It’s hard to watch a senior dog slow down, especially one that was a ball of energy most of his life. But age brings a host of problems that can affect a dog’s pace and vitality, from arthritis to cognitive decline to hypothyroidism. Fortunately, you don’t have to take a passive role in your pet’s aging process. There are things you can do to boost your senior dog’s energy and keep him healthy, active, and on top of his game. Here are six ways to boost a senior dog’s energy:
Encourage Age-Appropriate Exercise
While your senior dog may seem content lying around all day, it’s a habit worth breaking. Give your pet adequate rest time, but make sure he stays active too. There are plenty of exercises that energize senior dogs and improve their health, like walking, swimming, or a gentle game of fetch or tug-of-war. You might also consider dog sports suited for dogs with reduced mobility and stamina. Dog sports promote mental and physical stimulation, increased confidence, and enthusiasm. The American Kennel Club recommends tracking, rally, and obedience for seniors.
Modify Your Senior Dog’s Diet
Think your pet’s diet could be harming his energy level? It’s possible, especially if the food is high in calories and contributing to weight gain. Overweight senior dogs can become sluggish, plus they’re at increased risk for more serious health problems. Of course, your dog’s daily nourishment is his main source of energy, so you want to make sure he gets what he needs to stay well fueled. Check with a vet to determine whether a diet modification will benefit your pet. The goal is to find a high-quality, palatable food that helps your senior achieve and maintain an ideal weight.
Consider Supplements that Renew Energy
There’s a growing market for nutritional supplements for senior pets. Some supplements are mere hype, but others can be useful as part of an overall wellness plan for your senior dog. Supplements can also help put the pep back in your dog’s step. Fish oil, glucosamine, and chondroitin, for example, have all shown promise in improving joint health and easing arthritis symptoms, which can increase your dog’s comfort, mobility, and energy and encourage him to participate in more physical activity.
A Constant Supply of Fresh Water
Adding and Automatic Dog Water Bowl like the Perpetual Well to home will ensure your dog is well hydrated. Water is an essential component of the body and is also very important for specific body processes like the circulation of blood, digestion, and removal of waste which can all have an impact on your senior dog’s energy level. Being dehydrated can make your older dog very lethargic and can have an overall negative effect on your dogs’ health.
Senior dogs are sensitive and intuitive. They’ve known you for a long time and can gauge when something is off. If you’re feeling tired, depressed, or lazy, they’re bound to sense it and follow your lead. Make the effort to exude an upbeat attitude around your pet, even when you’re having a bad day. Communicating with your dog in a happy tone and using positive body language may be all that’s needed to perk him up and lift his mood. But any amount of time you can spend making him feel safe loved, and peaceful will help recharge his spirit.
Stay on Top of Your Senior Dog’s Health
Probably the best thing you can do to boost your senior dog’s energy is to remain vigilant over his health. Don’t ignore the signs or symptoms of lethargy. Instead, be proactive and get to the bottom of it. Senior dogs should have regular vet visits one or two times per year and should be seen when there’s a specific health concern, such as low energy. Sometimes the solution is as simple as treating dehydration or administering a pill to improve thyroid function. With the help of professional care, you can keep your pet in the best shape possible for as long as possible.
The lifespan of a dog is never long enough, but you can help your senior pet avoid feeling and showing his age. Take steps to improve his health and vitality, and make this phase of his life as satisfying as any other.