Just like humans, the age of your dog determines a lot of the care they require. If your furry best friend is approaching their golden years, here are four things you should be doing to ease the transition:
Ensure they get enough exercise. Your dog might seem content to lie around on the couch all day, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need to get up and move around. Walking them at least twice a day, albeit at a slower pace, is critical for both their physical and mental health.
Keep them slim. The less active your dog becomes, the more likely he/she is to pack on the pounds (sound familiar?). This can put extra stress on their joints, organs and overall health. Adjust their serving size to match their activity level, keeping in mind you are still likely to give them treats as well.
Help them get around. As your dog gets older, they may find it harder to walk, especially on slippery or uneven surfaces. If you have hardwood floors, consider buying a carpet runner. If they sleep in bed with you regularly or have a favorite spot on the couch, pet steps can help take the strain out of jumping.
Don’t neglect their dental plan. Bad teeth and inflamed gums are serious business. Unchecked tartar build up can cause gingivitis, which can lead to bacteria in the blood and organ damage. This means it’s critical to keep up with daily tooth brushing. Also, pay attention and talk to your vet if your dog seems to lose their appetite – it could be related to tooth pain.
Modern Dog, Summer 2015