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7 Easy Ways To Keep Your Senior Dog Happy

The journey into a senior dog’s golden years can be immensely rewarding, filled with love, companionship, and shared memories. In this article, let’s explore practical and heartwarming ways to keep your senior dog happy, making their later years as joyous as their playful puppy days.

7 Easy Ways To Keep Your Senior Dog Happy

When you have a senior dog, we can often worry about their happiness – it would be so much easier if they could talk and tell us how they are feeling. Making your senior dog happy becomes a priority in such situations.

Often their temperament and personality can change as they reach their senior years, and your dog may want to experience new or different things as a senior dog. 

Don’t worry; there are loads of tips and tricks that can truly keep your senior dog happy and help them enjoy their elder years as they adapt to time passing. We should seek new ways of how we can treat them, making them happy, as well as feeling the love.

Read on to learn some things that senior dogs love and some ideas on keeping your senior dog happy!

Key Points

Keeping your senior dog happy takes a little ‘know-how,’ and it simply involves dedicating your time and attention.

We need to reevaluate their needs as they enter older age, and this can involve changing their diets, their beds, how we exercise them, and the kinds of social contact they get. 

When we consider their advancing age, we can likely increase their happiness as a result, making things more comfortable for them and doing what we can to prevent the effects of ageing.

Good examples of this are changing their exercise routine, increasing mental stimulation, changing their diets, and listening to their needs. Every dog is different, and you know yours best.

Listen to what they’re trying to tell you, and you will be better able to keep your senior dog happy. 

“Thanks for looking after me, while I look after you!”

7 Ways To Keep Your Senior Dog Happy

From health considerations to tailored activities, let’s delve into some of the effective ways to keep your senior dog happy and to maintain their well-being and contentment.

1. Keep Up Regular Grooming Sessions

Keep Up Regular Grooming Sessions

Sometimes we want a new haircut or beauty treatment to make us feel younger, more attractive, and more confident.

But in many cases, particularly in dogs, a grooming session can be more practical than anything else and can lend itself well to improved quality of life.  

Regular grooming not only makes them look their best but also keeps your senior dog happy and feeling more comfortable.

Groomers will likely notice any mysterious bumps, bruises, and irritation on your senior dog. Put simply, a groomer can also help you identify medical issues as they occur through old age, especially if you have used the same groomer for a while and they know your dog.

The benefits of grooming can be two-pronged. Firstly as your dog ages, it will likely encounter joint and general flexibility issues.

Put another way your dog may not be able to clean or groom themselves as they had previously. 

As a result, a grooming session can be both satisfying and necessary for a senior dog to remain as clean as they would be if they could groom themselves successfully.

Regular brushing can also help keep their coat oils spread throughout their coat and not just in the areas they can reach.

A grooming session can actually increase mobility and general happiness in other ways. For example, something as simple as shaving out their paw pads will mean that your senior dog has better traction on the floor, allowing them to be more confident when running and generally allowing them more stability.

There’s also the issue of matting, which occurs more in older dogs as a result of not being able to groom themselves.

Your senior dog can be pretty unhappy when they have matted hair. Often this matted hair can be hard to see for humans, and depending on the dog and coat type, it can be contained in their undercoat. 

A good grooming session that helps remove matting can suddenly give them a new lease on life. 

“Look at me all clean and smelling lovely again!”

2. Focus On Dog Dentistry

Focus On Dog Dentistry

How to keep your senior dog happy? Healthy teeth!

Like humans, a senior dog’s teeth will naturally deteriorate with age. As they get older, their teeth become more prone to infection and damage, known as periodontal diseases, which is something really common in senior dogs.

Unfortunately for dogs, infected teeth could eventually increase the chances of heart disease and kidney disease.

A simple teeth cleaning routine could help reduce the chances of infection and likely help your dog be a little happier in the day as a result of clean and healthier teeth.

Use dog toothpaste and toothbrush, or even dental drops. These dental issues often go unnoticed.

Your dog groomer may also provide dental cleaning services for your pooch.

“A healthy smile means a happy dog!”

3. The Right Kind Of Exercise

The Right Kind of Exercise for old dogs

As it ages, it may seem like your dog will want to exercise the same way they always did, but sometimes it can be best to adapt to their changing bodies as well. The right kind of exercise is vital for keeping your senior dog happy and healthy. 

Many dogs are prone to joint issues, like Joint Dysplasia, so low-impact exercise is advised for all of them.

This is especially true for senior dogs that have weaker joints from old age. Swimming is an excellent low-impact exercise for senior dogs, and it also works as hydrotherapy to limber up their bodies and reduce pain.

