Pet Health, Pets and Family, Senior Dogs

5 Senior Dog Care Tips Your Senior Dog Wished You Knew

Care for senior dogs can be challenging and weigh on you.  I have a senior dog and I am constantly second guessing if I am doing right by her and providing her with the best senior dog care.  Is she comfortable and happy, could I do more and how?  

black dog staring into the camera with a worried look
Senior dog walking at dusk on browned grass.
Senior dog Zooey takes extra care

As I contemplate her needs and consider some of vet advice here are five things I think Zooey, my senior dog would say are important for her senior dog care and she wished I knew. 

Don’t know if your dog qualifies as a senior?  Check out our article When is Your Dog a Senior and Other Senior Dog Facts 

Anticipate Your Senior Dog’s Needs

Our senior dogs cannot communicate as they once used to.  Their hearing may be off, along with their eye site, smell and more.  For example, Zooey, loves a nighttime snack she will pace the house until I give her her nighttime CBD Relieve Plus and her treat.  She would have once just been comfortable or begged me directly, now she paces.  

I understand that different things are important to her, she may be a little confused at the end of the day and this routine works the best for her.  I need to understand her needs and anticipate them so any anxiety that she may feel or confusion is put to rest.  I anticipate them by being ready to give this senior dog what she wants so that she can relax and go to bed.

Does your senior dog confused?  See our Ultimate Guide to Dog Dementia with free printable dog dementia assessment.

Find Ways to Keep Senior Dogs Involved In Your Activities at Home

It is easy to say my dog is too tired to explore with us anymore or go out, he just enjoys sleeping.  However, we all know that senior dogs still need exercise and they still need to feel part of the family.  

Try to include senior dogs in regular fun, if you like I, normally go for a walk at night with all the dogs.  Take your senior dog on a shorter walk, and drop her off and then do some more serious hiking without them.  That way she can feel part of the group. 

Woman in short walking her dog on the street with a brown lab.
Seniors still appreciate being included on walks

All be it at my house, Zooey typically does not like to be dropped off and will do her best to keep coming.  It is important to make senior dogs feel involved and find the best way to do that, never mind, exercise and stimulation are super important for senior dogs!

Visit the Vet More Often

As we discuss in our 11 Common Health Issues in Senior Dogs, a lot can happen for a senior dog healthwise.  A couple months are a long time in senior dog health years.  Whereas a check up for a senior dog may have been perfectly reasonable when your dog was an adult or younger as your dog moves into the Senior Dog Years increased vet monitoring is very helpful. 

We included a graph of ideal vet care by age in our article titled 11 Common Health Issues in Senior Dogs that we reported below.

Infographic which depicts the age when a dog needs increased vet monitoring or vest visit frequency for senior dogs.
Your dog may need more frequent visits to the vet as it ages.

Watch For Signs of Chronic Pain

Many senior dogs are very stoic and suffer in silence.  What makes suffering in silence even worse it that their suffering may be mistaken for a lack of desire to be social and blamed on age without getting to the root cause of the suffering.  

There are many stories that any vet can relay about dogs that were brought in for care due to their lack of desire to eat or socialize with the family and they simply retire to bed when the real issue was pain in the neck, back, hips or other underlying condition that prevents them from enjoying life with you and is the basis for the lack of social interaction.  

Much like anticipating needs, watching for signs of chronic pain requires diligence and attention to your senior dogs needs.

Brown and white bulldog eating food out of a red bowl on a bricks.
If a senior dog refuses to eat it may be that he has neck pain and cannot reach his bowl or some other unrelated health issue

Make Your Senior Dog Feel Special 

All dog lovers cherish making their dog feel special but if you have a senior dog that is a little less social you may forget to offer treats and food geared to your senior dogs needs.  I know that I forget to take pictures as much of Zooey with a little flare which makes all dogs feel special.  Make a special treat like our Easy CBD Treat For Seniors recipe found here.  

There are many ways to make our pups feel special such as:

  • Photoshoot 
  • Special senior dog treats
  • A Special outing to a park or cafe
  • A short hike 

Senior dog essentials that make your dog feel special and comfortable are loved by senior dogs.

Check out our Celebrate Senior Dog Box where we include a special seasonal bandana in each box to make your dog feel special and entice you to pull out the camera and make your senior feel special and give you special memories to cherish.

We love it when senior dog are celebrated and see our article on senior dog Instagram accounts we love and get some inspiration for your own senior dog IG account and at the same time raise awareness for how fun it is to have a senior dog and how much love they have to give!

Find more dog advice and fun stories in our popular book called Motherpuppin’ Adorable: What to do when your dog is better than everyone else’s the perfect companion for navigating the best life with your dog. Learn more about this loved book.