Aging is a natural phenomenon for any living being. You cannot stop it. We all get old at some point in time, so do the dogs. And take note that you have to treat senior dogs differently. They need extra care similarly, like humans. Since you are his master, you need to realize when your pet is growing old.
You have been nurturing your pet for years the same way as you do for your baby. You can see any physical or behavioral changes in him. It is not about attaining a certain age. He will lose his speed, the reflex to a particular event. His hearing ability and sight will also get affected. He will be prone to diseases. On the whole, his overall mobility will decrease.
Dog's physical structure, genetics, a climatic condition where he lives, and the kind of lifestyle he has led so far, diet - all these have a major role in the aging process. Getting old does not imply death in any way. Dogs can also spend a healthy and joyful life during their old age if you take proper care.
Here you will get useful tips so that taking care of your senior pet becomes easier for you. Let's move on!
1. Visit The Veterinarian At A Regular Interval
Make it a point that you have to visit your veterinarian and your pet frequently, no matter whether he has any health issues. Go for your pet's checkup at least once a year because there are several ailments, both physical and psychological, which need professional observation and medical tests to accurately diagnose.
Prevention is better than cure. If you care for your pet, you will wish to give him a healthy and graceful life during the final phase. And it's you who can transform this period into the best one.
2. Diet Must Match The Age And Health Condition
As age increases, they tend to get obese because of less energy and less mobility. Pay attention to the dog's regular diet. Decide on an age-appropriate diet. If you get confused, what to include, and what to eliminate from the dog food chart, you can consult an expert.
A balanced and top-quality diet is the key to good health. Probiotics are essential for older dogs. Give them fish, nuts, flax seeds, soybeans as they contain vital fatty acids. Provide them with various veggies and fruits to meet the requirement of phytonutrients.
Overweight dogs are more vulnerable to diabetes, heart ailments, skin-related issues, and even as severe as cancer. Don't take his diet lightly and never offer him the same food as you do to your younger doggy. Low calorie, high L-Carnitine foods are ideal for obese dogs.
3. Exercise Is Vital
Like us, for the dogs too, aging creates obstacles in enjoying different activities that need stamina, which were easy to adapt earlier. They experience immense pain doing those fun activities. It is also lack of confidence which pulls them back from trying those.
In this scenario, a daily workout can only help to have an energetic body and a positive mindset. It will help to maintain the strength of the bone joints and muscles. Thus, Exercise is necessary for overall well being.
4. Maintain Dental Care
Oral hygiene is particularly crucial for aged dogs. If you ignore it, it is not surprising that toothache will be a common problem for your dog, and some teeth need to be uprooted. To prevent those painful dental diseases, be particular about regular brushing and visiting the veterinarian's chamber for professional cleaning of teeth.
Weak and decayed teeth will not help in chewing and cutting the food in tiny particles as they earlier. As a consequence, it would become hard to digest the food that he consumes.
5. Protect Your Dog From Weather Extremes
Even if he never had trouble in heat and cold before, he might have discomfort in weather extremities during old age.It is quite a common geriatric problem. Provide him the right gear to cope up with the temperature.
Maybe he will prefer a warm fleece throw blanket or dog boots if there is heavy snowfall outside. In the indoors, cover his back with a coat to keep him warm. Make his bed near the fireplace. The warmth will help to reduce the pains in various body parts caused by muscle stiffness.
During the summer, make sure that he gets ample shade and fresh, cool water to bathe or swim. He will enjoy making fun in the kiddie pools several times a day. Thus, he will be able to beat the heat joyfully.
6. Try Canine Therapy
If you observe limping and stiffness in your senior pet, there are plenty of ways to relieve pain apart from traditional medication. These include
- Laser therapy is an inexpensive method for treating chronic injuries, muscle strains, arthritis, or post-surgery injuries.
- Hydrotherapy has a great impact on combating pain-related issues. By using warm water, the veterinarian treats the soreness of the muscles and joints of the dog.
- Is your pet suffering from inflammation, arthritis, dysplasia of hip or elbow? Does he have spinal issues and chronic stomach pain? Then acupuncture can give him a relief to a great extent.
- Aromatherapy and massage are also of huge help for reducing pain and the overall well-being of the canine.
7. Make A Practice Of Good Grooming
Grooming is a crucial part of any pet. Still, you may notice some grooming issues for your dog when he grows older. They need some special help. Pay extra care on his nails and keep his hair short, especially on the back, to keep him clean.
Those who never need nail trimming before should also cut the nails because long nails sometimes cause pain.
Since you have been nurturing your pet since his early childhood, you will be familiar with his normal body capability, and you will notice differences when aging will start. Take good care of him. Follow the tips mentioned above to make him comfortable and to face the geriatric issues boldly.
About the Author:
Grace is a passionate writer & guest blogger. She mostly works on the Pets Wellness project. Writing helps her to improve her knowledge, skills & understanding about the specific industry. She likes to contribute articles on Pets especially dogs. Apart from writing, she loves traveling and exploring new places.