Most people, when they get pet dogs like Bernese Mountain Dog puppies, don’t really tend to think too far beyond the puppy stage. They don’t consider what they are going to do when their dog gets older. Truthfully, the puppy phase does seem to last forever, and your dog gets old so slowly that it often creeps up on you until, one day, you realize that you suddenly have a senior dog. Older dogs, like older people, do require a little extra care; they are a little more delicate than puppies. However, caring for a senior dog isn’t necessarily difficult. It simply takes a little more thought and consideration. You can also help to keep your dog as sprightly and healthy as they get older by feeding them the best possible diet, like a raw food diet. In addition to diet, you can give them supplements like Mighty Munch to keep their joints healthy and support their overall health. Keep reading to learn more about caring for your senior dog.
Obviously, the nutritional needs of a dog will vary a little depending on its age, breed and size. Thinking a little more deeply about the food that you feed your dog does make sense, especially as they get older. You could stick to a diet that consists of commercial dog foods, they are more convenient, and you can get superfood enriched dog food formulated specifically for senior dogs. If you have the time and inclination to do so, it could be worth switching your dog’s diet; you could consider a raw food diet for your dog – ProDog Raw has everything you need to get started, as well as some excellent resources where you can learn more about the raw food diet.
Whatever diet you choose to give your dog, you should still make a concerted effort to monitor their eating and drinking habits. If you notice that your dog’s food or water intake has changed, then this could point to a health problem. This is exactly why you really should make an appointment with your vet or dog care specialist, if you notice any significant changes. If you have a few dogs, then you might also want to reconsider how you approach mealtimes. Exuberant young pups are often boisterous, and they can push older dogs out of the way in order to snaffle their food. Consider feeding them separately.
Another huge aspect of your dog’s life that is likely to change as they get older is its mobility. Most dogs are incredibly active; they love to run and play, but unfortunately, as they get older, it gets harder for them to do this. Their mobility is reduced, they get tired more quickly, and their joints or muscles are more likely to ache or cause them pain. As your dog gets older, you just need to make more of an effort to ensure that they are comfortable. Dogs love to relax in soft, comfy and cosy places, so make sure that there are enough of them in your home.
You should also consider the accessibility of your home. If your dog loves to sleep on the bed or the sofa, but they nowstruggle to jump up on them, then it might be worth getting them some steps to help them climb up. Maybe they can’t bend their neck as comfortably to eat their meals from the ground; you could get them raised dog bowls instead. Luckily,there are a lot of little things that you can do to make it easier for your dog to get about in your home.
As your dog gets older, they are also more likely to need to go out to the toilet more often. Installing a doggy door can make this easier, although this isn’t always possible for everyone. If you cannot do this, you will simply have to be more vigilant when it comes to letting them out or noticing the signs that they need the toilet. If you are leaving them alone for a period of time, it might be worth thinking about the flooring and trying to leave them in a room that is easily cleaned. Speaking of flooring, smoother surfaces, while easier to clean up, can actually be more challenging for your dog to traverse. If you find that your dog is struggling to get around, then putting down area rugs or carpets can give them something to grip onto.
Getting older is unavoidable; it is an inescapable part of life. Humans try to fight it, but most other creatures tend to just accept it. As your dog starts to approach senior status, they are, of course, going to slow down. You might not even notice it at first, but gradually they will become tired out more easily, they won’t be able to go as far on walks, and they are likely to start sleeping more. Similarly, to humans, their hearing and eyesight might also start to deteriorate. You might notice then that your dog is more easily startled because they haven’t noticed your approach. Taking extra care around them makes sense. If you do notice that they tire more easily, then going on a few shorter walks during the day as opposed to one or two long walks can help to make sure that they are getting the exercise they need without wearing them out too much.