Dog Supplies for Senior Dogs – Which are Necessary?

Filed in Dog Supplies on September 10, 2018

Dog Supplies for Senior Dogs

Just like senior people, senior dogs have special needs. There are plenty of things we can do to increase their well-being and comfort.  Whether or not your senior dog has developed age-related problems such as arthritis, they are probably feeling a bit tired and have some aches and pains.

From food to mobility to pain relief, there is a wealth of information and products available.  The most ideal starting point is of course with your vet.  They are the experts and they probably know your dog well.  Ask your vet what they would recommend for your dog’s quality of life as it enters retirement.

When is my dog considered senior?  As dogs of different breeds age differently, a general way to figure out when your dog is entering retirement is to break up their expected life span into quarters.  A beagle, for example is expected to live for 12-15 years.  Working with the minimum of 12 years, a beagle is expected to enter retirement and become a senior around the age of 9 years.

Senior Dog Food

Dog Supplies for Senior DogsAs we know, we require different amounts of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and so on as we age.  Many of us are very aware that our metabolism is much different in our 30’s to what it was in our teens!  The same goes for dogs.  As dogs enter the final years of their life, their body changes and so do their nutritional requirements.

Senior dogs require less calories than adults and pups as they are usually less active.  Dogs often need more fiber.  In many cases, you can add some freshly cooked vegetables or vegetable soups to their dinner to boost their fiber intake.  Check with your vet regarding your dog’s teeth.  They may make suggestions on brands or types of food that will best help to maintain your old girl or old boys chompers!  Some oldies loose teeth and also become sensitive to really crunchy food.  There are plenty of ‘senior’ mixes of food on the market.  Check the ingredients being mindful of fillers and artificial flavors.

If you are looking to make some changes to your dog’s diet, do so slowly rather than making a sudden change.  Sudden changes can lead to constipation and diarrhea.  You also risk your dog not being interested in the new food.  Start introducing a new diet or type of food gradually by mixing a little bit of the new food with the old food each day. Slowly decrease the amount of old food you give them until it is completely eliminated.

Beds

If your dog is inclined to sleep on your bed or sofa, offer them some steps or a little ramp to climb to get up and down so they are less likely to injure themselves getting on or off.

If they have their own bed, you can look into orthopedic beds for old dogs.  They can make a huge difference.  This is especially true for dogs with inflamed joints and/or arthritis.  A google search of ‘orthopedic dog bed’ will give you heaps of options.  Again, your vet will have a good idea of what brands or types are the best for your particular dog.

If you would like a cheaper alternative to an orthopedic bed, jump online or check local suppliers of memory foam.  If you are a bit handy yourself, you could buy some memory foam and sew your own removable covers for it.  You can check with local furniture, mattress, and bedding shops.  Some of them may even be able to cut you a piece to your size requirement.

Medicines and Supplements

Recommendations that come from fellow dog owners are always welcome, but it is important to consult a vet before putting a senior dog on any supplement. Aging dogs might require something specific or the supplements might counteract or react to medicine that the dog might already be taking. Therefore, it is important to take the advice of a vet before putting your dog on any medicine or supplement.  Some popular products used for helping with inflamed and sore joints include:

Elevated Bowls for Senior Dogs

Dog Supplies for Senior DogsIt is quite difficult and painful for senior dogs with painful joints and stiff necks, to bend to eat their food. Aging dogs eat less even when they do not have any pain in their joints and other parts of their bodies. Thus, if eating is uncomfortable and painful for them, they will eat even less resulting in their bodies not getting sufficient nutrients. In the same way, if drinking seems to be uncomfortable and painful for the aging dogs, they might become dehydrated very easily. The easy fix to this is to elevate food and water bowls.

Many old dogs tend to suffer from megaesophagus. This is a condition in which the esophagus of the dog is inflexible and enlarged. This makes it very difficult for an older dog to have food because the food is not able to move down to the dog’s stomach due to the contraction of the esophageal muscles. Elevated bowls for senior dogs allow gravity to help pull down the food into the stomach of the dog.

Steps and Ramps

We have already mentioned steps and ramps for dogs getting onto beds and couches.  They are also handy for other places and situations.  The best example is getting in and out of the car.  Anywhere they need to jump up or down, have a look at what you can do to ease the process for them.

Other Supplies to consider

Apart from the dog-supplies mentioned above for senior dogs, there are other dog supplies that can also prove helpful.

  • Doggie diapers
  • A muzzle (sometimes becomes necessary for old and grumpy dogs)

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