As our dogs age, they develop aches and pains, just like the rest of us. Oftentimes, this becomes apparent when an animal doesn’t seem as playful as he or she once was. There may be no more jumping on the bed. That’s probably either because your dog doesn’t have the strength to do this, or it hurts too much.
Although it’s hard to see your pet slow down, there are still a number things you can do to make him or her more comfortable, and possibly even extend your time together.
With our own dog, we use a variety of natural approaches. (We hope this can help keep him around a little longer.) He’s now 16. For a Cocker Spaniel, this is a milestone. He’s exceeded the average age for his breed. So we pay very close attention to his health.
Care for Older Dog
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We work with a professional homeopath. We use homeopathic remedies, when symptoms arise. I use essential oils for routine ear care. (I prefer this, rather than a pharmaceutical approach. If you decide to do the same, please check with your vet before using essential oils on your pet.)
I’ve never put a commercial flea and tick preparation on our dog. Instead, during flea season, I put a drop of geranium essential oil on his collar. I do this about once a week to keep these pests away.
Our dog eats a lot of organic table scraps. He prefers these over dog food. (Surprise, surprise!) But we also feed him grain free kibble. Here’s brand I can confidently recommend, because it contains so many healthy, wholesome ingredients, including berries as antioxidants. However, your vet will need to guide you on dietary changes, which must be done very carefully.
Also, there are a number of good supplements on the market, designed to support senior pets. One of my favorite lines is Dr Harvey’s, developed by an animal nutritionist. This company makes a special Golden Years Supplement for Dogs, which I’ve ordered for my own pet. It contains multiple herbs, including Fo-Ti root, which is considered an adaptogen. This is a plant that’s thought to be able to help mitigate the effects of physical or mental stress. Please ask your vet about herbal remedies designed for older dogs.
Products for Senior Dogs
Our dog is now 14 years old. We’re not really sure because we got him from a shelter. However, his breed, on average, lives 12.5 years. So he’s an old man by any standard. But he didn’t start acting any different until about a year and a half ago.
Although it’s still possible to take him for walks, he shouldn’t walk too far or too fast, according to our vet, who thinks he might have a heart murmur.
Dog Stroller for Small Dogs
Most pet owners are highly interested in keeping aging animals happy and active. Dogs with limited mobility might benefit from a special pet stroller. This enables them to still enjoy the fresh air, and the routine of being walked. It also allows their owners to get some exercise.
The stroller shown below is large enough for animals that weigh up to 30 pounds. It’s also suitable for cats. Multiple mesh window make the stroller airy on a hot day. It collapses into a compact size for easy storing.
Steps for Older Dogs
Dogs love to hop on furniture and sleep on sofas, chairs and beds. However, there comes a time when their jumping days are over. However much your dog longs for his favorite spot in the house, he’s no longer able to access it. This is why a growing number of pet owners are investing a steps, such as the ones shown below. These have built-in side rails to make the trip more secure. These steps are designed for small or medium dogs.
Heating Pad for Dogs With Arthritis
Elderly and arthritic dogs (or cats) will appreciate this fleece-covered electric heating pad. It can remain plugged in, but only heats to 102-degrees when the animal lies on it. This pad is available in small, medium and large.
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