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Dogs age at varying rates. Normally, knowing if your dog is a senior depends on their size, if they are a larger or smaller breed. But looking for indicators that your dog is getting old is one way to tell. Some signs include loss of vision, going deaf, changes in weight, bad breath and overall slowing down.
Care for senior dogs is different from the one you give to puppies. They may require more consideration and support. Keep reading as we list out some tips to help you give the best care to your aging dog.
Good senior dog food is low in calories, high in fiber, and meets the nutritional needs of an aging dog’s body. You can still feed them the regular food that they eat, but senior dog food can help avoid obesity, which is a common health problem with aging dogs. Obesity can increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even early-onset death. Consulting with your veterinarian is recommended if your dog has special needs and requirements regarding food.
Maintaining an active lifestyle with a proper diet can reduce the possibility of illness. Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes per day. Exercise can become shorter as they grow older since senior dogs have lower energy levels. Choose low-impact activities like walking, swimming and indoor games that can ensure they still get the stimulation they need.
Following exercise and diet, regular check-ups are the next most important thing when caring for a senior dog. Most veterinarians recommend having an older dog examined every six months and may recommend more frequent visits depending on your dog’s health condition. Look out for any changes in appetite, weight, or any pain that needs to be addressed immediately.
Grooming is necessary for a dog’s entire life, but it becomes even more essential as they age. Regular grooming allows you to check your dog from head to tail for any strange bumps, blisters, or rashes. Brushing increases circulation and helps with the skin’s condition. Baths may be required more frequently due to medical concerns that cause frequent potty accidents, such as incontinence.
Senior dogs, just like people getting older, can suffer from joint pains. Avoid strain on their muscles and joints by putting gates to block their access to stairs. Memory foam beds can help with orthopedic problems by molding to the contours of the body. You might not want to rearrange the furniture in your house if your dog is beginning to lose his sight. It is extremely helpful that the layout of the house stays the same, so he won’t have any problems getting around.
It can be hard for a fur parent to see their dog aging, and it can become difficult to manage them. But giving them the best possible care can help them lead a healthy life for many years. Aging is inevitable, and if any changes worry you, visit your veterinarian to find out the best thing to do.