Older dogs can enjoy a comfortable life into their advanced years. Here's how to help.
Pad Your Dog's Comfort Zone Just like humans, older dogs aren't as sure-footed as they used to be and might become arthritic as they age. Adapt the indoors for their less agile senior feet.
Editor's Tip: Getting older doesn't have to mean that your dog needs to slow down or avoid climbing stairs and going on walks. Sometimes the slowness is due to joint pain, which can be managed. Talk to your vet if you suspect canine arthritis.
Maintain a Regular Routine Mealtimes, rests, walks, and play at the usual times comfort your dog as it ages. But adjust these routines to suit your pooch.
Keep Your Canine Cool Senior dogs don't tolerate extreme temperatures very well. Here are some tips for keeping them comfy during hot weather.
Editor's Tip: In cold weather, set up your dog's bed in toasty places away from drafts.
Keep Up Your Older Dog's Appearance A well-groomed dog is a happy dog, regardless of age.
See the Vet for Regular Exams Find a vet you trust, and then let this medical professional help preserve and even improve your dog's golden years with regular medical exams. The vet will check for vision and hearing loss, as well as heart disease, and take blood to monitor the liver, kidneys, and pancreas.
It's also important to take care of your dog's dental health. Many vets recommend that you brush your dog's teeth every day. Your vet will let you know if your dog needs to have its teeth professionally cleaned.
Editor's Tip: No one knows your dog better than you do. Educate yourself about health problems that affect senior canines. You might notice symptoms in between appointments that should be brought to your vet's attention.
Watch for Warning Signs Keep in mind that the health problems experienced by senior dogs will vary based on the breed, size, weight, activity level, and quality of care. Watch for these signs and symptoms while remembering that they don't always mean your dog has a serious condition. Let your dog be examined by a vet to get a professional diagnosis.