How to Keep Your Dog Happy and Healthy as They Age
If you’re one of the many millions who own a dog in the UK, you will already understand how much joy and happiness they can bring into the home. No matter what breed you have your eye on, having a canine companion by your side to help you through the good and bad times means you’ll build a strong connection like no other.
However, as your dog gets older, their needs will change. Therefore, knowing what to do to keep your pooch happy and healthy is critical for their wellbeing. Read on to learn some useful tips that will keep your dog’s health in tiptop shape.
Regardless of the dog breed, all canines must maintain a healthy weight. Just like with human beings, keeping their weight in check prevents all sorts of obesity-associated illnesses, and expands their lifespan. As a dog owner, it can be easy to fall for the puppy eyes and feed your pooch too much. However, over time, your dog can pile on the pounds which can affect their mobility and happiness.
Dogs need to follow a nutritious diet that is rich in protein and meat, but if you’re not sure what to feed your dog, it’s best to get in touch with your vet. If you have family members who are dog owners, they can give you great advice on what foods to give your pooch and avoid. Whatever you end up doing, it’s strongly recommended you do not feed your dog human food.
You will have difficulty finding a dog that doesn’t love to go for a walk. Even bulldogs who are known to take things slower as they get older still enjoy getting outdoors and going for a stroll. Regular exercise benefits you and your dog in numerous ways, helping to keep your weight in check, as well as reducing stress and anxiety. Whether you take your dog on a walk around the block, or you head to the beach, make sure your pooch is getting plenty of physical activity.
To make things fun, bringing toys along or throwing sticks will keep your dog entertained for hours. If you’re stuck at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, why not build your own obstacle course? The possibilities are endless when it comes to keeping your dog fit, active and engaged. If your dog is in any distress when going for a walk, make sure you listen to them and seek help.
To ensure your dog is leading the best quality of life, taking them twice a year to the vet is important. Your vet will perform wellness exams and health screens to detect any signs of disease or warning signs of a serious illness. Like with humans, medical issues can arise at any age with your dog, so rather than brushing things under the carpet and pretending they aren’t as serious as they seem, taking your dog to the vet will give you peace of mind.
If your dog has joint and hip problems, a heart condition, or is considered overweight or obese, your vet will provide the best course of treatment to keep your pooch happy and healthy. Make sure you are open and honest with your vet about your dog’s health, as they are there to help your pooch, not cause them pain and distress.
Dog grooming is essential for keeping your pooch’s nails trimmed and their coats shiny and healthy. Depending on the breed, your dog may need more grooming than others, but whatever you do, make sure you keep a close eye on any changes to your dog’s skin or fur. If you begin to notice dry skin or any bald patches, these are a cause for concern that should never be ignored.
For dog owners who are unable to get to their dog groomers, you can do some DIY grooming from home which will keep your pooch in tip-top condition. Make sure you use the right tools, take things slow, and have someone with you to reassure your dog if they’re feeling uncomfortable.
When bringing a dog into the home, it won’t be long before you make an unbreakable bond with your best friend. Showing your dog plenty of love and affection is critical for keeping them happy and healthy in your home. Whether it’s giving plenty of cuddles, handing over treats, or playing fun games, spending quality time together is key.
Dogs can get jealous and feel left out, so if you have more than one, you will need to balance your time between each pet to ensure they feel included and part of the family. If your dog is behaving out of character and they are starting to lose interest in playing and eating, make sure you speak to your vet. Most dogs love to be nearby to their human companion, so if your pooch isn’t answering your calls or looks distressed, you must take action immediately.
No matter what dog you have, you’ll know that they move through the aging process much quicker than a human being. This means that they enter their elderly years before you know it and may require specific medication and supplements to keep them happy and active. If your dog has stiff joints, consider YuMOVE supplements; they’re considered the best joint supplements for dogs for several reasons, including the types of ingredients they use. The best joint supplements for dogs are produced by companies with many years of experience in helping dogs maintain an active and healthy life.
Alongside regular vet checkups, there are preventative medications your pooch can take to prevent unwanted health issues, such as fleas, or tick-borne illnesses. Your dog’s oral health matters just as much as your own, so make sure you regularly brush your dog’s teeth or provide plenty of dental chews which will reduce the risk of periodontal disease.
If your dog loves nothing more than to socialise with other canines, keeping them social is crucial as they move through the aging process. Like with humans, we thrive when interacting with others, so whether you meet up with your dog’s best friend, or take them to a doggy day care, allowing your dog to interact with other canines is important.
Make sure your dog is getting plenty of people and animal interaction, as this will help keep them happy and active. If you bring a puppy into the home, regular socialisation will help them develop great behaviours that they will take with them through their life. If your dog has a bad experience with another, they may become shy and withdrawn, so it’s recommended that you speak to your vet about how best to build up their confidence. Your dog may have been attacked which will naturally affect their confidence, so make sure you stay patient and do what it takes to help your dog feel more comfortable in themselves.
Most of us see our dogs as another member of the family. Therefore, making use of the tips above and doing what you can to keep your dog happy and healthy is critical as they move through the aging process. Only you will know your dog inside out, so keeping a close on their behaviour and providing plenty of love and care will ensure your dog leads the best quality of life.
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