Developments in nutrition and medicine have extended the lifespan of dogs more than ever, but there is something that no medicine can cure: aging.
Read also: “Stop What Your Doing and Go Adopt an Older Dog“
We can’t totally stop your dog from getting older. The issues and changes of an aging dog are actually pretty similar to those experienced by human beings and require special geriatric care to fight declining health.
The cognitive and physical abilities of dogs begin to decline slowly as they approach their senior years. And since they aren’t spritely pups anymore, they take much longer to get well from sickness or injury. Early detection as well as timely treatment of any condition will give them a better chance to lead a normal, healthy and long life. To make sure your pup is comfortable as it ages, talk to your vet about a suitable geriatric health care program for your old dog.
While regular veterinary examinations are essential all throughout your dog’s life, they become especially important as they begin to approach their older years. Typically your vet will suggest a general exam at least 2 times a year. What can you expect from these visits? They usually involve lab tests and the occasional blood test. If your dog shows any abnormalities in its behavior or activities then make sure to consult your vet ASAP. Even a minor problem that may seem unimportant could become serious very fast in aging dogs.
One of the initial signs of aging that you will see in your dog is arthritis. Consult your vet for joint supplements as well as pain relievers to make your pup’s condition more manageable. A warm room to sleep and rest can assist to ease their pain. Dog beds that are made of orthopedic foam can also give better comfort. You may also notice that your dog is no longer responding to stimuli as fast as before. Keeping them active is one superb ways to fight their slowly deteriorating sensory capabilities. Appropriate training routines as well as daily exercise are a must when you like to keep your senses sharp.
The most essential change that you may need to make in your aging dog’s life will be about diet. If you keep feeding your dog with the regular diet then he has a risk of obesity. Dog foods that are specially formulated for older dogs will give the special nutrition your dog needs to fight signs of aging and help to keep their weight at a healthy level. If you’re looking for a simple change, why not start with these supplements? While caring for your older dog, ensure to take in a weekly massage. This will not only make Fido happy (because come on, who doesn’t love a good massage?) but will give you a possibility to check for any irregular lumps or inflammation. Brushing your dog’s hair at least once a week will stay their skin stimulated as well as healthy.
Another common issue that your older dog will meet is their incapability to “hold it” it for long. They may need to go outside more often and some may even wet their bedding. Consult your vet for bladder control treatments and buying water-proof bedding may be a good option. You might even consider a doggy diaper (we love these ones!) to make things easier for you.
While veterinary care and sensible treatments could make your senior dog’s life more relaxed, the most vital thing that you could do for your older dog is just to keep on loving them to keep that tail wagging.