We all love our dogs and want them to live as long as possible, so we would like to share with you 5 simple tips to help you show your senior dog how much they mean to you over these Christmas holidays.
But just before we get into those, did you know that for many breeds once your dog reaches seven years of age they are considered a senior dog?
This means that the way we care, feed and exercise them needs to be adapted, so we can help them age better and have a longer life with us.
So these 5 top tips will help set your senior dog up for a healthier Christmas with you.
- Top Tip 1 – Keeping your Senior Dog at a Healthy Weight
We all know how hard it is not to overeat over the holidays and it can be the same for our dogs to, as it’s often hard for us to resist not giving them that extra treat or titbit.
But it’s been shown that dogs kept at a healthy weight can live up to 2 years longer than an overweight dog …
… and for every pound your dog is overweight, it puts an extra 4 pounds of sheer force through their joints, which can cause pain, inflammation and joint Issues like Arthritis.
So if you spoiling your dog with a few extra treats over the holidays, just keep an eye on their waistline.
If you can’t see their waste line when you stand above them or feel the outline of their ribs when you run your hands down their side, then it’s time to do something about it.
- Top Tip 2 – Exercising your senior dog safely
The holidays can be a great time for enjoying those long walks with our dogs, but is this the safest way to exercise them?
Many dogs (just like people) will have some aches and pains as they head into their senior years.
So it’s important to be mindful of how you exercise them, so they don’t become sore afterward.
The occasional longer walk can be great for a senior dog, but many senior dogs do better with shorter walks more often.
What I mean by that is instead of one walk for up to an hour, it’s much kinder on a senior dog’s joints to have two to three shorter walks of 10 to 15 minutes.
- Top Tip 3 – Getting your hands-on
There’s no better way to show your senior dog how much you love them than giving them a big hug …
… but what if we went the next step and turned it into a nice Massage for them.
Massage is a great way to help ease any pain or soreness your dog has, so they can move, feel better and enjoy their life more fully with you.
It could also be game-changer ….
… even a life extender for many senior dogs who are slowing down and looking stiff and sore.
So I’d like to share a simple Massage sequence you can use for your senior dog these holidays https://bothendsofthelead.com.au/ease-your-dogs-pain-with-massage/
- Top Tip 4 – Keeping their environment safe
Whether you are staying at home these holidays or taking your dog with you on holiday, it’s important to keep the environment they are staying in as safe as possible.
So here are a few suggestions that keep things safer for your senior dog.
If there are floor surfaces that could be slippery for a senior dog because they become less stable as they get older …
… put non slip surfaces down where possible to help them get around easier and minimise the risk of them slipping and hurting themselves.
If there are a lot of stairs for them to deal with, if possible try and find an alternative way for them to get around so they can avoid too many stairs.
If it is unavoidable …
… you can place a towel underneath them, just behind their ribcage and hold the two ends of the towel up like a harness.
Then walk with them as they go up and down the stairs, so you can support them and help give them more control and stability.
- Top Tip 5 – Give their diet a boost with some healthy options
Just like with ourselves …
… the healthier our diet is, the healthier we tend to be.
It’s the same for our dogs to and as our dogs reach their senior years it’s more important than ever to make sure they are getting the best possible nutrients in their diet.
These can help support their joint health, reduce inflammation throughout their body and add more precious time to their lives.
A great option to consider is a natural joint support supplement.
More and more senior dog owners are looking to natural supplements as a way of helping reduce the need for pain medication for their dog and help reduce the risk of painful joint conditions like Arthritis.
If you would like to get some more dietary options and learn more about other ways you can help your senior dog these holidays, check out the ‘5 Minute A Day Fix For Senior Dogs And Dogs With Arthritis’ HERE .
Tim Norris form Both Ends Of The Lead is a certified Rehabilitation practitioner and registered Acupuncturist specialising in Senior Dog and Arthritis Care.
His passion is to help devoted dog owners do all they can to help their senior dogs live longer with the best quality of life possible.