A recent survey by Statista reports that 69 million households in the US have dogs as a pet. It also makes them the most favorite pet category in the US, followed by cats and freshwater fishes. However, owning a pet and taking care of them are different aspects, particularly if you have a senior pet. Keeping your senior dog healthy, happy, and active can be challenging. But a few smart tips and tricks will help you succeed and keep your dog safe and sound while they’re in its golden years. Here are some simple things you can do to keep your senior dog feeling great:
Ensure a Sufficient Supply of Antibiotics
The reason why it’s essential to ensure an adequate supply of antibiotics for your senior dog is that these can help prevent infections, which are a severe problem for many older dogs. By 2027, the global pet care market will amount to US$265.7 million with an 8.6% CAGR. It implies that there always will be all better ways to make a pet’s life easier and more comfortable with the help of pet care products. Antibiotics can also go a long way towards helping your senior pup feel better and avoid any other serious health issues that might arise if they contract an infection. These include things like sepsis. It is a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks itself, kidney failure, liver failure, and more.
Antibiotics are available in both pill form and liquid form. Certain veterinarians may advise one kind over another, depending on your dog’s needs or preferences. Antibiotics like Amoxicillin capsules are simple to administer orally and have good gastrointestinal absorption. It ensures that each dosage has the most significant possible effect. It is a broad-spectrum medication that can help cure skin infections, urinary tract infections, and upper respiratory infections.
Keep Doors and Stairways Clear
It’s essential to keep the area around your home clear of clutter so your senior dog can navigate it easily. It includes doorways and stairways, too. Ensure your front door is wide enough for even the biggest dogs to pass through comfortably. And if you have stairs in your home, consider removing any rugs or carpeting from them.
As humans age, their eyesight begins to diminish, making it difficult for them to see things on the ground or even off in the distance. Unfortunately, this is true for your beloved dogs as they age. That’s why it’s essential to ensure they remain safe while traversing their homes when necessary.
Provide Warm Places to Sleep
Get a heated bed for your dog to sleep on. A good-quality heated pad is a significant investment. It can be used under the bed, on top, or even in front of the fireplace. If you don’t have a fireplace, the pads also work well in front of an open window during winter.
They’re beneficial if you live in an area where it gets freezing during the winter. However, you can also use them year-round.
If you don’t want to buy a new heated bed but still want something cozy for your senior dog, consider getting some blankets with pockets containing small heating pads. You could also use an electric blanket if you have one large enough for your dog’s size. In addition, they don’t pose any fire hazards since these blankets are set on “off” when not used.
Feed a Senior-Specific Diet
The first step in keeping your senior dog healthy is to feed them a senior-specific diet. You’ll want to choose one that fits your size, age, and health condition. Old dogs typically need fewer calories than adult dogs, and many can also benefit from reduced protein content. To find the right food for your beloved pet, consult your veterinarian. On average, dogs see the vet twice a year, and 69 percent of dogs have an appointment for a routine examination. It is, therefore, always better to visit a vet every once in a while for their wellbeing.
The benefits of feeding a senior dog a specialized diet are numerous:
- The food will be tailored to meet their nutritional needs as they age.
- It will contain fewer preservatives, toxins, and chemicals than other pet foods on the market, which could affect their overall health.
Clean up Spills Immediately
The best way to keep your senior dog safe is to be prepared. After all, it’s easy to forget that your aging pet is more prone to getting into accidents than a younger one. It means that you need to make sure you clean up any spills immediately. Don’t let the dog lick them, don’t let him eat them, and don’t let him step in them. You also want to make sure no drinks are left unwatched or unattended for too long.
All this may sound like a lot of work, and at times it will be, but if you don’t take care of these things now, you may find yourselves dealing with something much worse, like health issues caused by poor hygiene habits.
Add a Pet Gate
You can buy a pet gate at your local pet store or build one using materials that you have lying around the house. For example, if you remodel your bathroom and have leftover wood trim, you can use them to your advantage. Pet gates are great for keeping dogs out of certain areas of your home. They’re also helpful in blocking off staircases and other places where it’s dangerous for dogs to go, and not just because they can get hurt. Dogs often chew on things like baseboards and door frames when bored or left unattended. Therefore, installing a pet gate may prevent them from damaging your walls and molding later down the road.
Check Your Yard for Potential Hazards
Next, check your yard for potential hazards. Clear away any sharp objects that could cause your dog to trip or get stuck, including rocks and sticks. Sharp edges are hazardous for senior dogs because they may have trouble seeing or hearing and thus be more at risk of injury. Next, check the area around your home and look for any plants that threaten your pet. Even if a plant isn’t toxic, it could cause an allergic reaction in some dogs. Finally, keep away from areas where your dog could become trapped. These include under fences, behind bushes, and between trees or shrubs. Also, keep them off raised surfaces like decks with no handrails on all sides.
Exercise Your Older Dog Less Strenuously
As your senior dog ages, he will need more exercise than a younger dog. However, you should adjust his schedule to match his limited abilities and energy levels. For example, an older dog’s heart is not as strong as it used to be, so you should give him breaks between strenuous exercise sessions or vigorous playtime. You may also need to cut back on the number of daily walks because he can’t walk as far or run as fast any longer. If you have an older adult who has always been sedentary, i.e., doesn’t go for walks, consider getting her on the treadmill or in a pool so she can get some exercise without damaging her joints.
Keeping Your Senior Dog Home Ready for Them Is Important
Dog’s age, but that doesn’t mean they stop being the pets you adore, so keeping the home ready for them is crucial. For example, keeping your dog comfortable with stairs and ramps can help them transition from one floor to another more easily. Having a designated place for water and food is also essential. One of the most important things you can do for your senior dog is to provide lots of love and affection. Your senior dog may be losing sight or hearing, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still love attention or want to hang out with you.