1. Shorter more frequent walks
As your dog gets older, their body is going to slow down and they are not going to be able to do their usual walking routine. Shorter more frequent walks allows your dog to still get out and get moving which reduces stiffness without causing flare ups from too much activity.
2. Adding mental puzzles and games
Often times, we think of mental stimulation as an important tool for puppies but it is really important for senior dogs as well. Mental stimulation in the form of puzzles, games or treat filled kongs allows your senior dog to keep their mind active and reduces anxiety.
3. Supplements and Diet
The addition of supplements and diet changes are important as your dog gets older as they are vital tools to manage weight and help their aging bodies function as optimally as possible. It is best to check with your veterinarian for recommendations and guidelines.
4. Morning and Evening Massages
Massaging the back, neck and hips will improve circulation, reduce pain, reduce stiffness and improve mobility in senior dogs. It is also great bonding time and a chance to cherish the time you have left with your old friend. Small circular motions are best and it is important that you do not get too heavy handed. Lighter is definitely better. It is also a good idea to watch for signs from your dog if they are enjoying their massage or if they are uncomfortable. If your dog appears to be in pain, it is a good idea to check with your veterinarian as something more serious may be going on.
5. Chiropractic and Acupuncture
Chiropractic and acupuncture treatments are great to improve the quality of life for senior dogs. They help with pain management, nervous system input and mobility. Many times, the addition of these therapies allow your senior pet more years to their life and more quality in those years. Many clients have seen their senior pets get their “puppy self” back with the addition of these treatments.