image shows caring for senior pet

Article for The Pet Times Magazine on Caring for Aging Dogs by Coach JT

Caring for Aging Dogs: Helping Them Thrive Through Their Golden Years

The Pet Times: Can you tell us a little about your background and how you became interested in caring for aging pets?

Coach JT: My name is JT. I'm a dog lover who only wants the best for our beloved companions. After being caught up in the fast-paced world of corporate marketing, I traded in my business suit for the tranquility of the outdoors to live a simpler and calmer life with my furry best friend, MaPrao. My adventure with pets began when everyone noticed the unbreakable bond between MaPrao and me. Before I knew it, my home in Northern Thailand had become not only a sanctuary for me but also a loving retreat for other people's dogs.

Ten years later, I've returned to Singapore to care for my aging mother with my equally aging pup, MaPrao, by my side. Over the years, my connection with MaPrao has sparked a passion for helping older dogs live their best lives. They have taught me that it's about more than love; it's about truly understanding what they need as they get older.

The Pet Times: Please share with pet parents what you've learned about caring for aging dogs.

Coach JT: This becomes increasingly important, especially if they live in an urban environment and all they get in the way of exercise is a walk around the block to do their business twice a day.

When it comes to caring for senior dogs, I've gathered some wisdom, and I'd like to pass on some important tips. One insight is how important it's to keep our dogs active, even when age tries to slow them down. Some dogs need to move their limbs fully to keep their joints healthy; a simple walk is often not enough. This omission in terms of cardiovascular health, which requires more exercise, is even more pressing if they live in an urban environment where most activity is limited to walks around the block. Teaching our pups to love swimming at an early age can be their salvation when their joints begin to stiffen as they get older. The water becomes a friend that helps them move effortlessly, and you can read their gratitude in their contented faces when they paddle.

The Pet Times: Especially in Singapore, where most residents live in HDB apartments, dogs don't get enough exercise. We're also seeing an increase in obesity among older dogs. Can you give any tips on nutrition for older dogs?

Let's talk about nutrition; it's not that complicated. What's good for aging people is often good for our dogs. When we replace processed factory food with fresh meat, fruit, vegetables, and healthy fats, our older dogs get all the essential nutrients they need to stay healthy and happy. This type of diet keeps their tails wagging. Take MaPrao, for example; just the mention of his name gets his tail wagging!

Another important aspect that many pet owners overlook is the emotional and mental health of their dog, which is just as important as its physical well-being. Proverbs says: 'A merry heart is good as medicine, but a broken spirit withers the bones.' So, to keep your dog healthy, make sure it is happy! Many older dogs seem depressed and have lost the joy and zest for life they once had. Yet it is so important to keep their minds alert and stimulate them with new sensory experiences, as well as maintain a healthy social life with canine companions. These can bring a new tailwag and a sparkle to their eyes. A happy and healthy dog is a dog that can sniff out new adventures, even if he slows down.

The Pet Times: What other challenges do pet owners face when caring for older dogs?

Coach JT: As with humans, our gut is the cornerstone of the immune system, and houses a large proportion of our immune cells. A two-pronged approach is necessary to maintain a healthy gut into old age. In addition to a healthy and balanced diet, consider incorporating gut-friendly nutrients such as fermented foods, organ meats, foods high in omega-3 fats, and prebiotic and probiotic supplements. The second approach is to minimize the use of harmful medications and take preventative measures and non-invasive therapies when necessary. For specific health issues or personal care advice, you should always consult a professional veterinarian who can provide customized support for your aging companion.

This is something that is very close to my heart: how we care for our seniors. You see, sometimes less is more. Gentle care is key, and this is where healthcare technology comes into play.  There is a growing body of research on alternative therapies showing how light and sound frequencies can relieve pain, stimulate cell repair, and detoxify without the need for heavy medication. These advances have proven beneficial for humans and are now showing promise for our pets. The innovation in health technology has even evolved into a portable therapeutic device for home use and a lightweight, wearable nanotechnology device. I've seen dogs rejuvenated without surgery or heavy medication, and that's a message I'm keen to share. This innovative approach and a gentler alternative are the future, and they give our beloved companions hope for a beautiful old age.

 To summarize, here are some tips for caring for older dogs:

  1. Feed them nutrient-rich whole foods.
  2. Keep them physically active with gentle, low-impact exercise such as swimming.
  3. Encourage emotional bonding by spending quality time with your senior dog.
  4. Stimulate your dog's senses with new experiences to get their tail wagging.


Caring for elderly pets reminds us of our own mortality and our needs in old age. During their short time with us, they see us as their whole world. Therefore, we should love them fervently, cherish every moment together, and let their pace slow us down in our lives. I would encourage all pet parents to educate themselves about pet nutrition and holistic pet care to help their companions thrive in their golden years.

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