The potential benefits of being a dog owner are possibly endless. Every study on health benefits of owning a dog usually tends to point toward improved heart health. In fact, it is apparent that just having a dog by your side as a pet can potentially help lower heart rate as well as blood pressure. A particular Chinese study found that individuals who own dogs get better sleep and get sick less often. Again, with dogs at your disposal, you are more likely to take part in an exercise, and this can also have a positive impact on your overall health. Many dog owners are usually involved in a daily exercise routine of at least thirty minutes, a factor that may help lower their risk of cardiovascular diseases.
On average, the lifespan of a dog is twelve years. However, thanks to veterinary advances, today’s dogs are now able to live much longer. This implies that your pup can be a senior for a significant portion of his life and this may make him face a whole host of age-related problems. Your dog may develop arthritis; he may not be able to play or walk as he used to, he may tire more easily and may as well find it tough to go up and down the stairs. However, with proper care, some of these problems can entirely be eliminated or controlled. So today in this post, we are giving you five practical and useful things you can do right now to enhance your senior dog’s life.
1. Give your dog regular but moderate exercise
Just like old humans, senior dogs too will need some workout regimen to stay healthy and active, though at low impact. Regular exercise can help keep your pet mobile for extended periods and most importantly, will prevent him or her from becoming overweight, which is a common health concern among senior dogs. What’s more, the prospect of walking your senior pup will help maintain both his muscle and joint health. Unlike young and energetic counterparts, senior dogs do not need to undergo intense training. In fact, even brief activity sessions are sufficient to retain their health at optimum levels.
2. Visit your local veterinarian more often
Arguably, this is the most important factor that the owners of senior dogs must take into account. A certain research conducted by Pet Health Network revealed that only 14% of senior dogs undergo regular health screening, as recommended by their veterinarians. It is highly recommended that your old pup should undergo health examination every six months.
Early detection of diseases is highly critical. What’s more, routine testing is key to ensuring that there are no clinically-silent health problems. Again, veterinarians are highly-trained experts who can evaluate the health and the well-being of your dog and recommend practical tips to help keep your old pup active and healthy.
3. Beef up your dog’s comfort
Senior pups need to have more rest. This implies that you must find your canine companion somewhere quiet and free from disturbance, in a comfortable and cozy bed. Again, senior dogs are relatively more sensitive to excessive heat or cold. During the sweltering summer heat give your old pup lots of cold drinks. In addition reduce walk times. In winter provide heating pads to help him feel warm.
4. Groom your elderly pup regularly
Apparently, older dogs have special grooming needs, especially long-haired breeds. Because old dogs are usually less active, this may predispose them to increased matting of hair, parasite attacks, and all these may result in skin irritations. Regular grooming not only enhances healthier skin and hair but equally creates an opportunity to visualize and monitor the overall body condition of your aging dog.
5. Make sure your senior dog eats appropriately
Every dog expert will tell you that this is a major healthy habit to practice for the benefit of your senior pup. It is imperative to note that a significant number of senior dogs experience slower metabolic processes, including digestion. This implies that your old dog will find it easier taking smaller portions of meals that are distributed throughout the day. Again, it is highly advisable that you feed your senior canine companion a balanced diet that has high-quality ingredients in amounts appropriate enough to help maintain a healthy weight. Of course, every dog is different and each dog will have different nutritional needs. You can always consult your local dog vet regarding the best dog foods that are highly nutritious.
These are some of the most important factors to consider when caring for your senior dog. Of course, they are simple, practical and highly efficient. Start applying them today and improve your senior dog’s life.
About the writer: June is the founder of TobysBone, where she shares her passion for writing and love for dogs. She wants to help you deal with your dog’s behavior issues, grooming and health needs, and proper training. Through her blog, you can find informative and reliable posts, tips and tricks, and a lot of interesting reads that will help you maintain a close bond with your furry companion.