14 Ways To Improve Your Older Dog's Life

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14 Ways To Improve Your Older Dog's Life
It’s important to provide age-appropriate activities to keep them sharp and happy

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As dogs age, it’s especially important to provide age-appropriate activities to keep them sharp and happy and to help them get around comfortably and safely. And don’t forget a cozy, joint-cushioning bed for those all-important power naps!

1. Slower, shorter, and more frequent walks with more time allowed for scenting. For most older dogs, exercise is still a great option to prevent muscle atrophy, even if they can't go as far as they used to. Shorter, more frequent walks can be very beneficial to a dog, not only physically, but mentally as well. For dogs that struggle to complete a short walk comfortably, a little support can go a long way. GingerLead, for example, is a dog sling that helps dogs with weak hind legs walk. It's easy to put on and take off, and after just a little assisted walking you can see your dog's quality of life improve. Check out gingerlead.com for a video of a 16-year-old Golden Retriever named Miss Bobbi taking a GingerLead-assisted walk!

2. More frequent bathroom breaks.

3. Teach new tricks. An older dog’s body may be slowing down but their mind is still active and they like to be engaged.

4. Low impact playtime activities like foraging. Hide little treats for your dog to find. Choose treats with a strong, delicious smell so they’re easier to find for dogs with failing eyesight.

5. Food puzzles. These keep an older dog busy and can be enjoyed lying down. Check out the Buster Activity Mat.

6. An orthopedic bed designed to ease old joints, like Bowsers' Oslo Ortho bed. Many dogs also love having a blanket to burrow under. Be sure to block draughts.

7. Utilize runners to make floors less slippery, and ramps and stairs to help your dog access the bed or the couch. Dean Flooring's attractive, non-slip carpet stair treads, runners, and rugs give older dogs much need traction.

8. Help your dog in and out of the car. A ramp designed to help dogs in and out of vehicles can be a godsend for both you and your dog.

9. A heating pad designed for pets. Try Achy Paws' self-warming pet mat. It's body-heat activated to naturally soothe sore joints.

10. A raised feeder so your older dog doesn't need to bend down to eat and drink.

11. Canine massage and acupuncture (Find out how this can help at moderndogmagazine.com/massage)

12. A sweater or coat for walks if it’s cool out. Older dogs get chillier faster.

13. Smaller, more frequent meals.

14. Shorter bouts of play. Be sure younger dogs aren’t allowed to pester old dogs to play when they don’t feel like it.

 

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