior dog.
This is why learning some simple things you can do at home to help your dog whenever they are looking stiff and sore can be priceless …
… and one of the most effective things you can easily learn to keep your senior dog moving well is some simple Massage techniques.
Massage can not only help relieve pain and soreness, but it’s a great way to spend some extra bonding time with your special senior dog.
Our senior dogs do need that little extra special care so they can live the longest, happiest, pain-free lives possible.
So making that extra bit of time to help keep your senior dog in your world for longer is something you’ll never regret.