As your dog ages, they will naturally start to show signs of wear. Obesity is especially common in older dogs and obesity, in turn, causes other problems. For example, obese dogs are much more likely to develop and suffer from hip dysplasia and joint problems. If you have a dog who looks a bit more plump than normal, first, make sure they're getting enough exercise. Just because a dog is getting older, doesn't mean that they don't need to exercise. Take your dog on a daily walk, or even a jog if they can handle it.

Older dogs love to go on walks, play, and enjoy variety and stimuli. Another factor that contributes to a dog's weight gain is that is many people tend to let their pets "free forage." This means they let their dog eat whenever he pleases. By allowing your dog to free forage, you are creating the environment where your dog will eat out of boredom, or to gorge themselves, which can lead to weight problems. To prevent this, check with your vet and figure out what is a healthy portion for your dog based on his or her size and then set specific feeding times.

Something else you should know is that an older dog, shouldn't be sleeping on the floor or a hard bed, especially if they are suffering from any type of joint pain or arthritis. Orthopedic dog beds were made specifically with older pets in mind and will help them relax and will relieve some of that joint pain. They conform to your dog's shape and will support their joints better than most other dog beds. There are a variety of styles of orthopedic dog pillows and beds. Some are made entirely of orthopedic foam, while others merely have an insert that goes inside a dog bed made of different materials. The latter is generally cheaper and typically the insert is also washable.

Older dogs also tend to have more problems controlling the bowels and bladder.  To prevent the dog from soiling his or her bed, another addition that is very useful to help prevent this, regardless of what type of dog bed you have, is the protector pad. A few companies make a washable pad that you can put on top of your dog bedding to absorb any messes.