Owning a dog is a big responsibility and a huge joy for many families. Having a dog long enough that it becomes elderly means that you’ve given it a lot of care and attention over the years. As dogs age, they begin to experience many of the same health conditions that elderly humans experience.

They may start to lose their sight, they might get arthritis that causes immense pain in their joints, and they may even get cysts or cancer. The good news is that there are many ways to improve your dog’s overall wellness so that they can still live a happy and healthy life even when they are elderly. Here are some of the best ways to improve their wellness.

Get a Ramp Instead of Stairs

Want to help your dog maneuver your house as it gets older? Use a ramp instead of stairs. Using stairs becomes increasingly difficult for dogs who have major joint problems like arthritis. They need something easier to get up and down with and having a special ramp off to the side of the couch, going outside to use the bathroom, or even into your car can help it not experience as much pain. Stairs become a problem as dogs age, so ramps are the perfect solution.

Offer Foods That are Easy on the Stomach

Elderly dogs can’t eat quite as well as they could when they were young. Feeding them special diets are often recommended by their veterinarians. They may suggest certain steamed vegetables, soft food, or even cooked meat for your aging animal. These foods are less harsh on the stomach and can help your dog feel better as it gets older. Additionally, these foods can help them experience less digestive distress and give them relief from many health issues they may be experiencing due to their age.

Use Natural Remedies for Hip Pain

Natural remedies can be extremely effective for animal pain. Many dogs experience pain in their hips and joints as they get older. There are herbal tinctures and chews that work great for dogs who need them. Hip and joint soft chews for dogs are especially helpful because they are a convenient way to give your dog CBD without it getting all over you. Calendula flower products are also excellent for reducing inflammation which can in turn help lower the dog’s pain response. It’s important to find products that are developed for dogs because they will have instructions for appropriate use on animals including dosing information.

Create a Stress-Free Environment

Older dogs don’t do well with stress. It can cause them to stop eating, have diarrhea, and other GI issues. Additionally, a stressed dog is an unpredictable dog, and that can be challenging for the owners. It’s best to reduce your dog’s exposure to things that are overly stressful. Young puppies, small children, and even loud noises like fireworks are all things that can stress out an elderly dog. Do your best to limit their exposure to these things and stand nearby when children or puppies want to your dog.

Don’t Travel Too Often

Travel is hard on animals, especially if they are getting older and are suffering from any medical conditions. If you want to help improve your elderly dog’s wellness, you can help them by keeping them in the places where they are most comfortable. Walking the dog regularly or keeping them home most of the time is fine, but unless there is a reason to, it’s best not to travel too far. Elderly dogs often need more rest and don’t do well with sudden changes. If you must go out of town, consider hiring a dog sitter they are familiar with to stay with them. It will be must less stressful for them than going to a kennel while you’re away.

Caring for an aging dog takes some special attention to detail. You’ll find that you can help them live a longer and more robust life if you focus on doing things that improve their wellness by giving them the right supplements, taking them to the vet when needed, feeding them foods that are easy on the stomach, and even creating a stress-free environment.