Photo of an older chocolate Labrador on a pillow

How to care for senior dogs

Every dog owner wants their furry friend to live pain-free and stay vibrant for as long as possible. Here are some things you can do to help your senior dog live a full and more comfortable life.

 

Stay active

Giving your dog plenty of exercise is essential to keep it mobile and attentive. Muscle mass drives metabolism, so a sedentary dog will age faster and show more negative health symptoms than an active dog. Controlling your dog's weight will also help prevent mobility issues like arthritis.

Don’t assume that slowing down is a normal part of aging. It could signify something’s wrong, so visit a veterinarian to ensure your dog isn’t experiencing pain.

 

Visit a vet more regularly

Taking your dog for a checkup can help detect health issues like arthritis sooner. Your vet can prescribe pain relief products to make your dog more comfortable. Ensure your dog receives an annual or biannual exam. Plus, get your dog’s blood checked yearly to ensure that the kidneys and liver work well and that white and red blood cell counts are healthy.

 

Invest in an orthopedic or heated dog bed

Quality sleep is essential for older dogs as it improves mobility and reduces pain. A heated dog bed can alleviate stiffness and allow your dog to rest more comfortably. You can also place a heating pad in your dog’s bed for the same effect.

 

Use a dog harness

A dog harness allows you to help your dog get out of bed, climb stairs, hop onto furniture and get into your car. Purchase a high-quality harness with a sturdy handle.

 

Make adjustments in your home

Carpeting your floors or using area rugs will be easier on your dog’s joints and will prevent it from slipping. Additionally, dog ramps can help your pet climb stairs, get into and out of cars and climb onto furniture.

Elevate your dog’s food and water bowls to reduce strain on its neck and back. Place more water bowls around your house to make it easier for your dog to stay hydrated. Older dogs lose their night vision, so add some nightlights around your home so your dog can see.

 

Pain relief for your pet in Toronto

At Bellamy-Lawrence Animal Hospital, we can help you take care of an aging pet. We offer pet supplies and counselling on pet nutrition for senior dogs. We also provide compassionate pet euthanasia services when it’s time to say goodbye. We serve pet families throughout the Greater Toronto Area. Contact us today in Scarborough to schedule a check-up for your dog.

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