One thing is for sure, we can’t control the aging of our beloved dogs. The Fountain of Youth doesn’t exist for them either, but there are several ways that we, as responsible and caring dog parents, can make the aging transition easier.
You may notice that once Ruffy reaches a certain age, he becomes a little less mobile, his hearing and eyesight may not be as good as it once was, his skin is a little more prone to environmental effects, and his teeth need more care. Some senior dogs might become a bit more nervous when you’re away or when strangers come to visit.
This is all perfectly normal, and once you notice the signs, you’ll only need to make a few switches to help your buddy age happily.
Just like humans, dogs become a little stiffer in the joints as they age. Having gentle walks on flat surfaces is a good exercise, as well as swimming since this helps to take the pressure off of the joints.
Some reliable supplements to consider are:
Fido’s Glucosamine Tablets: a chewable, honey-flavoured tablet containing glucosamine hydrochloride. Plenty of research has shown that using glucosamine supplements on a long-term basis helps dogs to rebuild cartilage and is effective in reducing pain and joint inflammation.
Nature’s Answer Pernaease Powder: a nutritional supplement that is used for aging senior dogs and dogs that are genetically prone to joint issues. It’s 100% natural and has a history of regenerating cartilage and joint fluid for humans and animals.
Joint Guard Liver Chews: a yummy liver-tasting treat that provides glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate to help repair and protect joints from the effects of arthritis. It’s 100% real liver and has additional vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that help to boost activity and overall wellness.
Diet is one thing that should not be overlooked. A healthy, age-appropriate diet is paramount to any living organism’s well-being, so it’s no secret that dog food companies provide a vast range of options. It can sometimes be pretty overwhelming.
Hill’s Science Diet has narrowed their choices down to age range, breed size, and health concerns. Here are a few that pertain specifically to senior dogs:
- Adult 6+ Large Breed (25-55 kgs): contains glucosamine and chondroitin for joints. Giant breed dogs at 5+ years old also benefit from this food.
- Adult 7+ Senior: contains nutrition to restore youthful energy, antioxidants, no artificial colours, flavours, or preservatives. Also comes as canned food.
- Adult 7+ Small Bites Senior: for dogs who prefer a smaller kibble
- Small Paws Senior: made with nibble-size kibble for small and mini dogs
- Youthful Vitality Small and Mini Senior: for small and toy breed dogs
- Youthful Vitality Senior: for average-size dogs Also comes in wet food
- Adult 11+ Small Paws Senior: for small and toy breed dogs providing precisely balanced, easy to digest nutritional kibbles.
- Sensitive Stomach and Skin: contains omega-3 & omega-6 fatty acids and Vitamin E for skin and coat, easy to digest, natural ingredients
Skin and Teeth
Aging canines are more likely to get skin infections and dental disease than their younger counterparts. These common issues can be treated with routine vet check-ups and certain shampoos and dental care kits, such as the Prozym Rf2 Toothpaste Kit.
Some gentle and medicated skin-care treatments are:
Fido’s Topizole Medicated Shampoo: a germicidal shampoo that can be used on dogs and cats. It is antibacterial, antifungal and antipruritic.
Frontline Pet Care Oatmeal Shampoo: a hypoallergenic formula for dogs and cats with sensitive skin. It has natural and organic ingredients that cleanse and condition the coat.
FILTA-BAC: a sun filter and antibacterial cream that can be used on dogs, horses, cattle, sheep, and goats. Suitable for pets who are often in the sun or have wounds or damaged skin, such as senior dogs who get pressure sores from lying around more often.
Anxiety is sometimes overlooked as an occurrence of aging, but it has been reported more and more to vets and Just For Pets pet experts. One particular product that has shown increasing results in helping anxious dogs manage anxiety is called ADAPTIL.
This collar helps dogs to adjust to new environments and reduces stress- or anxiety-related behaviours. It comes in two different adjustable sizes (small and large), and the dog’s body heat triggers the release of the collar’s pheromones. Owners might wish they had one for themselves, although this is not recommended!
Not all dogs are the same, so we highly recommend a coming in to talk with us to see what adjustments will be perfect for your senior pooch. As always, regular vet check-ups, exercise, and proper nutrition are a must to maintain a happy, healthy canine senior citizen.
If you also have an aging cat, check out our article: Your Aging Cat: Helping Senior Cats Thrive.