The month of November is dedicated to senior dogs to encourage dog lovers to adopt older dogs left behind in the shelters. Thanks to improved veterinary care and nutritious diets, our doggos are now living a healthy life that’s much longer than ever before.
At theDogHood, we strive to streamline wellness of pups across the globe while helping newbie and seasoned pawrents raise puppers responsibly with convenience. We request all dog lovers on our platform to help us in our mission of helping senior doggos find a loving forever home while celebrating the #NationalAdoptaSeniorPetMonth with us in full swing.
While newborn pups may be adorable, senior doggos are just as loyal and loving as their younger counterparts. Whether you already have a senior dog or you’re looking to adopt one, you should know that these doggos often experience various age-related challenges and conditions as they get older.
According to the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) a dog is considered a senior pet when they turn 7-8 years old. In human years, it’s the equivalent of early fifties for large dog breeds and early forties for small to medium ones. This means your senior doggo will require a lot more pampering and care as they age.
So, how can you ensure that your aging pupper turns out to be a happy senior doggo? We’ll get to that in a minute, but first, let’s look at some cool benefits of adopting a senior canine companion.
Pawsitives of Adopting a Senior Doggo
Senior doggos are typically less energetic and calmer than puppies, as older dogs lose their youthful spunk with age. However, since they’re easier to handle, teaching them new tricks is easier. Plus, many senior puppers are already housetrained and pros at obeying various basic commands. You won’t need to spend copious amounts of monitoring or time potty training them or helping them learn socialization skills. Adorable senior puppers move at a more manageable pace, so you won’t even struggle to keep up with the energy and needs of a younger pup.
Their low-ley nature makes them ideal for most households, including apartments with children, as long as they know how to gently interact with senior pups.
Since senior doggos are fully grown, what you see is what you’ll get. You can understand their personality to know if they’re a perfect match for your family. You’ll have access to all the important information beforehand, such as vaccination and medical records, grooming requirements, personality type, and more. Older doggos would neither have drastic energy levels or personality changes nor grow too big to be easily managed in the future.
But senior doggos often develop various conditions as they age, including diabetes, heart diseases, vision problems, weakness, joint issues, and more. Some puppers also exhibit behavioral changes such as increased vocalization, confusion, changes in sleep cycle, house or crate soiling, more anxiety, and more.
For most four-legged canine friends, north of 6 years old, their favorite activities, such as a game of catch or tug of war, can start feeling too strenuous. They might not be able to hear us when we call them for treats or jump up to their favorite seat by the window.
Although senior doggos need a little extra paw-holding, it’s more of an honor than a burden to raise them—especially after all the time’s they have been there for us over the years. If you’re worried about your aging doggo, here are a few ways to raise a happy senior doggo while helping them navigate the new challenges life throws at them!
A customized, balanced diet plays a huge role in maintaining the doggo’s health as they age. Senior doggos don’t have the same energy levels as before, they’re at a much higher risk of developing diabetes due to obesity. It’s important to consult a vet to find the best products for your dog to streamline their wellness. Pet parents can connect with dog gurus, pet bloggers, pet-fluencers, professional dog trainers, and other pawrents by downloading theDogHoodApp which allows you to ask questions about various dog breeds.
You can also seek advice or get recommendations for local products and services from dog lovers in your neighborhood and beyond. By downloading the App on your smartphone, you can also find a wide range of nutritious treats, supplements, and dog food to complement the nutritional needs of the doggo while preventing weight gain and risks associated with obesity.
Staying active can help your doggo maintain an ideal weight. It also improves their overall health while slowly helping build their stamina so that they can easily walk or jog lightly. Since older doggos have relatively lower energy levels, talk to certified dog trainers or vets before setting up their exercise routine.
Be patient and keep the health and limitations of your doggo in mind as they might not be able to perform the same activities as they used to once they age.
Routine Vet Checkups
As doggos age, their bones, muscles, and immune systems become weaker, making them prone to all sorts of ailments. Caring for a senior dog comes with the responsibility of scheduling regular visits to the vet at least once every three months. This will help your vet figure out if anything is wrong so that your doggo can get the best possible treatment after early detection.
As your doggo ages, so do their skin, coats, teeth, and paws. Their one shiny and luxurious-looking coat can soon become brittle and dull. Many seniors also suffer from flaky, irritated, and dry skin that can turn into various skin diseases if not cared for properly.
Make sure your pup’s coat is brushed regularly to avoid the development of tangles and mats. Don’t over bathe them and use natural shampoos that’ll heal their irritated skin and nourish their coat. Trimming their nails and maintaining oral hygiene is also incredibly important to boost their overall health and wellbeing.
Aging is a bitter reality of life. While it’s difficult to see all the changes that aging brings to our loved ones, including doggos, the best thing to do is to cherish all the memories, live in the moment, and spend quality time with your pooch. Take adorable selfies and cute videos of your senior doggo; you’ll cherish these memories forever!
Don’t forget to share them in theDogHood App’s PAWFEED with other dog lovers at theDogHood platform. You can also use the app to find local DogHood hubs in your neighborhood and beyond, ask questions, and create or discover dog-friendly events.
What’s better than celebrating your senior doggo with a special birthday event where all their doggo friends are invited to play and have a good time enjoying doggo treats and pupsicles?
You can also share your dog’s stories with fellow dog lovers at the Hoomans of the DogHood or read heartwarming stories of dogs if you’re in need of some serious inspawration!
Pamper your pupper, give them your love and attention, and treat them right every day! With proper dog care, your doggo can continue leading a healthy and happy life for many years to come. If you need more tips, check out our exclusive Facebook live sessions, web series, blogs, and comprehensive puppy training guides that have collectively helped thousands of new and seasoned pawrents improve their senior doggo’s health and wellness.