Finding the right kind of exercise also means making sure they aren’t jumping really high to catch a ball, jumping off large drops, or other kinds of exercise that can stress their leg joints.

Try throwing their ball lower rather than high, allowing them to run and exercise but not do so in a way that will further damage their joints.

While on the topic of joint health, it’s also important that even when not exercising but just navigating our human households, we should try not to let the dog damage their joints in other ways.

Lift them off the couch or your bed, rather than letting them jump off, and carry them upstairs rather than letting them run up and down them.

“Sometimes I don’t know what’s best for me!”

4. Indulge In Cognitive Exercise

Indulge senior dogs in Cognitive Exercise

“I know I’m an old dog but you can always teach me new tricks!”

One thing that senior dogs will benefit from is cognitive exercises. As your dog will naturally start to become less active and exercise less, even requiring shorter walks, replacing physical exercise with mental exercises can be a good idea.

Dogs love using their senses to figure out where things are and explore the world. Considering most senior dogs can run into cognitive dysfunction as they get older, mental stimulation can be beneficial in preventing this.

Perhaps the simplest example of this is hiding food in the house or garden and letting your dogs try to find it on their own. The right kind of mental exercise can depend on your breed of dog and the abilities they specialise in. 

For example, a dachshund will really enjoy digging and finding things as they are natural badger hunters and pointer dogs.

You could even consider investing in certain dog accessories and toys, mats, and puzzle games that all work on their cognitive abilities rather than physical ones. These toys are surefire ways to prevent boredom, encourage engagement with you and the environment, and keep your senior dog happy.

5. Increase Social Time

Increase Senior Dog's Social Time

As your dog grows older, they can become more confident and comfortable with socialisation. Keep your senior dog happy by prioritizing their social well-being.

No matter how much your dog socialises as they grow old, they will naturally become more comfortable with socialisation simply due to experience over their lives.

This means that most senior dogs can comfortably handle socialisation without stress.

Honour your dogs’ habits, know what they like and don’t like, and let them explore the world of other dogs with a more experienced understanding as a senior. 

“Don’t worry, I’m a  wise dog – I’ve seen it all!”

However, it is worth noting that some dogs get more anti-social as they age, so they might not be interested in meeting new, excitable puppies. If they’re losing their eyesight and hearing this can make them more stressed. 

You know your dog best, so don’t force them if you think they are more comfortable with fewer social interactions. You can even buy neckerchiefs and special leads to alert other dog walkers that your dog needs space from other dogs!

“I like to wear my special collar when I’m feeling overwhelmed with the changes to my sight and hearing. It helps other owners keep their dogs away from me when I’m not feeling particularly playful.”

6. Change Their Diet

Changing senior dog's diet

Nutrition plays a vital role in keeping your senior dog happy.

In the latter stages of their life, one key to keeping a dog happy and thriving is ensuring their diet is full of everything they need. A younger dog often just needs protein and other things in order to grow. 

However, senior dogs need a diet focused on nutrition and enough vitamins to help their cognitive function and prevent both physical and mental ailments they may encounter.

Nutrients like omega-3-rich are good for their joints, brain, and skin, while additives like hyaluronic acid will help their eye health.

Consider moving to a different diet that helps prevent the effects of ageing itself, allowing your dog to be happy in their old age. Many dog foods now have food made specifically for older dogs.

“I’ll eat anything, just make sure it’s right!”

There are also plenty of senior dog foods on the market that can benefit your dog. They contain fewer calories but also increased vitamins and minerals to keep your senior dog happy and healthy.

Not all dogs need to switch to senior dog food, but it might help if your dog is suffering from health issues or lethargy.

7. Consider New Dog Furniture

Consider New Dog Furniture

Another way to keep your senior dog happy is by considering the purchase of new dog furniture. Your dog may have multiple beds in the house, but they may need maintenance or swapping out for something new and more suited to their current, more mature needs.

It can be worthwhile upgrading your dog’s bed to something comfier, helping them sleep and also likely helping prevent any joint issues that can occur in their later life.

There are all kinds of orthopedic dog beds that can suit your dog’s size and breed, allowing them extra comfort.

“I think I deserve a new bed!”

Final Thoughts

Continuing to do the things they like, such as going for a car ride or a stroll in the park, keeps your senior dog happy and helps ward off anxiety and boredom.

Understanding the various ways to keep your senior dog happy is essential for fostering a positive and fulfilling companionship. By incorporating these tips into your routine, you can ensure that your aging canine friend enjoys their golden years to the fullest. 

Keep your senior dog happy by providing tailored care, attention, and love throughout their aging journey.

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