It’s important to make sure your pup is as happy and comfortable as possible as he grows older, so below are a few tips on how to care for your senior dog:
Adapt to their changing needs. Your dog may develop stiffer joints as they get older and may not have as much energy as their younger counterparts, but they still need regular exercise and playtime to maintain a healthy weight and keep their mind stimulated. The RSPCA recommend walking senior dogs little and often and wearing a coat in the colder weather to keep them warm and dry. It’s also important to groom them regularly with a soft brush; this can be relaxing for your dog and also gives you the opportunity to check for any unusual things on their fur/skin.
Take them to the vet more often. This may mean upping vet visits to twice a year. Senior dogs are more likely to develop health problems, poor hearing and/or sight, and overgrown nails because of less exercise. These are all things your vet can help you with or give you advice on.
Keep them comfortable. Your older dog may get tired more easily, so make sure he has a cosy bed in a warmer place of the house. They also may need to go to the toilet more often, so you should talk to your vet about ways this can be dealt with. Everything should be easily accessible to them so they don’t have to walk too far (e.g. food, toys, water).
Feed them the appropriate food. As any pet gets older, their dietary requirements will change. Food for senior dogs often includes easy digestible ingredients as they can develop problems with digestion as they age. You should monitor your dog’s eating habits and consult with your vet if you are concerned about anything.