Senior Pets Tips And Tricks

June 11, 2021

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Old dogs are great. They’ve learnt to compensate for our mistakes, work around us. They know us well. They are worth the special care it takes to keep them healthy and happy. Normal aging is not a disease and any changes should be checked. Some things can be cured and most things can be helped.

Here are a few ideas to give your dog a good quality of life.

  • Keep your dog at a healthy weight. Even being 1kg overweight will impact on their mobility and joint health. Get some dietary advice from your vet, diets rich in fish oil a natural anti-inflammatory, are good for old dogs.
  • Annual check ups and blood tests are important. Catching problems early can make all the difference. At VetPlus we offer a specialised senior pet health check focusing on the key areas of health most relevant for a senior dog. Click here for more information.
  • A commonly overlooked condition is arthritis. Joint stiffness generally equates to a level of pain or discomfort.
  • Some degree of change in housetraining is normal but never blame an old dog for housetraining accidents. Have them checked for underlying health issues and make adjustments once the problem is identified.
  • Old dogs can suffer from senile degeneration just like us. You may see changes in sleeping and housetraining habits, increased vocalisation, disorientation and mental dullness. There is a very good natural supplement you can give daily to old dogs to slow brain aging and increase mental alertness. Yes, we’d all like some! If the signs of brain aging are more overt there are medications that increase the blood flow and oxygen supply to the brain and will help bring back your dog of old .
  • Senior dogs can keep learning and it is important to keep them stimulated. Those daily walks to let them sniff and “read the paper” are important both mentally and physically.
  • If their vision is still good but their hearing is waning (very common), teach them hand signals. This is fun and a more natural language for dogs.
  • Continue to play games but modify them to a more gentle version.

When the day finally comes to say goodbye to your old friend, it helps to be prepared. Talk to your vet beforehand, it is never an easy decision and we can offer you the tools to help. They give us much but we have the opportunity to give them a wonderful happy life in return. Be kind to yourself when you lose your senior dog and seek the company of people who understand this kind of loss.