3 ways to improve quality of life for your senior dog
After giving us their best years, we owe it to our senior dogs to make sure their silver furred years are comfortable and enjoyable. However, our aging dogs have special needs. This article will explore several ways that you can improve the quality of life for your aging canine companion.
Low Impact Exercise
As our furry friends age, they still benefit from exercise. However, while they might have been able to go all day in any weather when they were younger, it might be time to change up your routine to help your older dog be able to enjoy the health benefits of exercise without overexerting themselves.
One great low impact exercise for older dogs is swimming. It allows your pooch to keep their muscle tone up without putting the excess wear and tear on the joints. This is particularly helpful for dogs who have arthritis, hip or elbow dysplasia, or other degenerative conditions.
Another thing to consider is taking shorter walks more often rather than scheduling a long walk once a day. With less stamina, your older dog will likely get more out of this change in routine. In addition, it is common for older dogs to need more frequent potty breaks, a double bonus for doubling up on quick walks.
It is important to remember that mental stimulation is important to keep your older dog’s mind alert and engaged. Consider dog food puzzle toys and use some of her favorite treats to keep her thinking and alert in her golden years. And, the old adage that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks just isn’t true. When you use positive, reward based training methods, most dogs both young and old look forward to earning treats for a new trick or behavior.
The Right Gear
As our dogs age, getting up and around isn’t as easy as it used to be. Thankfully, there are several ways to help your aging dog with the right gear.
- Make slippery hardwood or laminate stairs safer with runner carpet or non-skid pads.
- Get a ramp to help your dog get in and out of the car.
- Build or buy a small set of stairs to help her get on and off the bed.
- Consider an orthopedic dog bed which can do wonders for aching joints.
- Specially designed lift harnesses offer you the benefit of being able to help older dogs up and down the stairs safely without breaking your back.
- Doggy diapers and other incontinence products can help senior dogs with bowel or bladder control problems.
- Raised water and food bowels will make it easier for them to eat and drink without having to strain joints and muscles to dip down.
High Quality Medication for Senior Dogs
One of the biggest health trends for both dogs and humans in the last 5 years has been CBD oil. Made with cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive compound found in hemp, this natural extract has been the subject of hundreds of research studies showing its potential health benefits.
Because it works with your dog’s endocannabinoid system, CBD oil has a variety of potential health benefits for our aging dogs. Many owners and vets alike have seen it help with common issues such as pain, inflammation, appetite, skin health and other issues that are very common among our aging pets. One more serious issue is cancer and there has been some cases that shows the CBD oil can help in several ways. Companies like Lola Hemp are providing CBD tinctures that may be able to help your dog.
In fact, many owners of aging dogs have found they can give less of commonly prescribed veterinary NSAIDs for pain and inflammation, without compromising on mobility and comfort. Since these drugs can have serious health risks with long term use, CBD oil may offer a serious quality of life benefit for aging dogs.
Before you buy CBD oil for dogs, be sure you do your research. Due to a surge in demand, there are some companies out there who are not delivering a quality product to consumers. Look for third party lab tests published right on the website before you buy.
In addition, keep your eye out for full spectrum and organic CBD oil made just for dogs. Since contaminants from pesticides and herbicides are concentrated in extracts, it is critical to make sure you start with an organic source hemp. Plus, full spectrum CBD oil has a full complement of the other vital organic compounds found in hemp oil and some researchers have argued that these trace elements improve the healing benefits over CBD alone.