Our dogs are family. We owe it to our favorite companions to ensure they receive the love and care they deserve. As they enter the senior stage of their life, we need to be more aware of health concerns and learn what we can do to improve their quality of life.
5 Ways to Improve Your Elderly Dogs Quality of Life
- Arthritis in Dogs
Painful arthritis can result in limited mobility. One innovative treatment is passive range of motion therapy (PROM). This involves gently massaging and flexing the dog’s joints and muscles. This gentle therapy can strengthen the joints and tendons so you and your dog can continue to enjoy more activities together.
- Know What You’re Feeding Your Pet
Even if the package says the ingredients are high quality, be sure to do your homework. Look on the back and check the top four or five ingredients listed. That will tell you right away what makes up the bulk of the food, and whether meat is actually the main ingredient or if it is really some unknown byproduct like cornmeal. A great site to help with researching different pet foods is Dogfoodadvisor.com. The site allows you to search by different brands and types of food.
- Make Accommodations in the Home
Perhaps your furry friend can’t quite jump as high anymore. Provide a little step so they can still get to their favorite spot on the bed or couch. Hardwood and laminate flooring are popular options but they might not be the most comfortable for your canine companions. Also, watch out for pressure spots that your pet might develop near their paws as a result of pushing against the hard floors.
Be sure to provide plenty of soft bedding or rugs for them to lie on to help avoid these spots. You can also apply some vitamin E if sore spots do develop, but be sure to consult your vet from places like Brimley-Lawrence Animal Clinic if they start to get infected.
- Pay Attention to Dental Health
Plaque and tartar build up can lead to serious health problems with your dog’s kidneys and heart. Encourage your dog’s joy of chewing with chew toys and treats that help aid the removal of plaque and tartar. You can also brush your dog’s teeth. Just don’t use human toothpaste because it can be harmful to your pet.
In conclusion, our loyal companions deserve the best care we can provide. By educating ourselves and paying attention to their changing needs, we can improve their quality of life when they need it most.
This is a guest post written my Anica. A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.
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