Older dogs make some of the best, most affectionate and loyal companions. However, they require much more care than a younger dog. As your pet ages, they will become more and more dependent on you. They will start to feel frail, and thus less able to defend themselves, and their senses may begin to fade.

As such, you need to make sure that you are feeding and exercising your aging companion well, to ensure that they stay in the best health possible and thus keeping them happy for longer.

Once your dog begins to get older, their diet will need to change to reflect their new nutritional needs. From around the age of seven, or younger for especially big dogs, your pet will benefit from food specially designed for senior dogs.

Your dog’s joints will begin to seize up, as they age, which can be prevented with glucosamine. Vitamins C and E will also be useful additions to your dog’s diet, as they will provide a boost to their weakening immune system. Brands such as James WellBeloved dog food provide all of these, along with added taurine to support your dog’s heart.

When it comes to exercising older dogs, you may find that it is better to avoid putting too much stress on their joints in order to avoid afflictions such as arthritis. Rather than playing fetch with your dog on hard ground, it will be better to throw something that your dog can fetch into a body of water.

Your dog will benefit from the exercise without having to impact their legs on a hard surface, thus sparing their joints. Alternatively, you could avoid strenuous exercise altogether and simply take your dog for gentle walks.

Your dog will still enjoy the outdoors as much as ever, so be sure to take them to grassy and wooded areas as much as possible. The grass underfoot will also be much easier on their paws and joints than tarmac.

Above all, keep showing your dog as much affection as you always have. You can be sure that they will do the same for you.

Written by: Hannah