8 Ways to Make Life More Comfortable for your Elderly Dog
According to our vets, our dogs become senior citizens aged just seven! Scary thought isn’t it? We’d hope there’s plenty of life left in the old dog yet, as the saying goes, so how can you help to ensure they stay comfortable in their latter years? Read our 8 simple steps to making life more comfortable for your older dog.
- Check with the vet
If your dog’s behaviour changes, wanting to walk less, eat less or more, peeing more frequently it’s a good idea to have them checked out at the vet to make sure there’s nothing sinister going on. That done, there’s lots you can do.
2. Daily Exercise
Every dog needs daily exercise even if your dog has stiff and achy joints and walks slowly. Going for a walk, sniffing new smells even if they don’t actually get to socialise with other dogs, is good for their mental as well as their physical well-being. There are lots of products on the market these days that claim to help maintain mobility and joint health and the ones we sell and recommend all come with proven track records.
- Glucosamine is known to help support joint conditions. Try Glucosamine Plus 5000 which contains Glucosamine Sulphate, MSM and vitamin C.
- A Combo is very effective especially when combined with Green Lipped Mussel.
- Proflax Natural Bone & joint formula consists of 80% cold pressed flax oil and a 20% vet approved formula of 6 active herbal extracts is a ready blended superfood supplement which offers multiple health benefits to help keep your dog in tip top condition. This blend specifically helps to maintain strong bones, aid joint mobility and circulation whilst having a calming and relaxing effect.
- Spring is another new addition to our range which alleviates old and hardworking joints, tendons and muscles.
3. Attach a Bell
If your dog’s hearing or even their sight is not so good anymore then attaching a bell to their collar on walks could be invaluable, a topic covered in To Bell or Not to Bell.
4. One Step at a Time
One of the common problems with older dogs is that they can no longer jump into the car, or onto their favourite spot on the sofa or even your bed! Lifting them up is not always an option, especially if they’re medium size or larger so you could invest in a ramp, or set of mini stairs or even just those little steps they sell for toddlers to be able to reach a wash basin. My dogs have a dog flap to be able to access the garden freely and I have found that as they get older I have had to put a step outside (a paving stone on bricks) so that they can get back into the house without a struggle.
In the house if your dog finds it difficult not to slip and slide on your hard floors you might consider carpet runners for them to walk on and if your dog’s sight isn’t too good, don’t rearrange the furniture!
5. Keep the Mind Active
To keep your dog’s brain alert play games with them. Hide and seek is a favourite and easily played in the house or out on walks; you don’t have to hide yourself but use a much loved toy or food and get them to find it behind a tree or sofa, under a chest of drawers – the only limit is your imagination! An idea for indoor entertainment is a snuffle mat which if you search online you can probably find instructions on how to make. The idea of a snuffle mat you can probably guess is to sniff out the hidden treats. There are also dog puzzle toys on the market; some are simple balls that roll across the floor and food drops out, others are more complicated in that your dog needs to move something to get to the treat. If your dog is keen on fetch, then even in the house you can roll a ball across the floor. One thing to bear in mind, especially if your dog is carrying a little extra weight, is if you give food treats to make sure there is a little less in their dinner bowl!
Diet is really important and I personally advocate feeding a raw, natural diet but even if you feed a complete or some other form of food, make sure it is a good quality one. Unfortunately price is not always the best indicator of quality so I advise going to www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk for an unbiased review of what’s in your dog’s dinner bowl.
We all want our dogs to have a nice shiny coat so along with regular grooming if your dog is shedding too much fur or the coat just doesn’t look as good as you’d like a high quality supplement may be the answer. K9 Sure is a great all round supplement which contains a blend of seaweed, alfalfa, fenugreek, parsley, nettle, astragalus and spirulina. Alternatively, consider Proflax Skin & Coat formula to keep your dog in tip top condition while specifically helping to calm itchy sensitive skin, soothe allergies and inflammation, promote a shiny coat and reduce hair loss. Bursting with minerals, vitamins, proteins and fibre this delicious supplement is offered in an easy to feed liquid that when used regularly, completes a balanced feeding plan.
7. Oral Health
Bad breath, the sort that would knock you down at six paces? If teeth and gums have passed your vet’s inspection, it’s time to consider other measures. You could try adding fresh parsley or mint to their dinner bowl, give them a raw meaty bone, a carrot or a stick of celery to chew. Also try adding TartarX to their dinner to help with the breath issue. TartarX consists of a range of sea vegetables including Chondrus crispus & Fucus versicuosis and should be sprinkled on your dog’s daily meal.
8. Water works
In old age, many dog owners find that their pets suffer from urinary incontinence – especially bitches which have been spayed. To keep this at bay try a cranberry derived supplement such as Bladder Rite.
Follow these steps to help ensure your dog has a healthy and happy old age.