As your Great Dane grows old, he tends to slow down. With age, the adult dog is forced to limit his activities and withdraw. His habits and health undergo a change. However, the progress toward the senior status varies from one breed to another and one dog to another in a particular breed. Many dogs stay fit until their last breath. As a pet parent, you can help your senior Great Dane feel young, reenergized, revitalized and live without the effects of aging.
The process of aging is natural and inevitable. However, with ample care and precaution, you can slow down the process of aging of your Great Dane and ensure his eating habits, sleeping pattern, energy level, and health do not suffer during this phase of life. Here are 10 tips to help your senior Great Dane feel young and prolong his youthful life.
Help Your Senior Great Dane Feel Young Tip #1: Focus on Healthy Diet
When old age sets in, a dog feels low on energy, lacks strength, and suffers from health problems. However, with adequate nutrition, you can help your pet’s aging process, so he stays and feels young. By maintaining a healthy diet, you can help your Great Dane stay energetic, healthy, and strong.
It is important to maintain the diet for an adult Great Dane even when he turns a senior dog. However, you are advised to make some adjustments. A senior Great Dane needs less protein and more vitamins and minerals. Enrich his food with supplements that can help keep his bones and immune system strong, protect him from inflammatory disorders, and prevent muscle mass loss. However, make it a point to ensure that food does not add weight to your dog.
Help Your Senior Great Dane Feel Young Tip #2: Keep Weight in Check
Help your dog avoid putting on too much weight to help him continue his youthful disposition longer. Weight gain can hinder their activity level and put pressure on joints, leading to pain and disability.
Talk to your vet to find out the exact weight your Great Dane should have at different phases of life. Modify his calorie intake accordingly. Regular exercise is a must to maintain weight. However, any weight loss effort must not starve your dog or result in the lack of energy and loss of strength.
Help Your Senior Great Dane Feel Young Tip #3: Be Regular With Activity
Exercise offers twin benefits – help maintain a healthy weight and adequate physical stimulation. It keeps your Great Dane physically fit and away from psychological stress.
Senior dogs are more prone to aches and pains. Keeping a regular schedule can help keep your Great Dane’s musculoskeletal system strong. More importantly, he is less likely to put on weight if he is regular with activity.
Research shows daily physical activity plays a crucial role in managing anxiety, tension, and depression. It also arrests cognitive degeneration, a sign of old age. Thus, a regular workout keeps your dog revitalized, helping prolong his youthfulness.
Help Your Senior Great Dane Feel Young Tip #4: Don’t Stop Playing
You should not stop playing with your Great Dane even if he shows signs of slowing down. It is a great way to keep him energized, fit, and in high spirits. If your dog has a good level of energy, he is sure to stay active and avoid withdrawing as he grows old. He will remain alert too.
Play with your Great Dane, walk and swim with him, and let him accompany you to public places. This provides him with adequate mental stimulation and inhibits old age symptoms.
Help Your Senior Great Dane Feel Young Tip #5: Set A Purpose for Him
Keep your dog busy by giving him a purpose. Your dog wants to feel that he is still needed and has a duty to contribute. If he has a routine or task to perform, he stays happy and healthy.
So, give your Great Dane a purpose to live. This gives him mental stimulation and keeps him motivated and revitalized. With a routine to follow, the dog continues without any withdrawal or lack of energy driven by his sense of reward or fulfillment.
It is often seen that those working as therapy dogs, rescue dogs, or on life-long assignments stay healthier until their last days.
Help Your Senior Great Dane Feel Young Tip #6: Use Hand Signals
Senior dogs withdraw as they feel the pinch of disability. Their hearing, vision, and running abilities decrease with age, and this instills a sense of disability.
You can train your Great Dane using hand signals so that he strives to stay active and perform tasks without the pinch of disability. As he can do his daily tasks without any obstruction or pain, he is more likely to stay rejuvenated and unaffected by the aging process.
Help Your Senior Great Dane Feel Young Tip #7: Keep An Eye on Health
Make sure there is no compromise as far as the quality of life of your dog is concerned. A good cognitive ability and predictable routine are essential to help your dog stay active and on the go. Avoid anything that causes uncertainty or may cripple him physically or result in mental confusion. This halts the mental decline.
Take care of your Great Dane’s gums. Healthy teeth and gums allow your dog to eat properly and avoid irreversible periodontal disease. With proper food intake, he stays fit and strong. Prevention of canine gum disease inhibits the risk of heart disease.
Get a bed for your Great Dane for a comfortable sleep. Sleeping on cold and hard floors may be uncomfortable for him. Also, it aggravates joint pains linked in arthritic dogs.
Play scent and food puzzles with your Great Dane to improve and maintain his cognitive alertness. Physical therapy and massage also help slow down the effects of aging.