Keep Your Senior Dog Healthy and Happy

As our dogs age, they may need special care to help make their golden years happy.  Making...

As our dogs age, they may need special care to help make their golden years happy. 

 

Making adjustments to your dog’s routine as he becomes a senior will help keep him comfortable and safe. The American Kennel Club’s (AKC®) Canine Good Citizen® Director Mary Burch, Ph.D., offers tips on caring for your dog and keeping him active as he enters his senior years. 

 

  • Take care of your dog’s diet. Just like their human counterparts, older dogs’ appetites can decrease with age. Try feeding smaller meals more often if your dog isn’t finishing all of his dinner. Senior dogs may also have decreased senses of smell and taste, so dry kibble with the addition of warm water to release the flavor can be more appetizing to them. Also, talk to your veterinarian to see if your dog needs a senior diet.

  • Move it or lose it. Make sure to keep your older dog active because muscles will atrophy from lack of use. Don’t overdo the exercise, however. Gentle walks will keep your senior fit.

  • Don’t forget the mind. Behavioral and emotional health are very important for senior dogs too. Don’t let your older dog lay around doing nothing all day, especially if you have a younger dog at home that you’re playing with and taking out. Your senior may enjoy going for a ride in the car or a trip to park.