Keeping your dog comfortable can be tough; they want to please you and to do what they’ve always done. Exercise changes, medications, and good gear can help increase their comfort level.
If your dog usually walks with you on the sidewalk, consider trekking out across the nearest green space. Concrete is quite unforgiving and can get really hot as the day goes on. Hiking shoes for your dog may be a good choice if your dog is used to city walking and you want to hit some tougher trails.
To get an older dog accustomed to hiking shoes, make sure you carry treats. Make putting on those shoes a real celebration and enjoy a good petting session and a kind word at each corner on their regular walk so the shoes become part of a positive routine. As soon as you get the dog home, take off the shoes to reduce the risk of moisture retention.
Gravity wears on all of us. If your older or arthritic dog just can’t play as it used to, get them in the water. Do not believe the maxim that all dogs can swim; if you’ve never gotten in the water with your older dog, start with a life vest to keep them safe until you’re sure.
Do make sure that your dog has fresh, clean drinking water on the shore, and try to keep them from lapping as they swim. Dogs can pick up giardia and other parasites from ponds and lakes just as humans can. Finally, make sure you rinse down your dog after they swim in the wild to keep its skin from getting irritated.
Dogs of any age can suffer spinal damage and need some form of support. If you notice that your dog is hunching, has a weakness in its back legs, or is just struggling to get up and down, a WiggleLess pain relief brace can help them get back on its feet comfortably.
The first time you see your dog hunching or see them fall because their awareness of body position fails, you need to contact your vet. The right brace, properly sized, may make a huge difference, but you will need help getting something that is properly sized.
CBD can lower your dog’s pain level and even help to reduce separation anxiety. Do be sure to use a premium product that provides buyers guarantees such as third-party testing.
Never dose your dog with CBD and go to work or to bed. Dose them on a day when you can stay with them and note their reaction to the product. Keep a dosage notebook of how much you give, how the dog behaves, and when it seems to wear off. Too much CBD can cause diarrhea and other forms of stomach distress. Don’t leave your dog alone to struggle with this discomfort. Start with very small doses by weight and increase until they’re demonstrably more comfortable.
The best dog bed in the world will not get used if your dog overheats on it and moves to the tile floor. The tile floor cools their tummy, but it can be hard on their joints. To create a cool spot for your dog to lie down, start simple.
If you have a hot water bottle, fill it with cold water and put it under their sleeping blanket or under a cooling blanket wrapped around their sleeping bed. A folded cooling blanket can serve either as a bed or a cushion on the hottest days. Another option is to place a folded kitchen towel inside a gallon-sized Ziploc bag. Wet the towel slowly inside the bag and either refrigerate it or freeze it flat, then place it inside the folds of their blanket or bed before bedtime. As they lay on it, it will warm up, but they will at least get some relief from the heat and can stay on their bed for a time.
You can also purchase a commercial cooling pad for your dog’s bed. Do makes sure your puppy is past the chewing stage if you invest in one of these so they don’t endanger themselves by chewing on the cord.
The aches and pains of aging, the soreness after a hard play session, and the pain of structural issues can be managed to give your dog back some joy. Do make time to monitor your dog after you add a medication or a brace.