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Have An Aging Dog? Here’s Some Great Tips on How To Take Care Of Your Older Pup!
Do You Have an Aging Dog?
As time goes on our dogs age and with that comes a change in the way that we must care for them. Obviously, younger dogs are more spontaneous and full of energy, while our senior dogs might still exhibit many of those traits, they tend to lose a step, as well as their hearing and eye sight. As your dog ages, he might also begin to suffer from depression from not being able to do some of the things that he readily enjoyed doing in his younger years. This article helps to tackle all of the above, keeps your dogs mood more regulated and helps them live out the rest of their days to their fullest potential.
Most dogs aren’t considered as “aged” until they hit about 10 years old (in human calculations). Larger dogs, such as Great Danes can be considered “aged” or a senior dog by the age of 6 however. With age comes common arthritis and other ailments that may cause them to slow down. Not being able to walk as far as he used to or play as much.
Great Tips for Older Dogs
Regular Veterinarian Visits. Your dog needs to be examined at least yearly if it appears healthy, as many diseases are hidden and not apparent. Remember it is much cheaper to prevent disease than it is to treat it!
- See “The Best Veterinarians in Northeast Ohio: Highest Rated, Most Experienced & Award Winning (2019)” for some of the best vet’s in Northeast Ohio
Get a body condition evaluation. Body condition is crucial to determining whether your senior dog is overweight, underweight, or at an ideal body weight. In fact, you should also ask your veterinarian to show you how to evaluate your dog’s body condition at home.
Introduce a high quality diet. Also, learn to read the dog food label and choose a diet that is appropriate for your dog’s age and lifestyle.
Introduce Fatty acids such as DHA and EPA.They have been shown to be useful for dogs with mobility issues due to arthritis or other joint diseases. Supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin are also beneficial for senior dogs.
Special Diets (when need be). For example, diets lower in sodium are sometimes advocated for dogs with heart disease, while diets which help control phosphorus, calcium and other electrolyte levels are given to dogs with kidney disease. Your veterinarian can help you choose the best food for your dog based on your dog’s individual situation.
Keep an Eye on Dental Care. Brushing your dog’s teeth may seem like a silly idea but it can help keep your dog’s mouth healthy. If you cannot brush, consider dental treats and toys that help keep the teeth clean.
Get Plenty of Exercise. It can help keep your older dog lean and maintain healthy joints and muscles. However, tailor your dog’s exercise needs to his individual requirements. For a large breed dog, walking around the block is probably just getting started but for a tiny Chihuahua, a brisk walk around the block may be a long trek. If your senior is not used to exercise, start slow and gradually increase the intensity — and only after you’ve consulted a veterinarian. Also, be careful with short-nosed (brachycephalic) dogs on hot days.
Keep The Toys Coming. Food puzzles, for example, are not only useful for entertainment but for weight loss purposes as well.
Special Accommodations. For instance, dogs with arthritis might benefit from soft bedding in the form of a special dog bed or towels/blankets on which to sleep. Ramps can be used to make stairs easier to navigate if they cannot be avoided. Even providing carpeting or rugs over hard-surface flooring can help y