Caring For Your Senior Frenchie
Ok, admit it, Frenchie lovers – who thinks of their dog as their best friend? From the first steps of puppyhood to the time when our little stubby bums grow old, there’s nothing like the companionship of these special little dogs. Perhaps because they’re just so happy-go–lucky, we’re sometimes surprised to actually see our Frenchies become senior dogs. While it seemed like just yesterday that they were romping around with boundless energy, today we might look down and see that our pup has some grey hairs now, or maybe there’s a hesitation to their step that wasn’t there before.
Now is a good time, however, to think about how we can help our senior Frenchies to further appreciate the finer things in life – a cushier bed, long afternoon snoozes in the sunshine, and quiet snuggles on the couch as they enter their golden years. With a little bit of extra attention from us, we can keep our pups living a good quality of life, making our dog’s senior years just as enjoyable for them as young puppyhood was.
First of all, many of our fun little fur-kids are already sensitive pups when it comes to gastrointestinal health, but an older Frenchie’s digestion may become even more delicate as they get older. Feeding a high quality, easily digestible diet that’s complete and balanced will help your older pup to better absorb those nutrients as they age. Giving your Frenchie some amount of moist food or a balanced, home cooked diet might be a fantastic option, too – the extra water content keeps your older dog well hydrated, besides the fact that it smells and tastes better for your Frenchie, encouraging them to eat well as their senses start to fail them.
Next, your grey-haired pup needs to keep active, so get your Frenchie out and about, moving and grooving. Regular, low impact exercise is extremely important for your dog, so don’t let them turn into canine couch potatoes! Keeping your Frenchie slim and trim reduces stress on their joints, and also makes sure that they maintain healthy muscle that could otherwise be lost because of illness or inactivity. Regular activity, training and games will keep their minds sharp too! Your aging furry family member might need some extra help to stay active, however; consider changing the pace of your regular activities, providing non-slip footing to make them feel safe and secure, and giving them a helping paw up when they’re tired and sore.
Speaking of sore joints and muscles, our older Frenchies can definitely suffer from the effects of arthritis, and there’s nothing sadder to see than a suffering pup. The good news is that there are lots of ways to help increase their comfort and mobility naturally – treatments like chiropractic care, laser therapy, canine massage or hydrotherapy, and joint supplements like glucosamine, chondroitin and certain omega fatty acids can all help to get your senior Frenchie feeling good again.
Finally, keep in mind that the best preventive care for your older Frenchie actually comes from you; we humans play an essential part in our dog’s health care journey, believe it or not! By taking the time to look our Frenchies over each day (and an extra cuddle or two is always appreciated by them!), we become practiced at knowing what’s ‘normal’ for our pets, meaning that we can notice quickly when something seems ‘off’. Changes in your Frenchie’s appetite, urination, water consumption, weight, or activity level should be brought to your vet’s attention right away, of course.
Although your Frenchie friend may act like a puppy regardless of their age, remember that the effects of age will eventually rear their head for your dog some day. Take heart, though – with a little bit of extra vigilance ourselves, we can help our delightful little dogs to remain young at heart and having fun, long into their golden years!