Make Your Home Senior Dog Friendly
Older dogs tend to have a harder time getting around than younger ones, so they are more likely to hurt themselves on toys, slick floors, sharp corners, etc. Make adjustments to your home so that your dog can easily move around. If you have hardwood, tile, or a similarly slick floor, you may want to add rugs or carpeting to the top so your dog has traction. Keep objects off the floor as much as possible, and move your furniture around so he has an open space to roam. If you have stairs, you may add a carpeted ramp along one side for your dog to use. See what your dog has the most trouble with, and make your renovations accordingly.
Bring Your Dog in for Regular Checkups
Puppies and senior dogs both need frequent vet checkups to ensure that their bodies are aging appropriately. Establish a relationship with a good vet in your area, and bring your pet to get checked at least once a year. Towards the end of his life, your dog may need to go in every 4-6 months for exams, especially if he is diagnosed with a long-term health problem.
Your vet visits will help you catch health problems before they get serious so you can provide proper treatment for your pet without him suffering. If you notice any behavioral changes in your dog, schedule an appointment to get it checked out right away.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Your dog should be eating high-quality foods to keep his bones, muscles, and other body parts functioning the way they are supposed to. Your dog can still eat treats and chews every now and then, but they too need to be made from high quality ingredients. If your pet has specific health problems that need to be addressed through dietary changes, make sure you get the right foods for his individual needs. Keep a water dish out at all times so he stays plenty hydrated, and put his bowls in a bowl caddie so he does not have to bend his neck to eat or drink.
Give Him a Great Place to Sleep
Senior dogs spend a large portion of the day laying around and resting. You might as well make sure he has a comfortable place to do that. Keep a bed in every room of the house that your dog spends a lot of time in – probably the living room, your bedroom, and one other room in your house. You may want to add soft blankets and towels to the top to make the bed even more comfortable. If you want to go all out, you could get an orthopedic dog bed made specifically for senior pets. These beds are designed to ease the pressure dogs feel on their joints and bones so they are able to sleep comfortably even with arthritis.
Follow the tips above, and you can keep your senior dog healthy for years to come.