Tips for Keeping an Older Dog Happy and Healthy
Are you the owner of an older dog? Taking care of a senior dog isn’t easy. Everything brings new worries and dilemmas you need to be concerned about. The needs of an older dog are much different than those of adult dogs and puppies. Their energy levels aren’t near as high as they used to be for example. One thing is for sure and that is you’ll have to be careful about managing the health of your older friend.
What is considered a senior dog? The age at which a dog is considered old is often dependent on the breed. Smaller dogs tend to reach senior years by the age of ten. Larger breeds of dogs are sometimes regarded as a senior dog as early as five years old.
If you aren’t sure of how old your dog is, ask your veterinarian during its next visit. If the dog is considered a senior canine, then you need to educate yourself and become more aware of its specific needs and requirements. Try to also look for changes in behaviors such as the dog eating less, displaying less energy than usual or frequent bowel movements and urination.
As the canine grows older, you’ll have to start it on new dog food, the kind specially formulated for senior dogs. Food designed for senior dogs contains fewer calories to help you maintain its weight. Senior dog food also has more important nutrients added to it as a way to help it fight off diseases.
While the dog may be getting older and slower, it doesn’t mean the dog doesn’t want to play and exercise. It’s just the opposite. Playing and exercise are very important for the overall health of a senior dog. A dog that lays around and sleeps all day is actually doing harm to its overall health and accelerating its body’s deterioration.
Sometimes you’ll see that the dog’s movements are stiff or it is having getting up and walking. This is often an indication that the dog may be suffering from arthritis. There are a few things you can do to help alleviate this condition. The easiest and best choice is to put the dog on a diet and help it lose some weight, lessening the pressure on its joints. There are also plenty of medications out there for just this type of problem. Consult with a veterinarian to see what one would work best for your dog.
Senior dogs require a lot more care than the typical dog. Stay alert to any changes and remain on top of all health issues. Be sure to schedule regular veterinarian checkups. The dog may be getting old but that doesn’t mean it loves you any less. Make sure you show it the same kind of love and care.