top of page

Caring for Your Beloved Senior Dogs: Nirvana Vet’s Guide to their Health and Happiness

As our faithful companions age, it becomes our responsibility to provide them with the best possible care and support. Senior dogs require special attention to ensure their well-being and maintain their quality of life. From adjusting their diet and exercise routines to regular vet check-ups. Here is your guide on how to care for your senior dog and ensure their twilight years are filled with love, comfort, and joy.

Nutrition and Diet: Proper nutrition is crucial for senior dogs to maintain a healthy weight, support their ageing bodies, and prevent age-related illnesses. You should consider:

  • Choosing a high-quality, age-appropriate diet. Opt for dog food specifically formulated for senior dogs, as it contains essential nutrients tailored to their changing needs.

  • Monitor calorie intake as older dogs may have reduced activity levels, so it's important to adjust their calorie intake accordingly to prevent obesity.

  • Look for diets to support joint health to help reduce the risk of arthritis. This can include joint supplements, in particular, ones that contain omega oils as this is the ingredient that has the most evidence for helping dogs with degenerative joint disease.

  • Supplementing the diet with antioxidants, such as blueberries as anti-oxidants play an important role in preventing cellular and DNA damage which can play a role in the development of many different diseases.

Regular Veterinary Care: Senior dogs benefit greatly from regular veterinary check-ups to catch any potential health issues early. Here's what you should prioritise:

  • Twice-yearly examinations for comprehensive check-ups, including dental exams and blood work.

  • Ensure your senior dog's vaccinations are up to date, and discuss preventive measures for common ailments.

  • Senior-specific screenings for conditions like arthritis, diabetes, kidney disease, and cancer can help detect and manage potential health concerns early.

Exercise and Mental Stimulation: Although senior dogs may not be as active as they once were, regular exercise and mental stimulation are still essential for their overall well-being and to help reduce cognitive decline which occurs during dementia:

  • Adjust your dog's exercise routine to accommodate their age and physical abilities. Short, low-impact walks or swimming sessions can help maintain muscle tone and joint flexibility.

  • Engage your senior dog's mind with interactive toys, puzzle games, and training exercises. Mental stimulation can slow cognitive decline and keep them mentally sharp.

Comfort and Environment: Create a comfortable and safe environment for your senior dog to ensure their happiness and mobility:

  • Provide a soft, comfortable and supportive bed that cushions their ageing joints and muscles. Memory foam mattresses are very supportive and comfortable for dogs.

  • Make sure your dog can easily navigate their surroundings by placing ramps or stairs near high surfaces, such as beds or sofas, to prevent unnecessary strain or accidents.

  • Older dogs are more sensitive to extreme temperatures, so ensure they are kept warm during colder months and have access to shade and water in hot weather.

Emotional Support and Love: Senior dogs thrive on love and attention, and their emotional well-being is just as important as their physical health:

  • Spend quality time together by engaging in gentle play sessions, grooming, and cuddling to strengthen your bond and provide comfort.

  • Routine and predictability is good. Establish a consistent daily routine to help alleviate anxiety and provide a sense of security for your senior dog.

  • Be patient with any changes in behaviour or accidents. Older dogs may experience hearing or vision loss, so it's important to adapt and provide support and understanding.

Caring for senior dogs requires dedication, empathy, and a commitment to their changing needs. By providing appropriate nutrition, regular veterinary care, exercise, mental stimulation, a comfortable environment, and plenty of love, you can help your furry friend age gracefully and enjoy their golden years to the fullest. Remember, the bond between a human and a senior dog is a special one, and by offering the best care possible, you can ensure that their twilight years are filled with happiness, comfort, and an abundance of cherished memories.


bottom of page