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Posted on 11-25-2017
As the owner of a senior dog, do you notice that they have some special needs to consider compared to their younger counterparts? You may have some questions, such as, how do I make my senior dog more comfortable at home? How can I help them get around easier? How can I help them to relax and sleep? Have they become forgetful, and is there anything that can help? There are a few tips and tricks that can go a long way in making your senior dog’s home life a little bit easier!
If you have hardwood or slick floors, they can cause an older dog with arthritis and/or hip issues to slip and slide. These sorts of slips and falls can cause serious injury and are best avoided. One way to give your dog a little help is by placing rubber-backed bathmats, rug runners, or yoga mats on the floor to provide a nice, non-slip surface, allowing your senior dog to walk more easily and have fewer chances to fall. Yoga mats can even be cut to fit smaller areas, such as entryways (good for excitable dogs who may tend to slip when going outside or coming back in) or even large kennels. If your older dog suffers from arthritis or joint problems, supplements like fish oils and glucosamine can help provide joint support from the inside out.
Older dogs with mobility issues may also find it hard to, quite literally, get their caboose in gear! Did you know that there are various companies that make harnesses specifically designed to help with mobility issues? They even have designs made particularly for male or female dogs. These harnesses have two handles, one over the lower back and the other between the shoulder blades, to assist you in helping your older dog move around more easily. For a slightly more low-tech option, you may choose to sling a towel under your dog’s groin area, holding the ends of the towel together and using it to help lift your pet’s back end, providing them support while walking.
Whether due to storm phobia, pain, cognitive issues, or age-related vision changes, many older dogs can become more anxious than they were in their younger years. Did you know there is a non-medical option to help alleviate this anxiety? You may wish to try a product called Adaptil. Adaptil is a calming spray that can help your dog to de-stress! Adaptil contains synthetic pheromones that are similar to those emitted by mother dogs shortly after giving birth. These pheromones promote feelings of security and calmness in dogs of all ages. A chewable supplement called Neutricks can help support your dog during its senior years, aiding with memory, cognitive performance, and related issues that dogs encounter as they age. The active ingredient in Neutricks has been shown to support brain cells and help reduce cognitive dysfunction in aging dogs.
Similarly, foods designed specifically for senior dogs can help improve cognitive abilities and support healthy aging. Purina Bright Mind is an over-the-counter dog food available in formulas for adult dogs as well as senior dogs. Both formulations contain ingredients that have been shown to help increase alertness and mental sharpness in dogs as they age. If your veterinarian determines that your dog has a touch of “doggy dementia”, they may choose Purina’s Neuro Care, a prescription diet that helps to address and improve cognitive and neurological function in senior dogs.
If you have specific concerns for your senior dog that are not listed above, feel free to give us a call anytime. We are happy to help provide you with tips to help your older dog live its golden years to the fullest!
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