As your dog gets older, it’s important to pay extra close attention to his or her health and comfort. Older dogs are at a greater risk for developing health conditions may experience impaired mobility due to joint deterioration. Here are six things that you can do to keep your older dog healthy and comfortable.
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1. Help Your Dog Stay Active
Staying physically active will foster proper joint function and flexibility so your dog will experience less stiffness and inflammation. Make sure you take your dog for walks rather than simply quick trips outside and take some time to play every day.
Playtime will also help your dog stay happy and engaged, which will benefit his or her overall well-being. If your dog enjoys being in the water, swimming is a great way to get in some low-impact exercise that will be easy on your dog’s joints. However, older dogs may tire more quickly, so it’s a good idea to get your dog a life vest even if he or she is a good swimmer.
2. Treat Pain Naturally
An older dog with certain health conditions or age-related mobility impairments can benefit from CBD oil for pets. It can be used to treat conditions such as arthritis, chronic inflammation, seizures, and irritable bowel syndrome, to name a few.
CBD has also been known to help alleviate stress and anxiety in dogs, which may have a positive impact on an underlying health condition. If you’re getting a CBD product for your pet, it’s important to use one that is specifically formulated for pets and made from all-natural or organic ingredients. It should be sourced from pure hemp oil and not contain any processed additives.
3. Get an Orthopedic Pet Bed
Just because your dog loves to sleep on the furniture doesn't mean that's the best place for them. Your dog needs a bed that will provide maximum comfort—at any age! An orthopedic pet bed will contour to your pet’s body without causing too much pressure on his or her joints. Get a bed with a high-quality filling material such as memory foam.
4. Take Care of Your Dog’s Oral Health
Dogs’ teeth and gums can collect a lot of plaque and tartar buildup. Over time, it can cause serious oral health problems including gum disease, tooth infections, and even tooth loss. Older dogs tend to be a greater risk of developing oral health conditions. These conditions can be extremely uncomfortable and lead to illness or lack of appetite.
Stay on top of your dog’s oral health with regular brushing. If you didn't start when they were pups, start now. Use a toothbrush and toothpaste that’s designed for dogs—do not use toothpaste that’s made for humans. It may be difficult to introduce an older dog to brushing, but some treats may help the process go more smoothly. You can also supplement your brushing efforts with dental treats that are made to help trap plaque and tartar. They have a rough and porous surface that collects buildup as they rub against your dogs’ teeth. By removing plaque and tartar, dental treats can also help freshen your dog’s breath.
5. Encourage Your Dog to Stay Hydrated
Hydration is extremely important for your older dog’s health. Your dog needs continuous access to fresh and cold water. A dog likely won’t be interested in drinking water that’s been sitting out all day. Dogs have a very acute sense of smell, and stagnant water won’t be appealing to them. Change your dog’s water bowl several times throughout the day. In addition, a pet fountain can keep water fresh and oxygenated. The sound of running water may make your dog more interested in drinking.
6. Support Healthy Digestive Activity
Older dogs’ digestive function may slow as they age, and it can cause unhealthy bacteria to accumulate throughout the lining of your dog’s digestive tract. This buildup can prevent your dog from fully absorbing the nutritional content in his or her food. Using a digestive supplement that contains probiotics can help promote regular digestion while also removing unhealthy bacteria.
Always check with your veterinarian before giving your dog any supplements.
Being vigilant about your dog’s health and comfort will help ensure that he or she continues to enjoy a great quality of life in old age. Ultimately, attentive care in addition to regular medical visits will enhance your dog’s happiness and longevity.
How are you helping your older dog stay healthy?