Let us assume that you have a 6-year-old-pup. That age is almost equivalent to 45 years in human years, which means this pup is already in his or her golden years. In the dog world, this pup is already considered “senior.”
However, when a dog becomes senior, it does not mean that the life of this dog is going to be hopeless and sad. Oppositely, this is the time when dogs can relive their youth, learn a new routine, feel revitalized and energized, and enjoy their lives even more.
Below is a good guide for any senior dog owner to learn some important tips, which can help make our old best friends feel young again.
While it is important for all dog owners to keep their eyes on their pup’s health, it is also crucial to help old pups feel healthy and strong once more. Scroll further to find out some of the ways that will help you make your senior pup feel healthy, more alive, and most importantly, how to make it feel young again, and please tell us your thoughts in a comment!
Is My Pup A Senior?
For every loving dog owner, their dog was “just” a little puppy, who was chewing everything up and scampering around, and this is why it might be hard to realize that our beloved dogs have already become seniors.
Dogs between the ages of 6 and 10 begin to exhibit some aging signs, such as relieving themselves indoors, having a lower energy level, change in sleep patterns, and heightened social anxiety.
If your pup has already entered seniority, you should start adjusting their daily schedule to be sure they remain happy, healthy, and strong through their golden years.
Read the easy below tips to help your senior pup feel young again!
Tip #1: Keep Your Pup On A Healthy Diet
Nutrition is the most crucial aspect of the life of a senior dog. There are different views on the proper way to keep your senior pup on a healthy diet. Some people say older pups should not eat a high amount of protein, just like older people. Other resources of doggie health and wellness information, like Fidose of Reality, recommend keeping older pups on the diet they used to have their entire adult life. They argue that older pups need to eat quality protein to maintain their good muscle mass, and keep their kidneys healthy.
In any case, you have to be sure that you are working out the best diet for your dog’s needs. Discuss it with your vet, so that you can also ensure that your pup is getting the sufficient amounts of minerals and vitamins.
Tip #2: Never Stop Playing With Your Pup
Mental stimulation is not of less importance than proper nutrition. While your senior pup may become a bit slower, you can help them feeling constantly energized and revitalized by encouraging them to play.
Take into consideration that your energy level will affect your pup’s, so you should try creating some new ways to encourage them to play and stay alerted.
Fidose of Reality recommends making your senior pup mingle with other dogs of their age. Try taking them on slow walks around the block, swimming together, and joining a dog lovers group.
Tip #3: Keep Your Pup Fit
According to Dog Quality, over 52 percent of dogs in the US are considered overweight. Dr. Richard T, the author of Geriatrics & Gerontology of the Dog and Cat, explained, “Obese pets have shorter life spans than non-obese pets.”
Dog obesity can result in various health issues, such as lungs, kidneys, heart, and liver. To maintain your pup on a healthy body weight, it is important to keep them exercising on a daily basis, even when they are experiencing a decrease in their energy levels. This is also crucial for keeping their joints and muscles strong.
Improving your pup’s mobility will help them not to feel tired when in motion, and it will also reduce their chance of developing health issues such as respiratory impairment, hypertension, and diabetes.
Tip #4: Give YOUR Pup A New Purpose
All dogs have a strong desire for purpose in life, even dogs who are on the tail of their life. Regardless of your pup’s age, it is important to keep them mentally stimulated enough. Let them interact more with people and other pets.
Giving your pup some sort of routine they are interested in, is one of the best ways to give them an opportunity for mental exercise. Allowing your pup to contribute to something greater than themselves, will fulfill their desire to feel needed. Service and therapy dogs are great examples of this. However, it will be great for your pup if you can allow them to get involved in some routine, simple tasks with a sense of reward.
Tip #5: Teach Your Pup Hand Signals
As your pup ages, their sense of hearing gradually diminishes, just like with humans. According to Fidose of Reality, once the first signs of this appear, you should train your pup to notice and follow your hand signals.
For instance, teach your dog how to associate verbal commands for actions they learned throughout their life, like “sit”, “come”, and “go potty”, with specific hand signals.
Tip #6: Stick To A Daily Routine
You can enhance the quality of life your senior dog has in his or her golden years, by picking and sticking to a daily routine.
In fact, senior dogs are more prone to experience a decline in cognitive function and mental confusion. Therefore, it is crucial to let your senior pup look forward to activities that are predictable to them.
Dr. Mercola recommends you help reduce your pup’s uncertainty and anxiety through giving them a sense of routine.
Tip #7: Keep Your Pup’s Gums Healthy!
If you are not removing plaque from your pup’s teeth and gums, it will turn into tartar that causes their gums to be irritated and cause gingivitis. Gradually, this condition will pull your pup’s gums away entirely.
Leaving your pup’s gums untreated will eventually lead to irreversible periodontal disease due to the resulted small crevices in their gums because they will attract more bacteria.
Canine gum disease has been linked for many years to heart disease and heart valves inflammation. Therefore, you have to keep your pup’s gums clean by applying the oral hygiene routine recommended by your vet.
Tip #8: Let Your Pup Sleep On The Bed
Just like older humans, cold and hard floors are really uncomfortable for older pups to sleep on. This can cause arthritic and creaky joints, which are very painful.
Instead, provide your senior pup with both physical comfort and emotional security, by allowing them to sleep on the bed with you. Moreover, be sure to make accommodations that will help your senior pup get up and down easily. For instance, you can ease their access by providing them with small steps or ramps beside their beds. In case you are not able to share your bed with them, you can help to ease their achy bones by providing them with a soft, cushiony bed.
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