By Nancy Cope
As your dog gets older, you likely will need to make changes to help him age gracefully.
Some things to consider to improve his quality of life include:
Buy Quality Pet Food
This is important throughout your dog’s life, but especially in old age. Quality pet food is an investment in your dog’s health, and will save costly vet trips in the future. Some ingredients that dogs should not have, and could possibly be allergic to include soy, wheat, and corn. Also stay away from animal by-products, and look for real meat listed in the first five ingredients. Don’t forget to feed your dog only the recommended amount and to continue to exercise, obesity can shorten a pet’s life span drastically.
Consider Doggy Steps
If you allow your pets on your furniture then give some serious thought to doggy steps for smaller breeds of dogs. Nothing is harder on an animal’s joints than jumping on and off of furniture. To us it may not seem a long way, but to your little friend it’s like jumping off half a flight of stairs. Many pet stores sell wood or foam steps that you can set next to the bed or couch to make the transition from the floor easier.
Get Regular Physical Exams
Many veterinarians offer a slight discount for people who bring in their senior pets for a wellness exam. When you take your dog in for a regular physical the doctor can catch serious problems such as cancer, heart issues, and kidney issues before they become too severe. These problems may require medication, but often if such problems are caught early on the medicine can help expand the dog’s life by years.
At the end of the day, don’t we owe it to our pets to take care of their well being in their twilight years after all the devotion they have given us? I hope you’ll see your pet’s senior years as an opportunity to give back, rather than a burden. May you and your dog be healthy and happy!
Nancy Cope is the owner of four rescue dogs and Pampered Dog Gifts.