Similar to humans, dogs need greater care and attention as they age. As your canine reaches his/her golden years, several of their basic needs, from exercise to diet, will start to change. This often happens when the dog is 7 years old, but giant and big breeds may mature a little earlier compared to smaller breeds. The latter generally has the longest life span, and may not be considered senior until the age of 8 or 9.
By knowing what adjustments to make as your dog attains the status of a senior, you can promote their longevity and health. In return, you get to enjoy good memories, unconditional love and wet kisses. Below are some helpful tips to make the later years of your pet’s life more rewarding.
“As your canine reaches his/her
golden years, several of their
basic needs, from exercise to diet,
will start to change.”
1.Make Sure They Eat Properly
As dogs age, they need to consume fewer calories than young breeds, but dog owners still need to ensure they eat appropriately. If they forego food, it could be a sign of a serious underlying issue. But before you panic, double check that the dog is indeed experiencing eating disorders or suffering lethargic. A solid baseline of his/her eating habits may help you avoid a trip to the vet.
You can find an appetite stimulant for dogs if your four-legged friend experiences a gradual or sudden loss of appetite. The pet’s ability to harness key phytochemicals and antioxidants from food controls their partial appetite. A stimulant will ensure that this nutrition “sub-level” doesn’t remain underneath, and your dog gets enough of the essential fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Nothing will give you more confidence in your dog’s health than an established eating routine.
2.Keep Them Mentally Sharp
Your senior pup can slow down just as quick mentally as they do physically which can be just as hard or if not harder to witness and accept as old age strikes. Many senior dogs end up having the exact same lazy lifestyle day in and day out besides a short bit of exercise which can help their body but accelerate their mental decline. If your pup ends up experiencing dog demtentia there is no on/off cure but you as an owner can work to curb those symptoms or dramatically slow them down.
Providing your dog with new experiences for them to process mentally, good exercise, and even a new and exciting diet can really put a jolt back into your dog’s head. The signs of old age are something no person or pet can escape but dramatically slowing them down will improve your dog’s quality of life and perhaps extend it if action is taken early enough.
3.Consider Dental Care
Senior dogs are prone to dental diseases like gum swelling, gingivitis around the teeth, loose teeth, and build-up of yellow/brown material on the teeth known as tartar. These ailments can result in mouth pain, causing the dog to lose interest in chewing or facing difficulty in eating certain types of food. They may also frequently paw or rub their mouth. In addition, dental disease has the potential to impact your pet’s major organs – liver, kidney, bladder, lungs and even heart.
To prevent/slow down your dog’s dental disease, consider plaque and tarter inhibiting dog treats. Meat-flavored toothbrushes are also readily available. If you suspect an advanced stage of gingivitis or another similar disease that doesn’t go away with brushing, it may be that the dog needs antibiotics or possibly teeth polishing and scaling with a few extractions. The sooner you address the problems the better will be your chances to stop further deterioration of their teeth. A dental checkup can be considered in your dog’s annual physical.
4.Daily Exercise Is Essential
Senior pets need consistent and regular exercise. While your dog might not be able to run as fast and far as in younger years, he/she still enjoys the outdoors in your company. Therefore, it’s a good idea to take your pet to shorter walks or runs to ensure they’re getting their exercise. Do note that your dog might have pains and joint aches as they age, so whatever exercise you make them do needs to be low-impact.
For instance, you shouldn’t let them jump when playing catch the ball as the jumps may impact their joints. All such activities should be carried out in a way that makes the dog stay on the ground. Senior dogs are also sensitive to humidity and heat, so exercise in conditions that don’t take a toll on their health. Stick to just slow-paced walking if your dog has arthritis.
“Similar to humans, dogs
need greater care and attention
as they age.”
By taking these measures, you’ll ensure that your dog spends a healthy and happy life as a senior.
Do you have a senior dog?
What are your favorite suggestions for keeping your aging pet healthy and happy?
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