6 Tips To Care For Your Senior Dog During His Golden Years

Tips For Caring For Senior Dogs

During the golden years of a dog it is important that you not only devote extra time to him, but also ensure that he is properly taken care. Please note that the care requirements of a senior dog are quite different than that of a younger dog. This should not come as a surprise to anyone. But the most important thing is to determine whether your furry pal can be considered as senior. It totally is contingent on the individual dog.

It has generally been observed that giant breed dogs age faster than small breed dogs. A Great Dane is considered to be a senior when he is around 5 to 6 years of age. While a Chihuahua would only be considered to be middle-aged around 5 to 6 years of age. Large breed dogs fall somewhere in between. A Golden Retriever is considered to be senior around 8 to 10 years of age. It totally depends on the genetics, environment and nutrition in the swiftness with which dog ages.

Ways To Help & Care For Your Senior Dog

Once you have determined that your furry pal has reached golden years of his life you need to look for problems like arthritis or other degenerative diseases during the old age that causes the dog to slow down. He may not be able to walk for long and may tire very easily. He may find it difficult to get up or find a comfortable place to sleep. He may not find it convenient to go up and down the stairs or have difficulty while getting into and out of the car.

Another problem with senior dogs is dental disease. It has been researched and found that a dog can suffer from dental disease early on when he is 2 to 3 years of age. If proper care is not taken of the dog’s mouth, by the time he turns senior, he may even have lost some teeth. It can be extremely painful which can make your dog avoid the meals altogether. It may even make him lose weight and an unkempt hair coat.

Weight loss is another issue with senior dogs. It can be caused due to liver disease, heart disease, kidney disease amongst others. While there are other dogs that become less active which makes them gain weight leading to obesity. It is one of the most common health problems with senior dogs.

So, what can be done to help senior dogs? Let us look at some of the tips to take care of your doggy during his golden years:

Tips To Caring For Your Senior Dog

Regular Vet Visits

Your senior dog needs to be examined at least on a yearly basis, even if he appears to be healthy. Many hidden diseases which are hidden and not apparent can harm your pet. Hence, it is important to take your furry pal for regular vet visits.

Ask For A Body Condition Evaluation During Each Vet Visit

Body condition is extremely critical when it comes to know whether your senior dog is overweight, underweight or at an ideal weight.

Select Specialized Diet To Maintain Ideal Body Weight Of Senior Dog

Overweight dogs are prone to diseases like heart disease, skin disease, cancer and diabetes. Ask your veterinarian to help you select an appropriate diet for your dog, especially if he is overweight, so that he gets all the requisite nutrients which enable him to lose weight. There are also specialized diets that are available in the market that are lower in calories and high in L-Carnitine especially for obese or overweight dogs.

A diet that has carefully selected carbohydrate or carbohydrate blend can aid in keeping your overweight dog feel satisfied. Try to include fatty acids like DHA and EPA that are helpful for dogs that are suffering due to mobility issues due to arthritis or other joint diseases.

If your dog is suffering from heart disease then a diet low in sodium can be an ideal fit while for dogs suffering from a kidney disease a diet that aids in controlling calcium, phosphorus and other electrolyte levels are considered to be the best. Your veterinarian can assist you in selecting the best food based on your dog’s individual condition.

Take Care Of Your Dog’s Mouth

It might seem like a silly idea to brush your dog’s teeth but it can aid in keeping your dog’s mouth healthy. If you cannot brush his teeth, consider getting dental toys and treats that can assist in keeping his teeth clean.

Exercise Your Senior Dog

Exercising your senior dog on a regular basis keeps him lean and assists in maintaining healthy joints and muscles. But you need to tailor your dog’s exercise to meet his individual requirement. For example; for a large breed dog walking around the block means just getting started, while for a tiny Chihuahua a brisk walk around the block may be a long trek. If your senior is not acquainted with exercise, start slowly and gradually increase the intensity. But do it only after consulting with your veterinarian. Be extra vigilant with short-nosed dogs on hot days.

Provide Special Accommodations For Your Older Dog

If your senior dog is suffering from arthritis, consider getting a soft bedding and provide towels and blankets for him to sleep. You can even get ramps so that he can climb the stairs in case it cannot be avoided. Get carpet or rugs over hard-surface flooring so that your arthritic dog finds it easier to gain his footing and move around comfortably.

Also, do not forget to get Essential Dog Supplies for your furry pal, so that he is taken care of properly during the senior age. So, how do you plan to take care of your senior dog during his golden years?

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