Freshpet acknowledges that having your dog reach senior age is both a great honor and a great responsibility. It is always wonderful to have more time to spend with our furry friends and help them truly enjoy their golden years, but we also must be sure that we are taking care of them in a way that keeps their quality of life as high as possible. The good news is that, while senior dogs’ needs certainly change versus when they were a puppy, they are often manageable enough that a thoughtful pet parent should be able to keep up with them given some support. In this article, Freshpet includes a few ways that senior pet parents can keep their pets happy and healthy as they age.
Consider More Frequent Vet Trips
As your dog ages, it is important to ensure that they are getting the care that they need to remain healthy well into their golden years. Regular vet trips are one of the simplest ways that a pet parent can maintain their senior dog’s health, with experts recommending bringing older dogs in for a checkup at least twice a year. A trusted veterinarian can give you important information as it pertains to your dog’s health including a review of their weight, musculature, and exercise habits. Vets can also recommend a fresh natural dog food that you can feed your senior dog, and a holistic idea of what nutrients they require to stay healthy. In cases where your senior dog has ailments or deficiencies, a veterinarian can also recommend supplements that can supply them with nutrients beyond those found in a diet of healthy dog food alone.
Provide High Quality Protein
Because senior dogs can have issues fully absorbing nutrients like protein in their diet, it is important that pet parents supply them with high amounts of quality protein via a healthy dog food. It is also recommended to consider the bioavailability of the nutrients within the pet food that they choose. Senior dogs will benefit most from a protein source that is digestible and easy to derive their necessary nutrients from. Fresh, natural dog food options that provide a high moisture content are noted for being easy for aging organs to break down and process. A healthy dog food for a senior dog is one that is free of by products and by product meals, as they tend to benefit from food that is as close to its natural form as possible.
While senior dogs may encounter health issues that make exercising take a different form than when they were pups, it is still imperative that they receive daily exercise to maintain their health. This means that your dog may not feel up to going out on strenuous runs but may still enjoy activities such as a leisurely stroll around the block at their own pace. Some senior pet parents may notice that even moderate activity can be too much for them due to issues they may have. In these cases, Freshpet recommends light activities such as range of motion exercises, which can help stimulate their joints to make movement more comfortable. Some senior pet parents find that their pet enjoys activities that allow exercise that is not strenuous on joints, such as swimming in a pet friendly area. Remember that, even while maintaining a diet of fresh natural dog food that is attuned to their health needs, senior dogs can still approach obesity and further discomfort if a solid exercise routine is not established. For this reason, Freshpet acknowledges that it is a great idea to take the opportunity to learn your senior dog’s limits with exercise and keep them in mind as you work with them.