Tips for healthy and happy years together.
According to the International Veterinary Senior Care Society, dogs are considered “senior” when they reach an age range between 5 and 10 years old. But there’s a LOT of latitude in there. Larger breed dogs mature more quickly while smaller breed dogs mature more slowly. Oftentimes there are no outward signs of these changes. There are a few key steps to take to help your dog mature gracefully.
Build a solid foundation.
- Regular veterinarian visits. Taking a trip to see the doctor on a regular basis is even more important to your maturing dog. Your vet can be a valuable source of advice. Many veterinarians also offer baseline testing to see if your dog’s key systems are on track. This can help you treat any issues earlier on, proactively helping your dog to live a long, healthy life.
- Feed a high-quality diet that provides high-quality protein to support muscle mass. Providing a super premium mature diet, like Bil-Jac Senior Select or Senior Small Breed, helps maintain healthy muscle. Eating a diet specially formulated for mature dogs can help support your dog’s overall health.
- Keep an eye on your pooch’s thighs. Keeping your dog at a healthy weight is key to helping them stay healthy. Not sure if your dog is overweight? Determine if your dog is carrying some excess weight here. A healthy weight is one of the single most important things you can do for the long-term health of your best friend.
- Is your dog slowing down? It might not be what you think it is. If your dog is losing the pep in their step, it might not be their age! Have you noticed your dog is running less, moving more slowly, avoiding stairs, or hesitating and not jumping? It might be your dog’s joints at issue. Using a high-quality joint health product such as Bil-Jac BreakThru Joint Health Support daily could help. BreakThru is made in the USA carefully and gently processed to help protect the nutrients packed into it. This exciting product provides support for joints through a unique combination of ingredients to help leverage the power of nutrition. This product provides:
- Calcium, vitamin D and protein for healthy joint and musculoskeletal function
- Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate
- Let’s do a gut check. Approximately 70% of a dog's immune system lies in the digestive tract. Digestive health and immune function are very important as your dog’s body matures. Probiotics, like those found in BreakThru Biotics, provide good bacteria to help support your dog’s overall health. Just spray on your dog’s food at meal time.
- A dog of a different color. Changes in skin and coat can be seen in mature dogs. A super-premium dog food like Senior Select or Senior Small Breed, can go a long way toward helping your dog thrive as he/she ages. Both varieties provide Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids to help nourish skin and coat.
Be active and enjoy every day.
Walk it off. Dogs experience the world through their senses. Even short walks help to stimulate them both physically and mentally. Try out a new place to walk, visit a dog park or hit the trail with a few of your dog’s best friends for some extra interest, new sites and smells.
Sniff out some new games. Your furry friend will love it! Hunting games allow him to use the best sense he still has – his sense of smell. Try hiding food underneath cups, in toys, or spread around the house or yard. You can hide treats in a wrapped box and let your dog search for a secret goodie.
New Tricks. No dog is too old to learn a new trick or two. Use our training tips to learn how to teach your senior how to kiss, bow and more. He may not need to learn these from scratch, but could just use a brush-up. Either way, it will be fun for both of you!
Update that obedience training. New tricks a bit too daunting? Consider taking your pooch back to the basics with a repeat obedience training session or two. Just eliminate anything that could be harmful to him or cause mobility issues. He’ll recall what he learned before and thank you for the memories!
Consider pet therapy training. Mature dogs can make ideal pet therapy dogs. They’re more settled and often more patient with people (barring health issues). If your dog is social and likes to share the love with people he meets, this career move could be barking up the right tree.
A little attention, lots of love.
Keep them active. Feed them well. Take a few key steps as your dog matures will help keep them healthy and active so you can enjoy each and every moment together for years to come.
What do you do to keep your mature dog active and healthy? Let us know!