Keep Your Dog Healthy Through Middle/ Senior Age

I am super excited to introduce you to a guest blogger, Mark, who loves dogs (and all pets) just as much as we all do! He has taken time out of his busy schedule to write about how to keep your dog healthy through middle/senior age. Want more information regarding dogs? Check out his site: ourdogsworld101.com or his Facebook page. It is definitely worth the read!

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How to Keep Your Dog Healthy Through Middle/Senior AgeHow to Keep Your Dog Healthy Through Middle/Senior Age

Dogs experience age-related problems and challenges as they get older. Usually, a dog is considered senior when it reaches seven years of age. Thinking about such changes begs the question, how to keep your dog healthy through middle/ senior age.

Consider taking these amazing steps to improve their health. By doing your part to keep your senior dog healthy, you will allow them to give you many years of companionship. Follow these tips and your middle-aged/ senior dog’s health will be assured.

Dog Food, Dog Bowl, Dog Kibble, Dry Dog Food, PawsHealthy Food and Nutrition

Diet is a very important point that contributes to the overall health of your fur buddy. For senior dogs, the nutritional requirements usually change and evolve. All middle age/ senior dogs have specific nutritional needs based on breed, age, weather, metabolism, and activity level.

The middle-aged/ senior dogs are prone to many health issues including arthritis, weight gain, cognitive issues, and appetite loss. Their diet greatly affects the quality of their life. These health problems can be affected or improved by the daily diet you feed.

Healthy seniors need more protein to maintain muscle mass. Many middle/ senior dogs need more protein, fibre, or other nutrients to ensure their bodies are well taken care of. You should give middle age/ senior dogs a diet that is tailored to meet their needs. You can consult your vet to select the best diet for your middle-aged/ senior dog’s specific needs.

Regular Vet VisitsMedicine, Veterinary, Equipment, Ear Examination, Dog

You should take your middle-aged/ senior dogs for regular check-ups at the vet’s office. Regular vet visits give your vet the chance to evaluate the overall health of your senior dog. You will also get the chance to discuss any unusual behavior your senior dog is displaying. Your vet will identify irregularities in case your fur buddy has any issues.

The vet will assess the general health of your middle-aged/ senior dog. These vet examinations can detect problems in older dogs before they become life-threatening. Regular vet visits improve the chances of a longer and healthier life for your dog.

Pill, Gel Capsule, Medicine, Health, Cure, DrugIntroduce Dietary Supplements When Appropriate

If your senior dog is not getting a complete and balanced diet, it may develop dietary issues. You can introduce supplements into your dog’s diet. Dietary supplements will not take the place of a healthy diet but will be an additional support to a healthy life.

You can give joint supplements to help keep your dog’s joints from hurting. Also, omega-3 fatty acids help with brain, skin and joint health.

Be cautious about giving human supplements to pets. Your senior dogs need dietary supplements if they’re suffering from arthritis, hip dysplasia, neurological problems, or poor coat conditions. Your vet can also assess whether your middle-aged/ senior dog needs a supplement or not.

A Comfy Place to LiveDog, Pet, Bed, Animal, Border Collie, Sleep, Cute

Arthritis and hip and elbow dysplasia are common issue for older dogs. These dogs deserve a comfy place to relax and sleep. A quality orthopedic dog bed can ease their arthritic joints while helping them stay cozy and comfortable. These beds are designed to provide extra support to your dog’s joints and bones.

You must provide a warm, comfy, and quiet place for relaxing and sleeping. Choose a low-traffic area in your house for your senior dog to relax and sleep. During winters, provide them cozy blankets to keep them warm. Also, keep their space clean and free of germs.

Dog Bath, Resigned, Wet, Soapy, Grooming, AnimalRegular Grooming

Regular grooming and careful weekly examinations are essential for your aging dog’s overall well being. Regular grooming can help you to spot bumps, lumps, wounds, and potential health problems on your senior dog’s skin.

Grooming also helps to remove any loose fur due to shedding, dirt, debris, or ticks and fleas. You should arm yourself with the right grooming tools for your senior dog. Make grooming a positive experience for your senior dog, filled with praises and rewards.

Regular Exercise and Mental Stimulation Strength, Dog, Golden Retriever, Strong, Exercise

Senior dogs should be given regular exercise and mental stimulation to avoid health issues. Regular physical activities will strengthen your aging dog’s muscles, enhance circulation and improve their heart and brain function. Always choose a physical activity that is appropriate for your dog’s age and stamina.

Mental stimulation also plays a big role in keeping your dog healthy. Try to provide ample opportunities for mental challenges to keep your dog young at heart and prevent boredom.

Pit Bull, Senior Dog, Senior, Portrait, Dog, MuttMaintain a Healthy Weight

Maintaining your senior dog’s weight is one of the easiest ways to increase his life expectancy. Healthy weight is a major factor that contributes to your dog’s overall well-being.

Obesity in senior dogs increases the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, difficulty breathing, skin problems, and other conditions. It can shorten your dog’s life expectancy and decrease their quality of life.

Sudden weight loss in a senior dog is also a source for concern. Hyperthyroidism, diabetes and kidney disease are common causes of weight loss in senior dogs.

What are Physical Signs of Aging in Dogs?Dog, Pet, Old, Old Age, Elderly, Gray

Dogs show a variety of signs of aging besides a graying muzzle. Some hallmarks of aging in dogs include:

    1. Slowing down or difficulty getting around
    2. Increased barking
    3. Cloudy eyes or difficulty seeing
    4. Stiffness
    5. Awful breath due to gum disease or tooth decay
    6. Weight fluctuation

It’s important to note that physical signs of aging might look different in dog breeds.

Quick note: Contrary to the popular belief, dogs do not age at a rate of 7 human years for each dog year.

