Taking care of older dogs is one of the most bittersweet experiences imaginable. Gone are the days where you’re apologizing to everyone as your young, exuberant, energetic adolescent pup jumps up on them with muddy paws because you’re both still working on the training thing. Gone even, are the days of middle-aged perfection: balanced energy, balanced temperament; this grace period where every hair is in line and everything has been figured out and dealt with and harmony reigns.
We all grow older. We all look for grace under fire. Some of us are fortunate to have a minimal amount of aches and pains, but chances are something health-related comes up as our treasured dogs climb higher and higher in their senior years. Here we’re going to talk about how to manage your dog’s potential health challenges.
- Arthritis: Almost all dogs start to get sore and achy in the joints as time goes on. They start slowing down. No longer are they fetching tennis balls endlessly. Their drive gets less and less until one day they just decide that they’re not into fetching anymore. A stroll around the neighborhood on a gloriously slack leash is much more their speed. We can’t stress this enough: even if your senior dog isn’t showing clear signs of joint pain, please put him on at least a preventative supplement for joint management, no matter what size or breed of dog he is. Supplements for joint health include glucosamine, fish oil, salmon oil, higher doses of Vitamin C (Ester C), MSM, Boswellia, and turmeric. You can also try CBD dog treats meant to help alleviate inflammation. Anything anti-inflammatory will be helpful because the source of joint discomfort and pain is inflammation.
- The Raw Diet to Prevent Arthritis in Dogs: It is never too late to change your dog’s diet. The raw diet is being endorsed by more and more veterinarians and is now a mainstream lifestyle choice for awake and aware animal companion guardians. There is information all over the internet about how fresh foods and unprocessed foods will cause a surge in health that had been previously unimaginable if your dog has been eating kibble and processed pet food all of his life.
- If the Raw Diet is Unavailable to You, Cook Her Some Fresh Food: The thing is, processed food is devoid of the life force and living nutrients that she needs to make it through her senior years with as little pain, disease and discomfort as possible. There’s lots of info about the raw diet, but if you’re not comfortable with it, cooking fresh foods for the pup is a happy medium. If you’re worried about the costs of enough meat for your large senior dogs, you can add whole grains like cooked brown rice, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and even chickpeas to make his fresh food meals most filling.
They don’t stay puppy size forever, but deep down inside every old dog is the heart of a young pup. As your loyal canine grows older, ensure he or she continues to get the same amount of love and attention as they did in their prime. After all, it’s only a matter of time before we’re old and unable to do the things we did as youngsters. Just as you want to remain loved and looked after in your golden years, the same is true for your canine companion.