Good news! Senior dog adoptions have been on the rise in recent years!
Whether you've had your dog since puppyhood or just picked up a senior dog from the shelter, you know your pet has lots of love left to give.
As our dogs age, they start to look a little gray in the snout and stiff in the limbs. You may notice that your dog sleeps more often or has more trouble with their hearing and vision. Just as senior dogs start to look a little different, senior dog care should be different too.
Set your old pal up for success with these seven healthy tips for senior dogs!
1. Switch to a Senior Diet
As dogs age, they move around less, so they won't need as many calories from their food. Weight gain in senior dogs will lead to more exacerbated health problems, so it's important to reassess your senior dog's diet.
Look for a natural dog food or raw food that is low-calorie, low-fat, and free from chemical preservatives and artificial colors. Foods with quality meat proteins and probiotics are great to keep your aging dog feeling their best.
2. Clean Those Canines
Good oral hygiene is essential at every stage in your dog's life. You can't expect good oral health if you wait until you're 65 to brush your teeth. Oral health is especially important for dog seniors because they are more likely to lose teeth and develop infections like periodontitis.
Brush your dog's teeth at least twice weekly with a finger brush and dog toothpaste. Dental treats and raw bones can help remove tarter between brushings, but these shouldn't replace a regular dental routine. Take your senior dog to the vet for their annual teeth cleaning!
Pro tip: Add some Renew to your dog's toothpaste, mix it up and use with additional Renew benefits!
3. Wag Your Tails
Although senior dogs aren't as motivated to run and play, they still need regular exercise. Allowing your dog to snooze inside all day can lead to weight gain, weakened muscles, and worsened joint pain.
If your senior pet isn't used to exercise, try taking a ten-minute walk every day. Walk to the end of your driveway or take a few laps around the yard. Your dog will enjoy spending quality time with you and exercising his mind outdoors.
P.S.: You can teach an old dog new tricks. Give it a try while Fido is up and energized!
4. Keep Up with Grooming
As your dog ages, you may not want to subject him to the stress of bath time, but cleanliness is crucial for senior dogs. Older dogs tend to struggle with more dryness, dander, and skin irritation. Taking your senior dog to the groomer can be less stressful for you and your dog since grooming stations have specialized washing sinks.
You don't have to spend hundreds at the groomer to keep your friend feeling fresh. Brush your dog at home at least a few days per week to remove excess hair, skin, and oils that could be bothering them.
While grooming at home, you can also check your dog's body for any lipomas, lesions, or hot spots. Lipomas are bumps of soft, fatty tissue that frequently form under the skin of older dogs. In most cases, lipomas are benign, but it may be a good idea to inform your vet if you find one or begin applying Poli Pet Shield.
5. Visit Your Vet
As your dog reaches their senior years, taking them to their annual vet visit is especially important. In fact, scheduling at least two visits per year is even better. Senior dogs have weaker immune systems, which means diseases can affect them more quickly and severely than their younger counterparts.
Dogs won't always drop hints about their health problems. By taking your senior pet to the vet regularly, you'll be able to diagnose and prevent illnesses sooner and give your dog the long, natural life they deserve.
6. Protect Against Parasites
Flea, tick, and worm prevention is essential at every stage of your dog's life, especially for seniors. As previously mentioned, old dogs have weaker immune systems, meaning these parasites can quickly take a toll on your dog's health. Not only are parasites a nuisance to your dog, but fleas and ticks can exacerbate skin irritation in older dogs.
Apply topical flea and tick prevention regularly to keep parasites at bay. Check your dog's fur after every walk and remove any ticks or fleas that may have hitchhiked their way inside.
7. Provide Natural Supplements
Most dogs are considered "seniors" between the ages of 7-12. Of course, every dog is different, and many large dogs tend to age faster than small dogs.
When you start noticing signs of aging in your dog, begin providing supplements to aid in their joint health, immune system, and urinary tract. Natural formulas like Poli Pet Boost can give your dog more energy by restoring mitochondrial strength in their later years!
Supporting Your Senior Dog
It's a fact of life that all dogs will get old. Vision and hearing loss, arthritis, and other signs of aging may be unavoidable, but by following these seven tips, you can support your senior dog through their end-of-life stages.
Remember: just because your dog is aging doesn't mean they need fewer pets and kisses! Take time to appreciate every moment together and spoil them "just because."
Poli Pet's natural pet products are one of the best ways to bolster your senior dog's health! All of our products contain Activated Carbon Technology to eliminate toxins and aid in healing.
Learn more about our products and shop our selection here!