Dr. Hutchison, of the Cranberry Animal General Hospital, says that in his experience of over 30 years, dogs are living about two years longer on average. He thinks that it is due to a combination of better diets as well as improvements in medication. It seems keeping your pet fit and trim is the trick do helping your aging companion.
However, Dr. Hutchison says over half of the dogs that walk into his clinic are overweight. People used to accept a little more fat on dogs, but the fact is that thinner dogs live longer. Keeping the weight off goes hand-in-hand with his second trick: getting them regular activity.
Exercise remains vital not only physically but also in brings benefits to mentality and attitude of pets. You can clearly see the difference in dogs when they don’t get regular exercise. In the winter, they tend to put on a little bit of weight — and get sluggish in tandem.
It is also important to modify the activity patterns as your dog ages. If your pet cannot run around as much as he could, it’s because it’s taxing on him. In such instances, it’s better to slow down or keep your runs short. It’s not just about the effort in the exercise, but not just letting them just be sedentary and making sure they are active.
A trick that’ll benefit older dogs is to get them a special place to sleep. A big plush bed or a pile cushions – something soft for them to lie on. When younger, dogs prefer a cool tile floor, but as they get older, they tend to appreciate the comfort and warmth of softer stuff.
Giving your pet Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil can do wonders — regardless of age. The Omega-3 fatty acids in the fish oil help reduce inflammation in the dogs, decreases shedding and makes their coat shine. You can also go in for additional probiotics or digestive enzymes that can be of similar help for less than $100 a year.
Though there’s a lot of different things you can do for your dogs as they age, one of the best things you can do is to hang out with them. The experience of companionship by simply spending time with your dog can be hugely beneficial. Just the knowledge that they are loved keeps them around and active.
But this goes beyond simply being in the same room with your dog. You need to show them how much you care. You have to give them attention and not just walk by them. You go over and give them a pat, give them a belly rub, pick up a brush and start brushing them, go for a walk outdoors — something worthwhile to spend time with them.
With these tricks for your pet dog, you hopefully will have them around for many more happy years.