Obviously, you want to spoil your dog at all times, but especially as they start to get older. But feeding your dog a metric ton of table scraps every day isn’t exactly good for their health. If you are looking for ways to spoil your older dog that won’t adversely impact their health, you’ve come to the right place! Here are 12 ways to spoil your senior dog that are secretly healthy, from choosing the perfect dog chew to giving them a massage:
Upgrade to an orthopedic bed.
Just like with humans, a great quality bed can make a huge difference in joint pain for your dog. If you haven’t upgraded your dog’s bed in a while, then consider getting them an orthopedic bed that is expressly made for older dogs. It will soon become their favorite napping spot!
Give them a massage.
Speaking of joint pain, giving your dog a massage can help soothe their aches and pains. Look up doggie massage techniques ahead of time to make sure that you don’t inadvertently do something that can injure them. You can also book them an appointment with a professional doggie massage therapist if you really want to spoil them.
Take them to a doggie spa.
Some dogs absolutely loathe the groomer, but others love being pampered. If your dog falls into the latter category, book them an appointment with the local groomer to get them washed, trimmed, fluffed, and ready for their red carpet moment (even if the red carpet is just the rug in your living room).
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Make them a home-cooked meal.
There are lots of awesome pre-packaged dog food brands that you can buy for your senior dog, but there’s something special about making a homemade meal for your furry friend. Plain whole foods are always good options. Think along the lines of rice, chicken, turkey, peas, carrots, and spinach. Avoid spices and condiments, which can upset your dog’s stomach.
Give them bone broth.
Bone broth isn’t just for humans. This nutrient-packed liquid is awesome for older dogs, especially those who struggle with solid foods. Making homemade bone broth is a labor of love, but it’s one that your senior dog will definitely appreciate. If you don’t have the time or supplies to make homemade bone broth, you can buy it pre-packaged, but this won’t be as cost-effective and you need to check it for ingredients that could potentially irritate your dog’s stomach.
Consider pet supplements.
While your dog should be getting most (if not all) of their vitamins and minerals through their diet, sometimes you need to add in some supplements to make sure they are as healthy as possible. Your vet can advise you on whether or not your dog is deficient in any particular nutrients or if they would benefit from supplements such as collagen chews for dogs.
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Get them dental treats.
Dogs can develop tooth problems as they age, especially if you aren’t staying on top of their dental hygiene. While not a replacement for brushing their teeth, dental treats are much more pleasant for dogs to chew on. Try feeding your dog a dental chew or all natural bully sticks a few times a week or even every day. Make sure that the treats are specifically designed to provide dental cleaning so that your dog is getting the full benefit of the chew.
Try out CBD products.
Using CBD, either by ingesting it orally or applying it topically, can soothe everything from joint pains to anxiety. If you’re interested in trying out CBD products specifically formulated for dogs, talk to your vet about your dog’s individual needs so you can choose the CBD oil or treat that will be most effective.
Go on a picnic together.
You love picnicking with your human friends, so why not take your beloved canine friend on a picnic with you? Make sure to pick a park that allows dogs, since not all parks do. Pack two meals — one for each of you — and enjoy dining en plein air together on a relaxing afternoon.
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Let them pick out a new toy.
Dogs get bored easily and need a lot of cognitive stimulation — and one of the best ways to accomplish that is to get them a new toy (especially a puzzle toy). Every so often, take your dog to the pet store and let them pick out a new toy to play with. You can also try out a pet toy subscription box if you want them delivered straight to your house, but this will give you less control over what toys you end up with.
Take short but frequent walks.
Senior dogs don’t have the stamina they had when they were younger, so you might not be able to go on long walks or hike anymore. However, this doesn’t mean that you should let your older dog become sedentary. Instead, take them on short yet frequent walks to keep them mobile, stimulate their mind, and help to fend off weight gain.
Visit a new park.
If you typically go to the same dog park every day or week, try taking your dog to a different park instead. Dogs enjoy a change of scenery just like humans, and your dog will love taking in all the new smells and meeting new canine friends. If your dog gets easily overwhelmed, try going at an off-peak time when it won’t be as crowded so they can have the space and time they need to relax.
We hope this list gives you lots of inspiration for ways to pamper your senior dog while keeping them healthy. Do you have other healthy ideas for spoiling senior dogs (or dogs of any age)? Share them in the comments below!