Thursday, September 28, 2023

8 Tips To Care For Your Senior Dog

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Aging is inevitable, and beloved dogs aren’t spared. Gray fur, slower moves, and plenty of daytime naps are common in aging dogs. As they enter their golden years, things like food, exercise, and more will need a tweak. But here’s the thing: dogs are pros at masking health issues. So, you must pay extra attention, adapting their routines to match those aging bodies and immune systems. Regular check-ups, preventative care, and a lifestyle shift can work wonders, ensuring your furry friend is comfortable. Here are eight tips for keeping your senior dog happy, healthy, and tail-wagging for years. 

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Know when your furry friend becomes a senior

So, when does your loyal companion officially join the senior club? Well, that varies from pup to pup, but it’s usually between 7 and 10 years old. And remember, size matters! Bigger dogs tend to hit their senior phase earlier than the little guys. Scientists have been scratching their heads about this one. They’ve noticed that big dogs like the 150-pound Great Dane tend to clock out after just 7 years, while those tiny 9-pound toy poodles can keep wagging their tails for up to 14 years. The exact reason behind this size and lifespan remains a puzzle for the experts. Your best bet is to chat with your vet to pinpoint when your dog might need extra TLC. 

Keep your dog moving

Your dog can benefit from a little workout. It helps them stay in shape and keeps those pesky extra pounds at bay. Chat with your vet to create a tailored exercise plan that suits your dog’s health and any limitations they might have. Start off slowly and steady, especially if your dog’s a senior. Those puppy days of endless zoomies may be behind them, but some gentle walks and light jogs can still do wonders. Remember, they might not have the same pep in their step as they used to, so take it easy. And if you’re not around to play, try out some cool laser toys to keep them entertained from a distance. 

Stay on top of grooming 

Giving your furry buddy good grooming isn't just about keeping them stylish. It’s quality bonding time, too. Plus, it’s a chance to keep tabs on any unusual lumps or bumps. Remember, as your dog ages, issues like stiff joints can challenge self-grooming. Those trips to the professional groomer can be stressful for your senior pal. Loud noises, rowdy pups, and standing too long can increase anxiety. But here’s the silver lining: you know your dog best. So, you can give them a loving, stress-free grooming session at home. It’s a win-win situation: a fresh pup and peace of mind. 

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Give your senior pup a supplement boost

As your dogs age, their digestion and nutrient absorption can hit a few speed bumps, often due to dental problems and other age-related issues. That’s where supplements can step in to lend a paw. But before you start tossing pills, having a heart-to-heart with your vet is crucial. When it comes to supplements, there are some, like Vitamin B complex, Vitamin E, and Probiotics, that could make a difference for your senior dog. Just remember that the supplement world is like the Wild West; it’s not closely regulated by the FDA. So, be extra cautious when purchasing supplements for your dog. Meanwhile, this multivitamin for dogs offers a long-term immune system boost and antioxidant support. 

Toys and enrichment tasks

Senior dogs can face cognitive challenges that are a bit like Alzheimer’s in humans. But don't worry. You can help keep their gray matter in top shape with physical and mental exercises. There are several awesome ideas to keep your senior dog’s brain engaged. For instance, you can take your furry friend for short strolls outdoors and introduce a fun puzzle feeder or a snuffle mat for meals and treats. You can also get creative with games like hiding treats or toys for them to find around the house. Don't forget to keep those training sessions going with plenty of positive reinforcement. And, for some furry socializing, arrange playdates with other senior or mellow canine companions. 

Give your pup a bright smile 

The dental health of your four-legged becomes a challenge as they age. It’s not unusual to spot a few gaps in their pearly whites, especially if they haven’t had the best dental care in their younger days. Dental hygiene should be part of your pet care routine from puppyhood, but it’s never too late to start. Give their teeth a daily brush, or if they’re not keen on it, try dental treats. Schedule a yearly vet visit for professional teeth cleaning to keep those chompers in shape. 

Prevention is the best policy 

It’s vital to be proactive in maintaining your dog’s well-being. With a weakened immune system, routine care becomes even more critical. Stay on top of preventative measures like parasite control, dental hygiene, vaccinations, and dietary management. To ensure your aging companion’s comfort, provide a cozy environment with easy access to food, comfortable bedding, and fresh water whenever they require it. 

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Make more time for your aging pup

Watching your furry friend grow older can be bittersweet. The years may bring changes, but they also bring cherished memories. The best thing you can do for your senior dog is to live in the moment and savor every day you have together. As your pup ages, they may become more attached and anxious when you’re not around. Spending quality time with them can make all the difference. Consider using a pet camera to check in and chat with them during your busy day, providing comfort and reassurance. 

