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January 12, 2018
Many dog owners assume a dog won’t slow down until their teen years. However, the physical characteristics of an older dog begin as young as six. Aging sucks. Due to the short amount of time we get with our pets, it is extra hard for us humans.
Maintaining a high quality of life for an older dog can be done through age-defying nutrients, age-appropriate accommodations, and activity. Below we’re sharing some ways we have kept our 12-year-old Boston Terrier spry, agile, and strong.
Some signs of aging can be very dramatic, but most of the time what you are seeing is very gradual signs. Once you notice signs of aging, begin taking steps to slow it down. The first indication of aging happens when your dog tires more easily during play or exercise.
Instead of trotting upstairs, they may take them one step at a time. As aging progresses, they may even have problems getting up into their favorite chair. This can be an early sign of diseases associated with aging like arthritis, diabetes, and heart ailments.
Other common signs of aging include:
As aging increases, you may also find that your older dog exhibits loss of former knowledge, particularly when it comes to housebreaking. As they age, elimination accidents will become more common with their need to more urgently relieve themselves.
The good news is that aging, particularly early signs of aging, can be slowed down with dietary therapy. As an owner, you have the opportunity to provide your older dog with specific anti-aging nutrients that can help them feel a little more youthful again.
A study found that dogs which were given supplements of SAMe had a 50 percent reduction of mental impairment than those that did not take it.
Taking it as a supplement can help memory, learning, and social behavior in animals as well as humans.
We can help prolong aging, but inevitably we can’t stop it. After a certain point, all you can do is make sure your dog is comfortable as the process happens. One of the best things you can do is keep a stable environment. Your dog is aging mentally as well as physically, keep their environment predictable.
Routines are important for senior dogs. A routine helps prevent the increased anxiety that comes with age and reduces confusion. Just because your dog is aging, does not mean play and socialization need to cease. Not only can play time and training help get them to exercise, but it provides a certain amount of mental stimulation that can help slow down the mental effects of aging from taking hold.
In fact, the more your dog uses their brain throughout their life, the less likely they will be to suffer from confusion later in life. Mentally stimulating, yet age-appropriate, games are very healthy for dogs. Putting a focus on the comfort of your older dog is crucial. As they move slower and spend more time sleeping, age-appropriate accommodations are helpful.
As your dog ages, it is even more important to keep in touch with your veterinarian. Sometimes pain or discomfort can be arthritis acting up, but other times it can be more serious. Making your senior dog comfortable, yet active is a great way to spend the remaining years of their life together.