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Older Dog : Aging Dog : Loving Care for Your Elderly Friend

Updated on August 4, 2014

7 Tips for Keeping Your "Older Dog" Healthy & Happy

Whether you're adopting an "older dog" or you're concerned about your pet who's been with you for many years . . . you can make a huge difference in the quality of his or her life.

Here are 7 things you can do to keep your dog healthy and happy in these "golden years":

#1: Feed Your "Aging Dog" A High-Quality Diet

Whether that is a commercial dog food diet, or homemade, be sure to provide your "aging dog" with the best diet you can afford or have time to provide. Consult with your Vet and pay close attention to your dog's likes and dislikes. Once you have considered these pieces of information, do your best to provide the best quality dog food within your means.

#2: Exercise Your "Elderly Dog" On A Regular Basis

You always hear that exercise is important for dog health, but it's for a reason: exercise will help your "elderly dog" avoid many of the problems dogs face in aging: arthritis, joint problems, dysplasia and others. Keeping his body moving, his joints loose and everything stretched and toned will help to keep him emotionally happy and physically healthy.

#3: Make Regular Visits to the Vet With Your "Older Dog"

Your vet has the expertise to notice a problem with your "older dog" and in some cases will notice a problem long before you do. In addition, if you take your dog to the vet on a regular basis, you can create an on-going dialogue with your Vet. what does this mean? Surely, you will have developed a trust and can feel comfortable talking to and getting advice from him or her if a dog health problem should arise.

#4: Keep Your "Senior Dog" On A Consistent Routine

Dogs thrive on predictability and consistency. If you change your daily routine and are inconsistent with meal times and other things, your "senior dog" will have a hard time making constant adjustments to fit your life. Our lives are busy and it might be hard to keep a constant level of consistency in your aging dog's life, but do your best. Especially as your dog gets older, he will rely on you to provide a consistent level of attention and care.

#5: Make Sure Your "Older Dog" Has A Social Outlet

Your "older dog" may not be a party animal but know this: dogs are highly social animals and if he or she is left alone much of the day without companionship or attention . . . it's just not good.

While your dog would much prefer YOUR company, if you can't be around consistently for some crazy reason:

. . . Consider having someone come in to walk your dog twice a day.

. . . Perhaps you're ready to add another dog to your house to keep your older dog company.

. . . Maybe you can arrange visits to a local dog day care center.

Whatever it is, make sure your dog's life is full of opportunities to be social. It's his nature . . . and feeding that need in him will help him emotionally as he ages.

#6: Change Your Senior Dog's Living Conditions, If Necessary

I know . . . this seems to contradict the "consistent routine" tip, but here's what I mean: if your "senior dog" seems to suffer from joint problems (like dog arthritis), you may want to re-consider allowing him to sleep outside in the winter weather any more . . . no matter how much he loves it.

If your older dog seems to have a hard time climbing stairs, it might be time to move his dog bed out of the basement (or the upstairs bedroom) and into the family space on the main floor.

The point is for you to be flexible and responsive to your senior dog's needs. He can't tell you what he needs, so pay attention and respond appropriately.

Consider An Orthopedic Pad . . . For Nap Time - Highly Recommended For Senior Dogs

Dog Whisperer by Cesar Millan Blue Microtec Gel Fill Orthopedic Napper
Dog Whisperer by Cesar Millan Blue Microtec Gel Fill Orthopedic Napper

This breathable, super soft, microfiber material features a luxurious supple touch. Includes an Orthopedic pad, a gel fill topper and a layer of comfort fill for cozy softness. Plus, there's an added non-skid bottom to help keep your bed in place. Perfect for older dogs or dogs with joint problems. The removable zippered cover is machine washable.

 

#7: Don't Fret Over Your "Aging Dog" . . . Just Love 'Em!

Are you saddened by the fact your dog is getting older? Snap out of it, and instead focus on just loving your aging friend. (Afterall, we almost always outlive our beloved pets anyway).

Your job is to love and care for your "aging dog" while he or she is with you . . . however long or short a period of time that may be. Don't let your fear of your dog dying prevent you from enjoying your time together each and every day.

Now . . . Something For You (To Help Set You At Ease) - A Quality Of Life Guide For Your Aging Dog

Caring for Your Aging Dog: A Quality-of-Life Guide for Your Dog's Senior Years
Caring for Your Aging Dog: A Quality-of-Life Guide for Your Dog's Senior Years

Reviewer comments: ". . . contains helpful reference guides for check ups, medical conditions, and the many changes that occur during the aging process, which can be frightening if you dont understand them. It also lists invaluable resources . . . Throughout the book are personal accounts from other dog owners which are very touching. All of us dread the thought of losing our "babies", but this book can help you relax some during what is a very bitter/sweet time , allowing you to focus on being together, rather than feeling afraid by every change that occurs." - By J. Ulery

 

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      thanks for all the advise but, in our case anyway, i'm not sure just how helpfull it is. My dog, Ross, is 13 and very timid and shy so socialising him at such an age may not be such a wise plan! he is just scared of other dogs.

    • ChristmasOrname profile image

      ChristmasOrname 5 years ago

      Beautiful lens. Older dogs really do need special care, and after a lifetime (in most cases) of giving us joy, they deserve it!

    • profile image

      jason002 5 years ago

      Sorry!!!But I love your site! And I think it's true that all dogs need love but the older they get the more love they need. Like us we are here for so long.

    • pheonix76 profile image

      pheonix76 6 years ago from WNY

      What a nice lens. I lost my senior pup last year -- older dogs are so special!!

    • profile image

      Stotty 6 years ago

      Great lens, my girl's starting to wear a bit at the edges now,but still has the mind of a pup, she keeps the moggy in check :)

    • WildFacesGallery profile image

      Mona 6 years ago from Iowa

      Really great lens. I've been fortunate that all of my dogs have lived to be old dogs. Lensrolling to my Cisco lens.

    • profile image

      healyourdog 8 years ago

      As kind of an "old dog" (with hip/arthritis problems!) myself, I'm interested in providing healthy and happy conditions for older pets. Thanks for this good and informative lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I just appreciate anyone who can understand what it's like to have an aging dog. How it breaks your heart to see him/her not be able to function as they used to.

      Information can help give hope for your elderly dog. Thank you for that information and.....

      Thank you for your website.

      MJ