Tips for a Healthy, Comfortable Older Dog
Our pets age faster than we do. While
we can’t stop the aging process, Orvis
is committed to helping to make
your pet’s years as healthy, happy, and
comfortable as possible.
Making Your Dog Comfortable in Colder Weather
The arrival of cold, damp weather
presents special challenges for our aging
pets. Your dog may sleep more, his joints and muscles can
stiffen, and existing arthritis may become aggravated. A heated
or low-profile memory foam bed can help make sleeping and
resting more comfortable.
Exercise and the Older Dog
Exercise—depending on age and health—helps to keep
older dogs’ joints flexible, muscles properly toned, and minds
stimulated. Consider 1⁄2 mile walks three times a week, health
permitting. In winter weather, consider using a warm jacket
to help retain body heat, booties to provide traction and
protect feet from salt injury, ramps instead of icy steps, and
reflective jackets for nighttime walks.
Their Changing Nutritional Needs
Nutritional requirements change for our senior pets, too.
There are many excellent senior foods available to help meet
your pet’s changing nutritional needs. Obesity can lead to
health complications such as diabetes, heart problems, and
stress on already-arthritic joints. Ask your veterinarian for
advice on the appropriate diet for your senior pet.
Because the aging process accelerates in later years,
biannual visits to your veterinarian for routine physical exams
and blood work are an essential part of keeping your older
dog healthy and comfortable. Detecting problems before they
become serious is the best way to help your dog have a long,
happy, healthy life.
A Closing Word of Advice from Dr. Gretchen Allen, DVM
As our gets get older—and it's important to remember that they age much faster than we humans do—we must take special care to make sure they stay comfortable and healthy. You can help your older dog cope with the effects of arthritis by giving him a memory foam bed. Just as it does for humans, memory foam reduces the effects of pressure poinst and eases joint discomfort, helping your dog remain pain-free and active longer. Beds with waterproof liners protect the bed's interior from the hazards of incontinent dogs, while absorbent covers can help shield your floor and furniture. Consider a specialized bed with built-in heater to help your older dog remain proper body temporature year-round.