To ensure your pet has a happy and healthy old age, there is a lot to know about caring for an older dog.
Like a man, a dog needs a large and soft sleeping place where it can comfortably sit and lie. It is especially important to have a comfortable bed if the animal has sore joints. Your pet’s sleeping place should be quiet and warm, away from the drafts and everyday hustle and bustle of the house. Also, make sure your four-legged friend has adequate access to a bowl of clean, fresh drinking water so that the elderly and sick dog doesn’t have to run up the stairs unnecessarily to get drunk.
You will probably notice that when it reaches adulthood, your pet is no longer as agile and energetic during a walk as before. In addition, arthrosis of the joints can make it difficult for an elderly dog to get in or out of a car, so in this situation, be sure to put a special stand to make it easier for your elderly four-legged friend.
How to properly care for an elderly dog
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You have many years of mutual friendship and dedication behind you, and do not forget that older dogs need a special approach and care. Large breeds age much earlier than small breeds, and it is in your power to make your pet’s old age brighter and more joyful. It is also worth noting that in most cases the lifespan of neutered and neutered animals is much higher than that of unsterilized ones. They are less likely to develop cancer, they are not subject to hormonal disruptions.
Regular medical examinations
Similar to humans, older dogs are prone to certain health problems. Some of these problems can be a natural consequence of the aging of the body, so it is useless to fight them. At the same time, a variety of other physical illnesses and ailments can be easily avoided or even completely cured. Therefore, regular check-ups with an experienced veterinarian will certainly help your dog stay healthy in the twilight years.
Elderly dogs are already a health-vulnerable category of animals, as are puppies, and pregnant dogs, and lactating bitches. A feature of older dogs is the need for an easily digestible food, which:
- Could be easily chewed (older dogs often have problems with teeth and gums);
- Would allow weight control (older dogs are often obese, which is an additional risk factor for them);
- Suitable for sensitive digestion (even healthy, aged dogs may have problems with the normal functioning of the digestive tract);
- Would provide additional nutrition for joints and ligaments (arthritis is the scourge of old dogs).
You need to choose food from trusted brands, in the lines of for the needs of adult and aging animals.
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The more stress factors any living organism is exposed to, the more chances it has problems in old age.
Dogs experience stress when they are hungry when they have to endure heat, extreme cold, severe pain. It is very difficult for any dog to endure separation from their owners. The older your dog is, the more serious consequences these circumstances can have for him.
Try to minimize any physical and psycho-emotional stress for your pet. If possible, protect him from the intrusive attention of strangers, postpone moving to another city, go to his dacha during repairs in his apartment.
Do not let younger and more energetic dogs bully him – in a word, create conditions for his comfortable life. With all his dedication, he definitely deserves this attitude on your part.
No dampness, Sudden temperature changes, and drafts
Do not let your dog lie in drafts if you keep it in the yard – let it inside the house during the cold season, create conditions under which the dog can hide from the heat, and make sure that your pet is not in a damp room for a long time.
With age, immunity in animals, like in humans, weakens, and each additional unfavorable factor will negatively affect the health of the dog.
Colds coughs, neuralgia, sore joints are just a few of the consequences of prolonged exposure to dampness or draft.
No jumping from great heights
Musculoskeletal problems are common in almost all older dogs. Lameness, slow movements, pain caused by arthritis, and other degenerative changes in the joints are ways to poison the life of an elderly dog.
To help your pet get through this period, you should be very careful with the stress – remember when as a puppy you did not let your dog run down the stairs? Now, in the same way, you need to protect the dog from sudden movements, jumping from great heights, and other potentially dangerous situations.
Owners of large dog breeds (Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Labrador, Bullmastiff, St. Bernard) need to be especially careful – due to the large weight, the load on the joints remains significant.
This is one of the reasons why a dog should not be obese.
No excess weight
The excess weight builts problems with joints and increases fraught with extra pounds in dogs. This is also an extra burden on the heart and other internal organs of the dog, which is forced to work intensively.
Therefore, stop feeding your dog unhealthy treats and table-feeding. If you want to pamper your pet with something, pick up special treats and monitor the calorie content of her diet. If necessary, and after consulting a veterinarian, make adjustments to her menu. Dry food of famous brands, including Hills, have in their line of food for weight control. Perhaps it makes sense to transfer your pet to such food.
Vision, Hearing Skin, Nails all decay with the increasing age. Your dog needs your special attention now. The aging process can be slowed down. If you add proper vitamins and nutrients in the food of your dog. Moe over the proper exercise and skincare creams can play a role to stop the decaying process.