Our level of exercise and dietary requirements change as we get older. Dogs experience the same thing. Here are a few ideas you may do right away to enhance the health and nutrition of your senior dog.

The level of exercise and dietary requirements change as we get older. Dogs experience the same thing. Senior dogs (8+ years old) have distinct nutritional and health requirements from senior animals. 

What then can you do to give your elderly dog the best possible nutritional and wellness care? Here are some ideas you may use right away for taking care of an elderly dog.


Health considerations for older dogs

Senior dogs are more likely to develop obesity, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, cataracts, and several types of cancer than younger dogs. Their nutritional requirements change, becoming more protein-dependent, and their activity levels are typically lower than those of younger animals. 

Let’s have a look at some pointers to help with senior dog care.

Health Advice For Older Dogs

All of us desire a long, healthy life for our dogs. You should be aware that senior dogs have different demands than pups if you decide to adopt one. Here are some suggestions for keeping your pet healthy as it ages.

Understand what is typical for your animal. Knowing what “normal” looks like for your dog is the finest wellness advice for any dog owner. You most likely already have a strong understanding of your pet’s favorite foods, portion sizes, level of energy, level of activity, mood, and toileting routines. Every significant change in one of these categories needs to be acknowledged. 

Reduced agility, for example, could simply be a sign of age, while other symptoms could indicate a medical condition. (e.g., increased thirst and urination could indicate diabetes or a kidney problem). Knowing what to expect from your pet can help you see warning signals of trouble early.

Plan routine wellness examinations with your veterinarian. Your vet has the knowledge, equipment, and resources needed to do a complete physical examination on your elderly pet. They can perform more complex tests if a problem is detected as well as check for any changes in weight, movement, or vision. Regular wellness exams also offer you and your veterinarian access to your pet’s medical history, which can help you spot sudden changes earlier.

Fitness is important. Dogs may not be as keen to chase a ball or Frisbee as they once were as they get older. They might also have pain or difficulty during physical exercise due to orthopedic issues. 

For instance, diminished agility can just be a result of aging, whereas other symptoms might point to a health issue. (e.g., increased thirst and urination could indicate diabetes or a kidney problem). Knowing what to anticipate from your pet can assist you in seeing early warning signs of trouble.

Tips for Senior Dog Nutrition

Our dogs cannot be puppies forever, and as they get older, they require a different diet. Here are some suggestions to assist you make sure that your senior dog is fed a nutritious diet.

Boost the protein and reduce the carbs. Dogs need less of the immediate energy that carbs supply as they mature and more of the sustained energy that animal protein provides (senior dogs need roughly 50% more protein than pups). 

You’ll need to read some labels because the nutritional composition of different kibble products varies greatly. Choose dog food brands with meats listed as the first ingredient if your dog is older. Ask your veterinarian to suggest a senior diet for your pet if you have any questions.

Keep an eye on your caloric intake. Although older dogs are typically less active than their younger counterparts, this does not always translate into a reduction in hunger. Senior animals may gain weight as a result, which might raise their chance of developing additional health issues like heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and arthritis. 

To decide the ideal portion size for your animal, you’ll need to read those labels once more. Kibble can range from 250 to 400 calories per cup.

Encourage organ health. Senior dogs have a higher risk of developing kidney and cardiac problems. These dangers can be decreased by lowering the sodium and phosphorus intake in your senior dog’s diet. 

Examine product labels or inquire with your veterinarian about specific kidney and heart health brands. They can suggest kibble or canned food that is suitable for your pet.

Keep An Eye Out

Health issues may develop gradually over time or unexpectedly. If any of the following symptoms in your pet suddenly change:

  • Appetite
  • Thirst
  • Weight (loss or gain)
  • Toileting (persistent constipation or diarrhea)
  • Mood (lethargy, lack of interest in play)
  • Mobility (trouble climbing stairs or lifting a leg to urinate)

It might be time to call your veterinarian if you see any of these symptoms. Additionally, your veterinarian should be contacted if your pet displays any signs of physical pain or discomfort (such as lameness, vomiting, or sensitivity to touch).

Taking Good Care of your Oldest Dog

Adult dogs need different care than geriatric pets need. Additionally, you will need to take a few different steps to maintain your senior dog’s health in order to give them the finest senior dog care possible.

Regular grooming

Your dog’s skin and fur deteriorate with age; a once-luxurious and lustrous coat may now appear dry and fragile. Seniors may also experience dry, itchy, and flaky skin, which, if neglected, can get considerably worse.

To prevent the growth of mats and tangles, you will need to frequently brush your dog and give them haircuts. Additionally, we advise you to use gentle shampoos that will hydrate and soothe itchy skin and hair.

Offer unique lodgings

Dogs get arthritis or other bone and joint issues as they age, which limits their movement. A blind dog will also find it challenging to jump up on the bed or sofa at night.

In these circumstances, your dog will benefit from soft bedding and an orthopedic bed that is simple to access and won’t require climbing or jumping. Your dog should refrain from going up and down the stairs because it can be challenging.

If your dog is unable to avoid steps, you can purchase or construct a dog ramp to facilitate their movement. Installing dog-proof gates and limiting their access to the stairs is another option.

That requires you to if at all feasible, transfer your dog’s bed, food bowls, and water bowls downstairs. An excellent option is to scatter carpets and rugs about the house to give arthritic dogs a little more stability and ease their movements.

You must ensure that senior dogs can navigate the house because some of them may become entirely blind. This implies that moving furniture will confuse your dog and cause them to accidentally knock items over.

Spent time with your dog

Although it is perfectly normal to age, it can be very upsetting to see your pet dog go through all the changes that come with it. The best thing you can do is to enjoy the present and treasure every moment you spend with your dog.

If a senior dog doesn’t feel their owner around, it can easily start to feel uneasy and scared. So make an effort to be with your dog as often as you can. With the use of a pet webcam, busy dog owners can communicate with their animals at any time of the day to help them cope with separation anxiety or depression.

Even if they can’t see or hear you well, your dog still needs your presence and attention to maintain their emotional and mental well-being. Take your dog for a walk, play with them, and give them goodies instead of worrying about their age.

Give your dog the respect and affection that a best friend deserves, every day.


While not all dogs age the same, it is a given that they all grow older eventually. Everything ages naturally, so every owner should be ready for it.

A dog’s energy levels will decrease as they age, and it may have greater difficulty walking or developing cataracts. Although it might sound frightening, these things won’t happen overnight, giving you and your dog time to adjust.

You will need to learn how to make an aging dog comfortable since they may have specific demands that must be satisfied. Your dog will keep their health and continue to live a happy life for many years to come with the right geriatric dog care and attention.

If you have a pet insurance plan like MGS Insurance Agency in place, your veterinarian will be able to effectively treat any issue without you having to take money out of your savings account.