The Top 5 Ways to Keep Senior Dogs Happy
From single-celled organisms to planets and universes, aging is part of the natural chain of life. We can’t stop it, but we can learn to be aware of the process and adapt accordingly. This goes for you and your family members — those with two legs or four.
As a dog ages, he or she requires new routines, foods, and care to maintain their quality of life. At Balance CBD, we hope you get as much time as possible with your doggo. So when your canine shows signs of aging, such as grey hairs, plaque on their teeth, and reduced stamina, don’t ignore it.
The fact is, you can ease your pet’s burden by altering some of your daily habits. If you catch the signs early enough, you can greatly extend their life, or at the very least, make their time with you more comfortable. A happy dog does a lot for our health, too. With a wagging tail and friendly yip, your furry buddy can lighten your mood and better your day.
Below, we break down the signs of aging in dogs and the top ways to keep senior dogs happy. By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly how to help your dog enjoy the golden years of his or her life, even without CBD oil for dogs!
The Top 5 Ways To Keep Your Senior Dog Happy
While the idea is more anecdotal than fact, multiplying your dog’s age by 7 years puts their life into a valuable perspective. They aren’t like your less cool human buddies; dogs age much faster than us. The speed of their aging process differs based upon their breed. The general rule is, illness and accident aside, the larger the breed the shorter the life.
Big canines, like Mastiffs, usually live for approximately ten years. A Boston Terrier, on the other hand, can laze on your couch for almost two decades. No one knows your pet better than you. That means it’s your responsibility to pay attention and catch any signs of aging. Just to give you an idea of what to look for, here are the main symptoms of old age in dogs:
- Loss of vision
- Eye issues like weeping
- Trouble urinating
- Bad breath and bloody gums
- Lumps and bumps
- Weight loss or bloating
- Reduced stamina
- Memory issues
If one or several of the above symptoms sound like your pooch, fear not. We’ve researched several useful ways to combat the natural processes of old age. They aren’t overly difficult or time-consuming either. When it comes to dogs and aging, you just need to tinker with your habits to make their life a lot easier.
Don’t Stop the Exercise!
Many dog owners start excusing their dog’s playtime when they see a few grey hairs on their snoot or a hitch in their step. This is the exact opposite of what you should be doing. Senior dogs will feel a lot better if they’re taken out for routine walks and dog park visits.
If you’re worried about your dog’s physical state, talk to your vet. Oftentimes we overly stress about our pooches. You likely won’t be running them as hard or as often as when they were two or three, but the sunshine and fresh air can lift any old hounds spirits.
Despite the old saying, you can indeed teach old dogs new tricks. Canines share our incredible elasticity for learning. Maybe you can both learn something. Research your breed and find out what they were raised to do. Retrievers, for example, can learn how to fetch a ball in a day or two.
Apartment dogs or dogs that are left alone all day need stimulation, too. There’s no shortage of dog toys online from Amazon or Pets.com that cost less than a dinner at Burger King and can entertain your dog for hours.
The point is, make your dog’s aging process an opportunity to get to know them better.
Take a Cruise to the Vet
Aside from their yearly shots or the occasional health scare, many of us don’t take our dogs to the vet as often as we should. Once your dog sails into their senior years, you must schedule checkups every six months. The effects of aging can occur in-between visits, leaving you and your pooch uninformed.
Your vet can write prescriptions for painful and uncomfortable physical ailments, like arthritis. Some diseases affect old dogs more than younger dogs and you won’t see the symptoms, like diabetes or heart disease. Certain breeds have known old age-related problems that your vet will know how to spot, too.
What a vet tells you in these checkups can change how you exercise your dog and their routine. Caught early enough, treatments can be inexpensive and sometimes even curable. If you leave your old guy to deal with physical and internal symptoms on his own, the bill can redouble.
Research Senior Dog Diets
Just like Grandpa and his prunes, your senior dog’s diet will need looking into. As vet and dog expert Nicholas Dodman suggests, talk to your vet before changing the diet. That’s because, unlike puppy food, there are no regulations that specify what to include in senior dog formulas.
