Starting with a personal experience. Our dog who recently turned 10 has always been on soft food. He used to have wet food until transitioning to raw food around three years ago. Since he has a sensitive tummy a few years ago we had to completely stop giving him chews. Slowly tartar started building up and he had to undergo teeth scaling twice. Both times anaesthesia caused seizures. It quite obviously worried and upset us greatly. Earlier this year when he got diagnosed with Canine Lafora and we realised that going under general anaesthesia unless super critical should not be a choice. Especially given his previous experiences. That’s when we mindfully created some never to be missed daily routines, dental care being one. Based on our experience, here are 3 daily routines to keep your senior dog healthy.
Starting with dental health
I’d like to start with dental care. Often, we overlook how important dental care is for our dog’s overall health and wellbeing. At least in our case we did for a while until recently a veterinarian told us that dental health or the lack of it can impact heart health. In any case like humans’ dental issues can be painful for our dogs causing them to avoid food. So, create a daily toothbrushing routine using a safe toothpaste recommended for dogs. Even though toothpastes for dogs come in enticing flavours, some dogs – like ours – don’t like it but sometimes we’ve to do certain things that are good for their long-term health. We have also started giving our dog healthy chews that helps in reducing tarter.
Supplements can be good
Usually bone and joint supplements, medically formulated curcumin powder with anti-inflammatory properties, probiotics and even MCT oil are good supplements for dogs. Medicinal mushrooms are great too. However, before adding anything new to your dog’s diet always consult your trusted veterinarian, especially if your dog is on medication and suffers from health conditions. Its important to first understand the benefits of the supplements if your dog really needs it and if s/he does how to best administer it.
Allocate play time for mental stimulation
Mental stimulation is crucial for dogs of any age. Sometimes on walks we get frustrated if our dogs sniff the same spot 27 times. What comes across as weird to us is actually mental stimulating for them. So, even a few minutes of play time involving sniffing and chewing can be immensely beneficial for our dogs. We are seeing our 10-year-old dog benefit from his play time routine involving a combination of playing puzzle and chewing on his treats such as dehydrated beef trachea.
Your turn now, do tell us what you do every day to keep your senior dog healthy and happy.
Note: Always check with your trusted veterinarian before adding anything new to your dog’s diet. This article is for information purposes only and should not be treated as medical opinion.