\nPuppies require lots of attention – from cries at night, demands for walks, mayhem with pillows and toys and the exuberant dashes outside. As time goes by your dog is a bit less demanding, stops eating the garbage and doesn’t fly so high in the air to catch the Frisbee. Yet, inside he still longs to sniff the outside world for the news of the neighborhood, visit his favorite spots, feel healthy and active, and enjoy life. Here are some things you can do to ensure that your older dog’s life is as rich, healthy and active as possible. \nDOGGIE DIETING FOR HEALTH AND HAPPINESS “Eat right and live longer and better,” is true for both humans and their pets. Being overweight affects both health and happiness. Recent data show almost 53% of dogs as overweight or obese. You can help your dog live longer, avoid various metabolic diseases such as diabetes, orthopedic problems and certain cancers. There are many dog food formulations for seniors that offer food which is lower in calories, higher in fiber and maintains adequate protein. Older dogs are prone to constipation so making sure they have enough water is important. Keeping a healthy weight helps your dog stay healthy and active. BE HAPPY -EXERCISE YOUR SENIOR COMPANION Recent research found that owners who walk their dogs are happier that ones who do not, and the benefits of exercise apply to you AND your dog. Your puppy may have been inexhaustible on walks. Your senior may not walk as far, but the experience of the outside world for dogs is not in what they see but in the stories of each smell along the way. The favorite stopping point offers the neighborhood news of who’s been around, how they’re doing, what other animals are in the neighborhood, and much more. “Take time and smell the er .. roses” is a good motto for senior strolls. If your dog is elderly, disabled by age or injury, a pet stroller, such as the Pet Rover, can offer the same visit to the neighborhood. You might walk some, ride some to keep your dog connected to his world \nVIST A VET Your dog can’t tell you what hurts, and a regular checkup by the vet can identify problems early and prevent minor problems from becoming serious. Pay attention to your dog’s behavior and indications of discomfort, loss of abilities, and changes in behavior. A visit every 6 months can go a long way to maintaining your dog’s comfort and health. Early identification of problems can help your dog lead a longer and healthier life.\nDOGS DON’T GET DENTURES Dog teeth take a lot of wear and tear over their lifetimes. Beyond the effects of eating countless bones and dog toys, your dog builds up tartar which can be a severe problem in their later years. In fact, 4 out of 5 dogs over age 3 have some level of periodontal disease, and it worsens with age. Your dog is great at hiding pain, and you may not realize the pain that he is experiencing from dental problems. Dental issues can lead to severe pain, and serious health issues You can brush your dog’s teeth with special toothbrushes from the pet store, or with finger brushes and canine toothpaste. Do not use your own toothpaste! An annual dental check and cleaning by your vet is recommended. Chew toys help massage gums and clean teeth.\nTHE GOLDEN YEARS AT HOME There are a number of steps you can take to make home life more comfortable. If stairs are a problem, make a downstairs bed area. Keep food and lots of water nearby. Older dogs tend to feel the cold more acutely so add a blanket, and creaky bones appreciate an extra cushion in favorite spots. Keep travel areas free from clutter. \nYour care and attention can make the most of each day of your dog’s life.