Tips for Caring for Your Pets during the Summer Months

Old Dog Slowing Down? 5 Important Ways To Make Him Feel Younger, Stronger, And Healthier

by Kirk Hernandez

Your dog has been your faithful companion for years, so when he starts to show the signs of aging, you want to be as loyal and loving right back to him. Know what's going on with his mind and body and do everything you can to make these golden years the best part of his life.

1. Keep Your Elderly Dog Excited About Life

Just because your pooch is old doesn't mean he should be left to sleep in a corner all day. Talk to him more and give him as much love and affection as you did when he was a pup. Take him on rides, if that's his thing, and visit the places you know he loves to go, like the park, beach, or to a friend's house. The more excited your pet is about life, the more active he'll be and that contributes to overall health in the short and long term.

2. Make Regular Exercise A Part Of Your Dog's Routine

Exercise is more important than ever, especially if your four-legged friend has packed on a few extra pounds in his later years, . Also, exercise results in increased blood flow and improved metabolism, both of which are vital in the golden years. Even if your dog is developing joint problems, exercise boosts his muscle strength, which is going to support those aging joints. He may resist getting up from his comfy bed at first, but encouraging more activity is one of the best things you can do for him.

3. Put Your Pet On A Health-Kick

If you've always been inclined to share your favorite entrees with your dog, now is a good time to stop. Dogs don't usually benefit from eating people food and as your dog gets older, his nutritional requirements get tighter. Ask your vet what the best food is for your pooch's age and weight, then avoid feeding them anything else, including table scraps. There are treats made specifically for older dogs that are good for aging teeth, so find a healthy treat option and stick to it.

4. Take Extra Care With Grooming

Older dogs tend to have a greater need for grooming, such as with their coats and nails. Go the extra mile to tend to his grooming, especially if you notice frayed or cracked nails, as they can lead to infection or be an indication of immune system or hormone disorders. Of course, if there's anything wrong with your dog's nails, getting around will be more difficult, and that's the last thing you want at this age. Watch his coat, too, because it might be telling you something about his health. Bald patches, for example, could mean he's under too much stress or has a skin condition he's scratching away at.

5. Visit Your Vet Clinic More Often

You may not have worried about little things when your dog was younger, such as changes in bowel movements or eating habits, but now that he's older, you need to pay more attention to these things. Note eating, sleeping, and behavior issues and when something out of the ordinary happens, call your local animal hospital. While these nuances may not be emergencies, they could easily be issues you need to stay on top of, and doing so should keep your pet healthier, longer.

While it's hard to think about your dog getting so old, it's even harder for him. Keep up on his health, get him into a good routine and let your vet know what's going on with him, especially things that don't seem right. This is retirement for your pooch, and just like a person, he'll need a lot more love, care, and attention during this time.