The best senior dog supplies can keep your older dog healthier, happier and more comfortable.
They can also make his life, and yours, easier.
So it's good to know that there are lots of great products available for elderly dogs.
The downside is that's not always easy to make the right choices - especially if this is your first canine golden oldie.
That's where the tips, advice and information on this page can help.
I've looked at the different needs in a senior dog's life, and picked out what I believe to be the best supplies for each one.
I've used many of them for my dogs over the years.
Depending on your dog's age and health, he may need one or two of them.... or a dozen.... or none at all.
Or, it may be that you know he would benefit from some of this stuff, even if he doesn't actually NEED it, yet.
Plus, I've snuck in a few 'fun' or 'luxury' items that Fido will enjoy - and a little bit of spoiling never hurt anyone did it?
Most older dogs have mastered the basics of obedience training and potty training, but age has a way of fogging up the memory, and an elderly body sometimes can't do what the brain tells it to.
Many senior dogs have occasional (or chronic) bouts of incontinence.
Things like doggie diapers, belly bands, cleaning wipes, urine clean-up supplies and so on are essentials if you have a dog with 'leaky plumbing'.
If Fido can't get around too well and going outdoors to do his business is too challenging, pee-pee pads, a litter box or a portable dog-potty can make life easier on everyone.
Water-resistant dog beds and plastic or rubber-backed blankets protect Fido's sleeping areas, and keep him comfy too.
Older dogs often have knee, hip or back problems. This can leave their 'back end' with a lot less function than it used to have.
A sling, harness, stroller, cart or wheelchair helps to make sure these seniors can get out-and-about, and enjoy a change of scene - without breaking their owner's back!
Stiff, creaky joints, weight loss (or gain), poor body-temp regulation, wobbly legs, fading eyesight....
.... all of these can combine to make getting around, or even getting comfortable, difficult for your older dog.
Luckily some of the best senior dog supplies are specifically designed to help with these problems:
A whole slew of specially designed dog beds can support achy joints, keep Fido warm (or cool) and make it easier for him to get in and out comfortably.
Memory foam dog crate pads make sure that your dog's crate is as comfortable as his bed.
Elevated dog bowls take the strain off front legs, shoulders and neck muscles/bones.
Jumping onto beds or furniture can really aggravate, or injure, older joints and ligaments.
Dog ramps, stairs and steps make it easy for your senior dog to reach his favorite napping spot without hurting himself.
Wobbly legs can slip and slide on smooth surfaces such as wood or tile and senior dogs are much more likely to do themselves a serious injury if they fall.
Non-skid bootees or socks for dogs, toe-nail covers or rugs/runners throughout the house keep all four dog paws safely on the ground.
Negotiating the stairs inside your house can be tricky for older dogs too. Plus, if Fido's eyesight isn't as good as it used to be (and it probably isn't!), stairs can be downright dangerous.
Use a baby-gate or dog-gate to block off stairways so that your dog doesn't hurt himself trying to go up or down.
Canine Dysfunction Syndrome (the doggie equivalent of Alzheimer's Disease) can cause older dogs to be confused or disorientated at times.
You can help prevent Fido from wandering around and getting scared because he doesn't know where he is, by using the same type of gate to confine him to one familiar room, or couple of rooms.
Keeping your older dog healthy is probably one of your top priorities.
Annual, or preferably bi-annual, veterinary check-ups are probably the #1 most important way you can keep on top of Fido's overall health.
But after that, there are lots of things you can do to keep him in the best shape possible, both physically and mentally.
Diet has a HUGE impact on health, so it's really important to make sure that you choose a dog food which is a good fit for your seniors size, age and health conditions.
Not all dogs (of any age) who are eating a premium, well-balanced diet need supplements, but some do.
Added vitamins and minerals can definitely be useful for certain conditions or deficiencies, especially if your dog isn't eating as much as he used to.
There's also a huge range of supplements for older dogs which can help with many of the health problems canine seniors often face , including organ function, anxiety, digestive issues, skin problems, immune system function and much more.
Many senior dogs have dental issues, and it's very important to keep Fido's mouth clean and well-cared for because his dental health has a direct impact on his overall health.
Toothbrushes, toothpaste, edible-chews, textured toys, mouth-sprays... and of course regular vet check-ups, cleaning and extractions if necessary, all help keep his teeth and gums healthy and strong.
While you're cleaning your dog's teeth, always check his gums, palate and tongue for any new or unusual swellings, lumps or painful areas - and have your vet look at anything you find.
A pet first-aid kit is another very useful item to have on hand, and this doesn't just apply to senior dogs either. It gives you peace of mind no matter how old your dog (or other pet) is.
As dogs age, their skin can become thinner and more sensitive, their coat also can look thin and/or dull. Some common senior dog health problems make this worse.
You can help Fido look his best no matter how old he is, by grooming him regularly, use a soft-er brush, and a gentle moisturizing shampoo at bath time. Gentle wipes for his eyes and ears can be the finishing touch.
When you're brushing him, you can also use this time to check his body for unusual lumps or bumps, or skin inflammation.
Cancer is fairly common in senior dogs, and if you find something unusual on your dog's body, a quick check up with your veterinarian could make a world of difference to the outcome.
Not all tumors are cancerous by any means, so don't panic, but do be vigilant.
Just because Fido is getting older, it doesn't mean that he can't still enjoy toys, treats and the fun stuff of life.
Some of the best senior dog supplies (from his perspective anyway) will be the ones he doesn't need, but really wants!
Your senior dog may have fewer teeth than he had when he was younger, or the ones he does have might be weaker or more prone to breaking, so you need to be careful when choosing treats for him.
Smaller, soft treats that are easy to chew are usually much more appealing to older dogs, than hard, dry or crunchy ones.
If your dog is overweight look for low-calorie treats and of course anything he eats should be made from natural, healthy ingredients.
Stay away from artificial colors, preservatives, chemicals, fillers and so on. Fido doesn't need that junk inside him!You can even bake your own home-made treats for him. There are several great books packed full of wholesome recipes he'll love.
This is my favorite right now... The Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook Kit.
Or, try frozen, raw veggies (sliced carrots or green beans are popular in our house), or slivers of cooked liver or lean beef.
Most dogs love toys, even when they're old and don't have a whole lot of energy to really play with them!
This is the second time in their lives when soft toys can usually be played with safely (the first is when they're very young puppies).
Some older dogs find comfort in a toy to carry around or nap with.
The type of comfort-object toys that are made to help new puppies stay warm and feel less lonely when they leave their momma (like the Smart Pet Love Snuggle Puppy for example), can also work great for senior dogs.
Rope toys can help keep teeth and gums healthy.
I'd recommend staying away from rawhide as your older dog could choke on it.
Plain rubber toys might not be hugely popular with Fido now, but if you fill a special Senior Kong with peanut butter or the tasty paste that is specially made for them, he might just decide it's fun after all.
There are so many great toys on the market that it's really easy to find some that your senior dog will enjoy, and that will be safe for him too.