All Things Dog

Helping Your Dog Be Happy for Life

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When you look back at all the great times you’ve had with your four-legged senior companion, do you get misty eyed? It happens to lots of us. After all, these precious family members have seen us through many of life’s adventures. And now that they’ve reached their golden years, we want to do everything possible to keep them happy and comfortable. Your vet can give you advice that’s specifically geared to your dog’s temperament and physical condition, but here are a few simple, helpful tips:

SLEEPING/BEDDING

  • Keep your dog’s bed away from drafts
  • Make sure your dog’s bed is easy to access
  • Provide lots of soft padding
  • Keep your dog’s bed in the same spot

NUTRITION

  • Feed your dog food that’s specially developed for the nutritional needs of seniors, such as PEDIGREE® Healthy Longevity Food for Dogs
  • Check with your veterinarian to see if your dog needs nutrition supplements, such as glucosamine and chondroitin, for joint issues
  • To help keep him from gaining too much weight—a common problem for older dogs—don’t overfeed him

EXERCISE/PLAYTIME

  • Moderation is key—never push your senior dog beyond his comfort zone
  • Walking is a great exercise that helps keep muscles tones and joints moving
  • Two brief walks are better than one too-long walk
  • Easy games like hide-and-seek are great ways to help keep your dog active and alert
  • When exercising your dog outside, avoid extreme temperatures
  • Make sure he has access to fresh water

MOBILITY

  • Older dogs often have a difficult time on slick floors like tile or hardwood, so place carpeting or rubber mats where you see him slipping
  • If your dog can’t jump up to his favorite chair, a stool can help him take smaller steps upward
  • Ramps can help older dogs make it up a staircase—or consider rearranging your home so he no longer has to climb stairs

MEDICAL ISSUES
Older dogs are more susceptible to a wide range of illnesses and medical conditions, from cataracts and cancer to diabetes and arthritis. That’s why it’s more important than ever to make sure he sees the veterinarian at regular intervals. Your vet knows your dog’s medical history and physical condition, so consult with him/her whenever you think your dog is facing a medical issue.

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