Pet Health, Tips

Spring & The Senior Dog

Spring can be a hard time of year on senior pups! The cold and damp weather, less chance for exercise, shorter days… There are many reasons winter ad spring can be rough for our older pups.  There are some easy ways we can make the season easier on our older dogs!

*Utilize more mental exercise than physical exercise. Mental exercise can be as tiring- or even more tiring- than a walk outside AND easier on arthritic joints.  I use treat-dispensing toys like West Paw or Kong filled with food from Ziwi Peak. It’s as yummy as a treat but is actually a complete diet.

Don’t forget everything your dog eats has calories! One of the reasons I prefer to use something like Ziwi Peak (or kibble) is because you can replace most or all of your dog’s daily meals with treat toy time without sacrificing nutrition or giving the empty calories of treats!

Don’t have a treat toy? No problem! Hide goodies in hard to reach- but not impossible- places! Behind the couch, under the dining room table.  Places they’ll have to search for it.  Make them use that sniffer to find treats!

*Bump up the supplements! Joint supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin (my favorite is Connectin) and fish oil help lubricate arthritic joints and decrease pain and stiffness in most older dogs. Still ouchy? Talk to your vet about Adequan!  It’s an injectable polysulfated glucosamine that helps repair joint cartilage.  Parker has been getting Adequan injections for about a year and they have made a world of difference!

*Hardwood floors are easy with pets. They’re easier to clean than carpet and harbor less dirt and smells, but they can be hard to walk on and also get cold easily. Lining the floor of frequently traveled areas with yoga mats or shelf drawer lining- both easily found at the dollar store- helps arthritic joints get better grip on the floor.  Baby socks or dog socks help arthritic paws from getting cold as well.

What are your favorite tips for keeping your senior pup comfortable in yucky weather? Tell me below!

 

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