Dogs really are man’s best friend, and dog owners want to do everything they can to care for aging dogs. After all, they give us love and loyalty while expecting nothing in return, except perhaps the occasional treat and a game of fetch.
Here are some ways you can return that love and loyalty when caring for aging dogs.
Know What to Expect for Your Dog’s Breed
Many things play into the type of care your dog will need as they age, but size and breed are two main factors that can impact their health.
For breeds with long hair, be sure to regularly monitor any bumps that may develop. All that hair can certainly look cute, but it can also hide developing growths that may need to be removed.
Inflammation and joint pain are especially common in larger breeds that carry more weight on their joints. Hip dysplasia is a concern for some breeds, while arthritis is more common in other large breeds. Anti-inflammatory joint supplements can help, and consistent daily walks can strengthen muscles to better support arthritic joints.
Though it may not be as severe, smaller breeds can experience joint issues as well. Many smaller dogs develop a different form of hip issue, as jumping onto high surfaces such as couches or beds can cause more rapid decline in the joints in and around their hips and back legs.
Orthopedic Products Help an Aging Dog
When it comes to supporting your aging dog’s mobility, one of the best things you can do is provide them with the proper support products to reduce joint issues. Orthopedic beds are a must-have product for older dogs, as they offer a supportive but soft place to rest. We work with Big Barker orthopedic beds. If you’d like to order one of these beds you can do so here through our affiliate link*.
Joint supplements are another great option to support your dog’s health, though we recommend talking to your veterinarian to see if they have a specific recommendation for your dog’s breed and weight. Ramps and stairs can make a significant positive impact in the joint health of small dogs over the course of their life, especially if you teach them to use them when they are still young. Larger dogs may need the option of stairs or ramps as they age also.
There are many products that can improve quality and length of life for your older four-legged family member, so be sure to think about those items as they age.
Monitoring the Health of Aging Dogs
Caring for aging dogs can sometimes be a challenge but, like most challenges in life, it can bring some of the biggest rewards. It is important to speak with a qualified veterinarian to assess your dog’s overall health and determine any current or potential issues that are common with your dog’s breed, as some are more susceptible to certain issues as they age. Heart or kidney issues, vision and hearing loss, cognitive decline, and reduced mobility are some of the main challenges that could arise as your pet ages.
You probably already take your dog to the vet for an annual checkup and vaccinations. As your dog ages, ask your vet about any additional routine tests or monitoring that may be helpful, as well as any early warning signs of health concerns.
Plan Ahead to Help Aging Dogs Live Their Best Life
If you’re not yet a dog owner but are thinking about adding a four-legged friend to your family, be sure to consider the level of commitment you can provide both now and in the future. Do you have the time and resources to care for your dog as they age? Will you be able to keep them for the rest of their life regardless of major life changes in yours?
Dogs give us so much love every single day, and it’s up to us as dog owners to return that love and care for them at every stage of life. Aging dogs require extra time and extra money for things like orthopedic beds, supplements, and veterinary care, but it’s all worth it. Our dogs are always there for us, and we want to be there for them, too.
If you’d like a free consultation with a member of our team, please fill out the form on our CONTACT page and someone will be in touch with you.
*Disclosure: This affiliate link means that, at no additional cost to you, the owners of Wag Ur Tail Dog Training will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.