Age catches up with everyone, including dogs. But every dog ages differently depending on the breed. Larger breeds tend to age quickly, and the smaller breeds generally live longer. Like humans, they become prone to age-related illnesses like cancer, liver failure, joint pain, and stiffness. As a pet parent, you may also have to deal with incontinence and dementia. Older dogs need patience and care, and you must help them navigate their golden years by taking charge of their diet and exercise.
If you are a parent to an aging dog, here are a few tips to help you.
As they age, dogs need an age-appropriate diet. Their general lack of mobility makes them prone to weight gain. To prevent obesity, ensure that your pet's diet is low in fat and has fewer calories.
You can also give them joint supplements and fish oil pills to keep their joints from hurting. A typical joint supplement includes glucosamine, chondroitin, vitamin C, and omega-3 fatty acids. To prevent loss of sight, make sure the pill contains hyaluronic acid.
Homemade bone broth is also beneficial for older dogs. It can improve digestion and has many essential nutrients. Adding pumpkin to their diet can also help to improve digestion. If the breed is prone to anemia, include steamed veggies, greens like kale and spinach, and dandelions in the diet.
CBD is also an excellent supplement for dogs. CBD for dogs is very effective for pain management. Many pet parents have reported that supplements have significantly improved appetite in pets with end-of-life diseases. Some owners have reported improvement in conditions like anxiety and inflammatory bowel disease.
As your pet grows older, their mobility decreases drastically. You may have to persuade your dog to join you for a stroll. You can encourage your dog by taking your pup to places where they can sniff new smells. However, physical activity isn't enough. You will also have to keep your dog's mind active. To do so, give your dog a new toy, take them to a dog park, or change your walking route. Pets, especially senior dogs, also love swimming.
As they age, pets tend to become withdrawn and detached. They experience mental confusion and seem uninterested in activities they once enjoyed. But this does not mean they do not care about you. If your pet loves company, consider arranging play dates. Many senior pets love being around other pets and get active when other dogs are around.