Every dog ages differently, but it’s a journey we’ll all take with our furry companions. Aging is a natural part of life, and as a responsible dog owner, you must be prepared for this inevitable stage. As your beloved dog enters their senior years, you might notice changes like reduced energy, mobility challenges, or even issues with their senses. While this may seem daunting, remember these changes occur gradually, giving you and your pup time to adjust and make the most of your time together. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

5 Effective Tips For Keeping Your Pets Safe And Happy

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As a pet owner, your main priority is ensuring your pets live the best life. This is why you constantly ask yourself if you are always doing the right things. Just like humans, pets also require attention and care to prevent a negative impact on their physical and mental health. The last thing you want is to see your dog sick or injured or experiencing a mental health disorder such as depression or anxiety. One effective way of improving your pet's quality of life is by ensuring its safety. Your pets are exposed to all kinds of dangers, whether at home or outside. Therefore, the right measures must be taken to ensure your pets are safe. Furthermore, a safe pet is a happy one! On that note, here are a few tips you should consider to ensure your pet is safe and happy. 

Be mindful of the weather

When you think of the safety of your pets, it's safe to say that the weather is the least of your concerns. However, this should not be the case. The weather can play a significant role in the health and safety of your furry friend. For instance, during extremely hot temperatures, your pets can succumb to issues such as dehydration and heatstroke. According to PETA, heat-related deaths of dogs and cats have doubled over the last year. Therefore, being mindful of keeping your dog safe during such hot temperatures is vital. For instance, protect their paws from hot surfaces to prevent them from experiencing burns. You should also never leave your pets in a hot car, especially during the summer, and be sure to provide cooling treats and toys. It is also advisable to keep them hydrated and limit their outdoor activity in such temperatures. During the colder seasons, you should also ensure that your pets receive adequate warmth and watch for signs of hypothermia. 

Discourage fights as often as possible

If you own several pets or live where your pets socialize with others, you may not be new to the fights that occur. Just like humans, your pets may not get along with others well or may be irritable from time to time. When this happens, this can lead to fights. However, such fights jeopardize the safety of your pets. Your pet may suffer injuries such as bruises and scratches from such fights, which could cause even more health complications if left untreated or unnoticed. But how can you identify normal play from an actual fight? First, you must carefully observe what normal play is like for your pet. Animals have unique personalities, so by observing your pet's personality, you can determine if they are not in a fight. However, if this is quite challenging or seems like rough play, you can separate the animals as soon as possible to prevent a fight or other issues. 

Always have a first aid kit nearby

From running around to being too curious, your pet is never too far from danger. This can lead to several injuries and other emergencies requiring immediate attention. This is why you must keep an emergency first aid kit nearby. Your first aid kit must include tools and medications that a pet-friendly and effective. Most importantly, you must know how to use these tools and medication. It would be unhelpful to try figuring out the components in your first aid box only in an emergency. Additionally, the fear and panic you experience during such a time can make it difficult to think straight. Therefore, knowing what to do beforehand goes a long way to ensuring your pet's safety and improving their chances of recovery. 

You should also know common health issues your pets may encounter and have medications that help to treat these issues. This makes you prepared for any medical emergency that may arise. However, you should contact your vet immediately to ensure your pet receives professional medical services. 

Avoid leaving your pets alone 

Despite socializing with other animals, your pets don’t do well with being left alone for several reasons. For one, they may begin to feel depressed and anxious. The lack or limit in social interactions and loving contact with their human can trigger this response— because, like you, they don’t like being left alone. Moreover, unsupervised pets tend to be more exposed to dangers. Therefore, it is vital to always keep in touch with your pets. Fortunately, several technological solutions, such as PetCam and Buddy, make monitoring your pets and even interacting with them when you are away easy. You can also have a reliable friend or family member watch your pet when you are away. Not only does this supervision make your pet feel less lonely, but it also offers supervision— further ensuring their safety. 

But what happens when you are in an emergency and can’t get to your pet? How do you ensure they are safe and being supervised? In that case, having various precautionary measures is vital. For example, an emergency contact would be a great idea as they would know what to do. However, you can keep a pet emergency keychain from Our Pet Card. This card lets first responders know that you have a pet at home that needs to be attended to when you are in an emergency.  

Check leashes and collars

Collars and leashes are important when owning a pet, specifically a cat or dog. Besides being legally required in some States, collars usually have vital information such as the animal’s name and address, making them easily identifiable— especially when they go missing. Leashes help you control your pet outdoors, preventing them from wandering off. However, if the proper care is not taken, leashes and collars can compromise your pet’s safety. If the collar is too loose, your pet can easily break away from it, causing them to wander off and be difficult to find. However, you risk breaking your pet’s neck or causing significant injury if the collar is too tight. Additionally, low-quality leashes and collars can compromise your pet’s safety by not being safe itself! Investing in high-quality leashes and collars is always a good idea.