Our dog is really starting to show her age. She is about 10 and we’re noticing more and more that she’s moving more slowly (and less steadily), is having trouble hearing and seeing, and just generally showing her age. Any tips for keeping her healthy and happy in her twilight years?
Old Gal in Garden Oaks
Dear Old Gal,
Sweet thing! It’s so hard to watch our once-active and nimble pups turn into gray-muzzled seniors. While it’s true that your girl is in her twilight years, this doesn’t mean that her life is close to over. Now is the time to jump into action, addressing some of her health issues and pivoting to making her remaining time with you as good as possible. The good news is that it’s rather easy to make your sweet girl happy and healthy in her old age. Here are a few tips for helping your dog to age gracefully:
Don’t neglect vet visits
While it might be harder to get her in the car and might also upset her well-established routine, keeping current on your dog’s health care is of utmost importance in her old age. Your vet can stay on top of any health challenges that she’s facing and help to guide you in making her as healthy and comfortable as possible.
Oral health is important
As dogs age, their teeth really take a beating. Keeping her teeth in tip-top shape can make her feel more comfortable and help her to keep eating well. Simply brushing her teeth regularly and giving her special treats designed to aid in dental care can keep her chompers healthy in her old age.
Joints and mobility
As dogs age, their joints often show signs of the wear and tear placed upon them from their active younger years. Look into joint health supplements for her to help ease the pain of sore hips. Even a simple fish oil supplement can help to keep her joints lubricated.
Sure, she might not be up for a run like she used to, but older dogs can remain active well into their senior years. Take cues from her as to how fast and how far to go, but getting out of the house and going for a walk will do wonders for both her mental and physical health.
Now is the time to spend as much time as you can with your girl. Your time and attention means more to her than any treat or toy you could buy her and you’ll both benefit from the time spent together.
It often feels like watching those that we love grow older is both a gift and a curse, but it’s a natural part of life (and pet ownership). At the end of the day, you’ll want to feel as though you’ve done everything in your power to make your dog’s final years as great as possible for you all. It’s the best gift you can give her and, believe me, she’ll be so grateful.
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