You’ll need to manage their weight, however, as any extra pounds on a senior pooch can stress their joints and heart health. The very least you should do is consult your food brand’s packaging and see if they have a portion recommendation for aging dogs. A healthy weight also cuts down the stress on their body. Any disease or aches they feel can be greatly reduced simply by reducing their food or changing to a renowned senior formula.
What’s more, you can try one of our Balance CBD pet tinctures. CBD oil has many benefits for senior dogs. If your pooch suffers from joint issues, a few drops of the CBD Oil with Cod Liver can ease aches. That’s because CBD reduces inflammation, which is the leading cause of arthritis. Remember, however, to consult your vet before adding anything new to your pet’s diet!
Re-Visit Room Layouts and Bedding
Hopping onto the couch or taking the stairs may have been a cinch for your pooch when he was a spritely five-year-old, but time changes their physical capabilities. To avoid injury and costly vet bills, go over the paths your pet takes in the house and where she sleeps.
A dog that used to sleep on the couch or the bed, for example, may need a doggy bed in the living room or beside your nightstand. You could lift them every day, but there’re risks involved. Lifting elderly dogs too much can cause back issues and pull muscles. Like senior parents, old dogs won’t recover as fast as young pups, so be careful.
Senior dogs have problems thermoregulating. That means they’ll spike high temperatures or catch chills that can leave them uncomfortable and susceptible to sickness. If you have a few old throws or towels, you can make a little nest for them on their bed to help alleviate their discomfort.
TLC (Treats, Love, and Comfort)
This should be the mantra for all of us, not just your senior dog! As your best friend ages, he or she will need you more than ever. Treats and affections are the best way to show your old buddy that you’re with them during the hard times and the great times.
Splurge on treats from your local pet store with limited ingredients and no fillers. Poor nutrition and by-products can harm a senior pooch in ways that younger dogs can allay. Even a yellow Labrador with an iron stomach can find it hard to digest cheap treats once they hit eight or nine years old.
If your dog is having trouble sleeping, seems more anxious than usual, or winches when she walks, add a few drops of our Salmon flavor Balance CBD oil to their treats. We find the oil soaks in best with a biscuit or liver treat, but anything other than jerky works fine.
Our Salmon flavored CBD oil contains a healthy dose of CBD isolate, plus terpenes and organic salmon oil. Rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, salmon oil reduces inflammation and boosts the immune system — ideal for your aging pupper!
CBD Oil for Dogs
Humans and dogs share a history that dates back long before written history. The dates depend on the article you’re reading, but we’re looking at anywhere between 33,000 and 16,000 years ago. That’s eons before known agricultural civilizations, like Mesopotamia.
Your love and attention for your aging dog has profound meaning to you and her. To foster than bond and keep your friend around as long as you can, adopt some of our advice. A few extra visits to the vet or a long walk on a sunny day once and a while isn’t much to you, but it means everything to them.
And when you need a little extra help, we’re ready. Our pet CBD products ship across the US. They’re 100% legal and 100% organic and GMO-free. What’s more, any purchase over $79 comes with complimentary free shipping. So while you’re here, buy a few CBD products for humans as well as your senior pet!
Dr Elizabeth Blackwell is a double board-certified integrative and family medicine physician. Dr Blackwell expertise lies in functional and holistic medicine.
She is the director of medical services at the Pacific Clinics MD, a comprehensive clinic focused on chronic stress, gut health, decreasing inflammation, improving hormonal imbalance, weight loss resistance and helping women get pregnant. Dr Elizabeth Blackwell also has significant experience in working with cancer, dementia and chronic pain patients.
In recent times Dr Blackwell’s work has focused on exploring the effects of cannabinoid therapies. Dr Blackwell has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Well+Good, Vogue, Healthline, Forbes, Medical News Today, Harvard Health and more.