What problems are more common in senior dogs?

It’s easy to spot the outward signs of aging in dogs. Here are a few common health problems in senior dogs:

    • Hearing loss causing varying degrees of deafness
    • Vision loss due to tissue degeneration in the eyes
    • Joint problems
    • Dementia/Cognitive Dysfunction: When dogs lose cognitive function as they age
    • Cancer: It accounts for almost half of the deaths of dogs over 10 years of age
    • Heart disease
    • Kidney problems
    • Obesity
    • Gastrointestinal issues

Aging should not be painful for your furry companion. For your senior dog’s health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian. They can make the best recommendations for your dog.

Final Thoughts

Just like us, age is not a disease for dogs. Although senior dogs may develop age-related problems, good care allows them to live healthy lives in their senior years.

Remember, when you bring home a furry companion, you are committing to a long-term relationship. As a loving dog parent, these tips will help your middle-aged/ senior dog to stay healthy.

You can’t make your senior dog live forever, but you can help your furry pal live the healthiest life possible. A healthy senior dog can save you from a lot of stress and vet visits. All you need is to make some effort to support a healthy life for your senior dog.

14 thoughts on “Keep Your Dog Healthy Through Middle/ Senior Age”

  1. Hi there, I have been fortunate enough to have several dogs that lived to a very ripe old age. I have also “inherited” a few dogs in their old age when their owners relocated and felt the dog was too old to accompany them. The most common ailment that I have noticed in big dogs, are the hips that give in, and joint stiffness. Having a soft, but bed, and a floor covering that they do not slip when they get up, has helped our dogs. Thanks for sharing these signs. 

    1. My dogs have also suffered from hip dysplasia, knee problems, and joint stiffness. Your recommendations are a great help! I will be searching for some non-slip padding/floor covering in the coming weeks. Do you have any particular brand you use?

  2. Hi Kelly. Thank you for great post. I love my dog but unfortunately he is getting older and recently I realized that he need more attention then ever. Mark article is extremely helpful, of course I knew that I need to visit vet more often but never thought to change his diet or to introduce supplements. Looking forward to use these advices in practice and I hope it will make my dog live long years.

    1. Thanks! It is interesting how our dogs needs change as they age, but we can view it like how our needs change as well. Supplements are great options to try, but I would definitely consult a vet before you start any. 

  3. Hi there, I am also a dog lover myself but I didn’t know we have to understand so much stuff just to raise a dog which kinda surprising to me! Thanks to your blog, I know what to look for if I plan to raise up a dog (hopefully in the future) Anyways, I’m still not sure what kind of exercise should I give my dog to improve its stimulation and mental? Any suggestion would be very helpful.

    1. Hi Lucas,

      It is always good to research before you adopt a pet. Not all pets are alike! In regards to exercise, it will depend on your dog. My 7 year old malamute would still be able to handle running; however, my 10 year malamute has arthritis and should stick to low impact walking. Mental stimulation is always a great thing to work on. You can get puzzle like toys that you can stick treats in or you can work different types of training routines. Thanks for your comment!

  4. Thanks for this information, my dog just turned 5 years old, so would he be considered “middle-aged”? We have changed his diet to a more healthy brand and he appears to be feeling much better. He was having some stomach issues, and he started having seizures. Poor thing. Since changing his diet he has not had any issues.

    1. I am so glad to hear he is not having issues after the change in diet. I had to do that as well for both my Malamutes…and of course they don’t have the same foods now. My male eats a bit of dry food with a can of mackeral and my female has to eat specialized food for her joints. 

      5 years old would be considered approximately middle-aged, but don’t worry! He should still have a lot of life left in him especially if you keep his health in mind. (My last Mal lived to almost 17 and larger breeds usually decline around 12). It sounds like you have a good idea on what to look for, so you are in a good spot!

      Thanks for the comment!

  5. This post reads just like caring for the elderly in human beings. Maybe that is why dogs acquired the title of man’s best friend. My aunt has a dog that she’s had for what I believe to be ten-plus years. The last time I was at her place, I noticed some of the signs you’ve mentioned here. He barked a lot, and his physical activity was noticeably slower. I believe now is the time to take better care of him.

    1. Hi Steve, yes, the senior years may require a bit more care; however, it is important to ensure your pet is in good health over his entire life. Some dogs have specific issues that come up during puppyhood (like allergies, skin conditions, etc). I hope your aunt is able to see the signs in her dog and is able to help. If not, it is definitely an opportunity for you to share the information you learned. 🙂

  6. Thank you so much for sharing.

    During the pandemic, I got a puppy because i was lonely and depressed and he changed my life!

    I never would thought i would love my dog this much and i’ll do anything to keep him strong and healthy and live a long life!

    Very informative site. I’m always curious to see what other dog owners and handlers have to say. I’m grateful for this post because i’m learning new things.

    Thank you so much!

    1. Absolutely! I would encourage you to learn everything you can about your dog and how you can take care of him/her. It will only build your bond!  Thank you so much for the comment!

  7. Alright, I’m going to bookmark this article! My dog just turned 6 years old and even though it’s a small breed, it’s starting to show his age a little bit. Well, it’s nothing serious just yet, but I noticed that he has less energy than he used to have, sleeping/relaxing more often, and so on. But now, I’ve got a question. You say that you’ve got to challenge your dog mentally as well. I’ve never trained my dog as it was abandoned and he was already 4 years old. Are there any other ways to mentally challenge my dog?

    1. Oh my! Thank you so much for your comments. Yes, there are multiple things you can do.  There are puzzle toys for dogs where you stick some small treats in, and they have to figure out how to get them out…but you can also utilize obedience/agility training. What do you think? 

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