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Giving Your Dog the Best Golden Years

Love your dog as much as it has loved you throughout the years. Show your pet you care by following these simple steps!
Paisley Hansen Sep 28, 2019
When you look into the sweet eyes of your old dog, you don’t see a grey-faced old grouch. You see your best pal, the one who you have been taking care of for years before he earned his white hair and cataracts. Just like humans, the needs of dogs change the older they get.
Make sure that your furry friend is getting his best care, even if he’s not a spritely little pup anymore!

Vitamins and Supplements

You take your multivitamin every morning and make sure that your kids and partner do too. Why shouldn’t Fido get the same treatment? Older dogs especially are prone to weakened bones and joints, as well as lower levels of calcium.
If you notice him starting to walk a little bit stiff-legged, consider finding him a reliable doggie multivitamin. Brands like Ultimate Pet Nutrition have found sneaky ways to dose out vitamins for dogs so that they only think they’re getting a yummy treat — taking the creative pressure off of you.

Modified Meals

Senior dogs, like senior humans, are at a higher risk for heart disease. Since yours can’t take a daily aspirin or drink a Boost shake, consider changing his diet in other ways. Dog foods for older dogs that are lower in sodium but higher in calcium can be found at pet stores, but ask your veterinarian before making any major changes.
Be mindful also of high fat content when you’re deciding on brands to prevent your dog from gaining too much weight.

Keep Them Moving

It’s understandable that an older dog is going to be less active than they used to be, but remember that exercise is every bit as important now as it was when they were a pup. Go on daily walks to keep joints, muscles and blood flow regularly worked out.
Since you know your dog the best, read when it’s time to calm down and take a rest. Make sure that you have plenty of water available and don’t push him too hard; sore muscles are no fun for anybody, but especially for an elderly animal.

Keep Up on Vet Visits

Consider scheduling a visit to the vet every six months rather than twice a year, especially if your dog has suddenly gone downhill in a short amount of time. Make sure that vaccines and medications are up-to-date; his poor old immune system is weaker than it used to be and he needs more prevention against illnesses than younger dogs.

Clean and Healthy

The grooming habits for older dogs are different from younger dogs, so understand the changes and accommodations that you might need to start making. Make bath time a spa treatment for your old boy. When you give baths, use comfortably warm water and treat him to a massage as you lather the soap into his fur.
Brush him and clip the mats out from his ears, feathering and overall coat. Incontinence is an unfortunate reality of age, so trimming the fur close to his private area is one option for keeping him clean (especially if he’s got long hair). Don’t forget to check for fleas and to use preventative shampoo and treatments to get rid of any unwanted guests.

Keep an Eye on Bumps

As your dog gets older, you might notice that there are bumps on his tummy or chest area. To some degree lumps and bumps are normal on old dogs; they will often develop benign fatty tumors. They can be alarming though, especially if they seem to pop up overnight, so schedule a visit with your vet immediately to get them checked if you’re worried.
Dogs are one of the best gifts that humanity has ever been given. If you’re lucky enough to be able to look into the wise old eyes of your own, then you’re lucky enough. Give him the best possible golden years that you can by making sure that your senior dog is happy, healthy and well-cared-for.