Three Tips for Keeping Your Older Dog Healthy & Happy

If you’ve ever woken up to a surprising ache or uncomfortable pain, you know what I’m talking about in today’s article.

While our bodies are the number one tool we have for living a fulfilling and happy life, the same is true for our dogs. We all know the sad reality that our dogs will age more rapidly than we do, but we do have the opportunity to ensure that every minute of our dogs’ lives are filled with comfort and optimal health.

One of the keys for aging gracefully, for both humans and canines, is staying active.

I’m not talking about getting a gym membership for Rex (but wouldn’t you totally invest in a place like that?!) but I am talking about the best ways to keep him active throughout his golden years. The following three tips will help you both enjoy this time together:

1) Teach an old dog new tricks

We’ve all heard that you “can’t teach an old dog new tricks” but this simply isn’t true. Old dogs need to keep their brains stimulated just like we do. Just as you trained him for basic behavior when he was a puppy, you can use the same principles to add some fun and bonding times in your days together. Training can be 10 minutes each day, using a treat or a toy as reward. Pick up a book like “101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities to Engage, Challenge and Bond with Your Dog” by Kyra Sundance and Chalcy. 101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your DogThe main thing here is not about is not about impressing the neighbors, it’s about bonding with your dog and helping him get some brain “muscle” moving!

2) Modify your regular route

One of the easiest ways to get your dog moving outside the box is to simply alter your regular walking route. If you’ve been walking the same neighborhood for years, shake things up and pick a route neither of you have explored. Your older dog will pick up new scents, see new sights and generally feel the excitement of a simple and joyful adventure. There’s nothing better than being with you on a walk – except when you get to learn new things!

3) Research and use natural and alternative remedies

If you notice your dog is struggling with the stairs, developing selective hearing or sleeping more restlessly than usual, work with your veterinarian to learn about alternative remedies for helping your dog through these natural changes in their bodies. Things like acupuncture, massage, TTouch (Tellington Touch) as well as Bach Flower remedies, herbal supplements and moderate changes in diet can go a long way to increasing the quality of life your dog experiences. Working in tandem with your traditional veterinarian is a wonderful way to ensure that your older dog is always receiving the highest level of care.

I know you want your dog to be with you forever, and while these tips can’t make that happen, they can contribute to your dog’s longevity. More importantly, these tips can ensure he’ll enjoy every minute of his life with you.
If you want tips or referrals on any of the above, don’t hesitate to contact our offices. We are focused on enhancing your relationships with your pets.



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