Just like people, dogs change in body and mind as they get older. But with the right care, you can help your older dog to enjoy good quality of life all through his senior years. For most dogs, the first signs of ageing will appear at around the age of 7. The physical and behavioural changes will be quite subtle initially, but will become increasingly noticeable as the years pass. This chart maps your dog’s mature years against their equivalent human age. To support your senior dog throughout the ageing process – and to ensure you can both get the most out of your life together – try following these simple tips.
Keep him fit and active
Exercise is just as important for an older dog as for a younger one. By keeping the habit of daily activity and play, you can help your dog stay in good shape – mentally and physically. If your dog has mobility issues or medical problems, ask your vet about the best way to exercise him.
Stimulate his mind
It’s not just your dog’s body that needs regular exercise. His mind does too. There are plenty of ways to give your older dog mental and visual stimulation. You can use specially designed brain-training toys at play time, or you can make sure he has a view out of the window so he can watch the outside world. Adding variety and surprise to your walks is a great way of getting his brain working – even if that’s just changing your routine by starting from a different entrance of the park.
Visit the vet regularly
Making sure you have regular veterinary check-ups will allow your vet to monitor possible changes in your senior dog’s health– and take prompt action if necessary. When your dog enters his mature years, you should try to increase the frequency of check-ups to at least twice a year.
Feed tailored nutrition
As dogs age, their nutritional needs change. To help your dog get the most from his senior years, switch to a specially formulated diet, such as PURINA® PRO PLAN® with OPTIAGE™. As well as providing the right nutrients in the right quantities to help support healthy ageing, this senior dog diet consists of a patented* blend of nutrients from botanical oils composed of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). This nutrition is proven to enhance brain function in 7+ dogs – helping them to stay alert and playful for longer.
The later years of a dog’s life can be a wonderful time for the both of you. By following these four tips, you can help enrich those years – and give your older dog the support he needs to keep living life to the full for as long as possible.