Senior dogs require special care to maintain their optimum quality of life. These 50 tips will help you provide the proper care and keep your senior dog happy. This will allow you to be the best owner and care for a dog that has been with you through the years.
50 Ways to Take Care of Your Senior Dog
1. Monitor their health closely.
2. Make sure they don’t fall.
3. Provide high-quality food and treats.
4. Rotate their toys often.
5. Give them ample exercise regularly.
6. Take them on frequent short walks or playtime.
7. Allow them access to the outdoors when possible.
8. Keep an eye out for changes in behavior and appetite to see if something is wrong.
9.Know their triggers and signs of distress that could lead to a medical emergency.
10.Find a vet specializing in geriatrics to help manage their health as they age.
11. Keep up with senior vaccines and exams.
12. Help keep joints flexible and strong by limiting flat surface walking to avoid arthritis, and consider joint supplements such as glucosamine/chondroitin or fish oil supplements as needed.
13. Keep them slim by feeding smaller portions daily and giving plenty of exercise for weight control.
14. Visit your vet regularly to help your dog maintain a good weight, monitor their heart and lungs, and keep them as active as possible.
As the dog’s health declines, it will become increasingly difficult to lift them into their crate or car. Always transport them by a restraint system such as a soft-sided crate or seat belt that provides comfort but restricts the dog’s movement.
15. Keep the inside temperature cool and use an air conditioner or fan as needed.
16. Keep them on a regular schedule to keep their internal clock set to your schedule and maintain a regular sleep routine.
17. Keep their teeth and mouth clean to help avoid infections, which are more common in older dogs than younger ones.
18. Their vision may not be as good, so adjust your dog’s leash length so that they can still see well enough to walk safely and provide visual cues and eye contact to help orient them.
19. Always protect your dog from harsh summer temperatures by providing a shady spot, and buy a sun umbrella if necessary.
20. Feed your senior dog in their regular feeding time because although it is easier on you, it is harder on the dog because they may not be as hungry as younger dogs.
21. Keep them safe from snow and rain by providing an indoor run with a roof or umbrella to keep the heat in, and invest in some collapsible dog houses so that they can have a place to retire when the snow falls.
22. Keep them safe from cold weather by providing a warm bed, keeping their food chilled, and making sure they are up to date on their flea prevention medications.
23. Monitor their urinary health to prevent frequent trips to the vet.
24. When it is time for them to retire, provide an easy transition by keeping them inside a crate in a room with a heater or air conditioner.
25. Be there for them. When you are shutting off the lights at night, say good night, give them a good hug or stroke their head and tail, and don’t forget to pat them.
26. Read their body language and pay attention to how they are reacting to your touch, so you can know if they are in pain, scared, or happy.
27. Ensure they are as comfortable as possible with plenty of cushions or soft rugs to lie on and make sure they can get into a cooler spot if it is hot and stay out of the sun if it is too hot.
28. If you have multiple dogs, consider having a day where just one dog gets extra attention while the other dogs are in their crates so that you can have quality time with each dog and still keep everyone happy.
29. Consider all of the options for your senior dog’s long-term health and wellbeing. Your vet may be able to provide guidance and help you utilize the available support services.
30. Be prepared for how much it will cost to care for them, and also know that some of those expenses include things you may not expect, such as trips to the vet or prescriptions they need.
31. Live in a position to help your dog and make sure you have enough time in your schedule for the required care.
32. If you will be away, have someone else stay at home with your dog.
33. If you will be away, check in on them every day to make sure they are happy and healthy, and don’t forget to call when you get back.
34 Give them plenty of love and attention throughout the day, so they know more than you love them.
35. Be sensitive to their needs and put yourself in their shoes before making any decisions.
36. Know that the time they have with you is precious and take a moment every day to think of the memories you’ve shared with your dog, and keep your dog’s mind active by playing some stimulating games like hide-and-seek or try teaching them some new tricks.
37. Help them stay in shape for old age. Be sure to check out senior dog exercises, obedience exercises, and weight training techniques for dogs that you can do with your dog at home.
38. Take care of yourself so that you can take good care of your dog. Take it easy on yourself when caring for your senior dog to avoid illness and illness in your senior dog.
39. Watch those dental bills, and be sure to budget for them because they may not be able to eat correctly when they are older.
40. Embrace the changes that age brings and try not to be too alarmed by them, and know that they can help you understand your dog better as well.
41. Be sure to let your other family members know what you are doing and when you will be away from home so they can keep an eye on your dog when you are gone.
42. Make sure they are comfortable with the people your senior dog is staying with. When you get home, make sure your dog feels like they are being welcomed back into the family rather than feeling like they have been abandoned while you were gone.
43. Stay flexible when you care for your dog and make sure you have an open mind to changing up the schedule to take care of your senior dog’s needs.
44. Know that it can be difficult and time-consuming to keep up with all the things that are going on in your senior dog’s life, so make sure that they know that you are there for them when they get old, even if they can’t speak or see very well anymore.
45. Use a leash and harness to keep them safe when walking them in public areas, or make sure you know the laws and state rules about where you are supposed to walk your dog if they are not familiar with the area.
46. Use caution with stairs, and make sure they never put their paws on the edge of the stairs because that could lead to broken bones.
47. Use a rug or pads around the toilet so that your dog does not slip while they are taking care of business.
48. Give them plenty of treats when they are old to keep their systems healthy and reward them for good behavior and hard work.
49. Try to encourage them to eat healthy food, but don’t force it on them if they don’t want it, as long as the food is safe for them because you can end up hurting your dog by forcing healthy eating habits on them that their bodies cannot handle anymore.
50. Don’t forget to be kind to your senior dog, and make sure they are as happy as they can be in their later years.
Take a moment and send some love down to your dog because they are very special creatures that deserve our respect and all the love that they can get. Remember, a dog’s life is an endless adventure – full of fun times and surprising events. Be sure to share yours with them!
Know that you have the support of other dog owners and friends there for you if you ever need help. When you need help from your vet, know that there is someone who has your dog’s best interest at heart and can help you with their health issues.
Know that you were meant to be a dog owner and that the care in your heart is priceless. And when you need some guidance or have questions, don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice from others who are just like you – caring dog owners!