Is your dog growing old? Do you want to make sure he remains happy and healthy in his aging years? Guest author, Jordan Walker, the lead content curator of Coops and Cages, shares how you can make this possible. All dogs shown in this post are up for adoption from Best Friends.
Dogs can live as long as 10 to 16 human years. However, when they grow old, they are at risk of suffering health issues, which affect their mobility, seeing, and hearing. It may even lead to the loss of appetite. The worst that could happen is that they might be vulnerable to chronic illnesses, such as dog tumors and cancers.
Because dogs are known to be loyal, owners become saddened when their canine pals grow old. So, they would definitely want to make their remaining days as comfortable as possible.
Here are some ways to accomplish this:
Do Not Expose Them to Extreme Weather Conditions
Like humans, older dogs tend to be very sensitive to extreme conditions. Their bodies aren’t able to regulate their internal temperature as efficiently as they could when they were young. As such, it helps to always provide them with blankets to help keep them warm. Also, they shouldn’t be left outside the house if the weather is too hot or too cold.
Prevent Them from Doing Heavy Activities
The heart and lungs of your dogs function poorly as they grow old. Hence, they shouldn’t be exposed to excessive activities. Otherwise, their internal organs might give up while trying to cope. However, this doesn’t mean it is healthy to keep them idle. Although dogs are a little less energetic in their senior years, they still need to get those joints moving. Short walks help keep them physically and mentally healthy.
Make Sure They Keep a Healthy Diet
Older dogs need to avoid less fatty foods in their diets. But still, you have to make sure they keep a decent amount of protein in it. If possible, have several meals of smaller servings than 1-2 huge meals in a day. This is preferred because their body can no longer digest food the way it can before.
Give Them Sufficient Vitamins and Supplements
Since older dogs aren’t able to digest nutrients as they used to, you will need to use supplements to compensate. There are tons available in malls, but if you want to be sure, you can contact your vet.
Make Sure They Get Enough Amounts of Sleep
Sometimes, aging affects the sleep cycle of dogs. This can leave them restless at night and asleep during the day. If you are concerned about your pet’s sleep cycle, consult your vet so that he can give you advice on how to introduce medication or therapy to your dog the safe way. Remember, dogs still need enough sleep to remain healthy.
Helping a dog through their aging years is a great way to show your affection for your pet. They may live shorter lives than you, but they sure know how to appreciate your every action and each second you spend with them.
Author: Jordan Walker
Jordan is the lead content curator for Coops and Cages as well as other pet-related blogs. His passion for animals is paired with his love for “attempting” to play the guitar. If you would like to catch more of him, you can visit his Google+ or Twitter accounts.
If you are interested in adopting any of these senior dogs, apply soon! Best Friends is celebrating Adopt a Senior Month by generously waiving adoption fees on all senior dogs and cats. Additionally, the first 25 pets adopted are going to be flown to their new home free!
It is hard having to come to terms with how quickly our dogs age, but by following these steps it does make it much easier. I am so in love with what Best Friends is doing – seniors have such a special place in my heart and each of them put a big smile on my face. I’m hoping all of them get their second chance soon.
It really is devastating. One of the things I took into consideration when my husband wanted to get a Maltese was the life expectancy. The longer life expectancy of a small dog was a big plus for me.
I love senior dogs! One of the dogs from my childhood lived to be 17 and it still wasn’t long enough.
Tenacious Little Terrier says
I think Mr. N is technically a senior this year. I’ve been giving him a joint supplement as a preventative but otherwise he’s still super peppy.
Lauren Miller (ZoePhee) says
I love senior dogs! They are all so cute! The girls are not seniors yet but we are doing joint supplements because they are so active.
That is a great idea to keep them healthy!
These are wonderful tips. One of my babies will be approaching her senior years. I could use these tips.
Elizabeth Keene says
Oh, what a beautiful bunch of distinguished senior canines! I just want to scritch and snuggle them all! ♥ Hope they get homes soon; makes me so sad to see the seniors in shelters (and I can’t have them all). Thanks for the tips and for taking their pictures!
Cathy Armato says
Great advice for giving your senior dog the best life possible! All the dogs pictured are absolutely adorable!
Love & biscuits,
Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them
Your article on this blog is fantastic. Well done! I’m a big fan of your blog and be sure to keep up the great work.