5 Things that Become Important When You're Taking Care Of A Senior Dog

  • 21/11/2018
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Just as is true of people, dogs experience a decline in health as they age. This means you'll have to be more conscientious in terms of their behaviour and habits, as well as in determining how to care for your older pet.

In some ways, it will be like caring for a puppy again, but don't let that discourage you. Making some simple changes to your daily routine can help you keep your mature dog safe, healthier, and happy.

1. Lay Off the Junk Food

According to research conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, as much as 53% of senior dogs are overweight. Dogs, like people, experience a variety of health problems as a result of being overweight or obese. To help your dog get down to a more ideal weight, try to choose healthier treats and provide a dog food that packs a nutritional punch. If your dog gets a lot of table scraps, it may be time to start limiting that practice.

2. Exercise is Still Important

As your dog gets older, he may develop health problems, such as arthritis, that can inhibit his ability to play like a puppy. This doesn't mean he no longer needs exercise, but it does mean you should consult your veterinarian about safe activities for your dog. Your vet may recommend limited durations for walking or ideal temperatures for outside play. This will help ensure your dog still gets the exercise he needs to be healthier without risking his safety.

 

3. Step Up Your Vet Visits

Most people only take their dogs to see the vet once a year and that's fine for pups and younger adult dogs. For senior dogs, however, more frequent vet visits are advised. By taking your mature dog in for a check-up every six months, you'll be able to keep a closer eye on your pet's health. This provides an opportunity to bring changes in the dog's health or behaviour to the vet's attention sooner. This can help your vet diagnose illnesses early when it will be easier and cheaper to treat the problem.

4. Brush Your Dog's Teeth  

Here is another health concern we share with dogs. Teeth lose their strength as dogs age, so it's important to help your dog take better care of them. Brushing your dog's teeth daily can help maintain their health and ensure they last for a longer period of time. If you've never brushed a dog's teeth before, consult your veterinarian. Your vet can recommend the ideal products to use and recommend the best techniques for brushing your pet's teeth and gum tissue. For dogs who don't take kindly to a brushing, there are also many canine dental treats and toys to help you protect your pet's teeth.

5. Regularly Groom Your Older Dog

There are a couple of reasons you will want to continue grooming your dog on a regular basis. First, frequent bathing, brushing, and nail trimming becomes more necessary because older dogs are less active. This means their nails regrow at a faster rate and their fur can become matted more easily. Secondly, regular grooming will give you an opportunity to observe any bodily changes to the dog, such as a sore or a growing tumour. In some cases, these may be noncancerous fatty tumours, but your vet should make that determination through an exam.

6. Provide More Comfortable Bedding

As your dog gets older, you might notice that he climbs up on the sofa or bed less frequently. This may be due to joint pain and other aches that come with old age. You can help him by providing more comfortable bedding on the floor. Perhaps by extra blankets and extra padding to make the dog's bed more comfortable. You might also consider moving the pet bed closer to a heater or HVAC vent to make him warmer at night.

Although your dog can't tell you when something is wrong, his behaviour can indicate the onset of health problems. As he gets older, it will be helpful to be more observant of your dog's activities, so you can help him feel more comfortable and stay healthier. Paying attention to his diet, exercise, and sleeping habits can help you keep him healthier for as long as possible.

Author Bio:

Olivia Harper is the co-founder of the blog Daily Dog Stuff. She is a reserved and passionate pet parent who loves to spend time with her Sibe, who keeps her active and social. See more of her guides and tips by visiting her blog and following their page @dailydogstuff.

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/dog-health/dog-checkups-preventive-care/caring-a-senior-dog-7-healthy-habits

https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/evr_dg_caring_for_older_dogs_with_health_problems

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