Tips for Caring for a Senior Dog
As dogs age, some require special care and more supervision. Small dogs are considered senior when they are 7 years old, while larger ones are considered senior at 6. Your pup may develop health issues in their later years, many of which can be similar to older adults. Some common health issues can include heart disease, cancer, arthritis, liver disease, and diabetes. This article will provide you some great tips on caring for a senior dog.
A proper diet is essential to maintaining good health as your dog ages. Talk to your vet about the best food for your dog. Watching your dog’s carbohydrate consumption will help keep him at a healthy weight. If your dog suffers from arthritis, you can add glucosamine-rich foods or fish oil to help with joint pain. Incorporating a high fiber dog food into your pet’s diet can help to aid with digestion. When on-the-go, be sure to bring water to keep your dog hydrated. Our WaterBoy makes this easy!
Even if your dog is eating healthier food, it is still important to maintain good dental hygiene. Be sure you brush your dog’s teeth on a regular basis and have them cleaned when they visit the vet. Good dental hygiene will help ensure your dog is not at risk for gum disease or tooth decay.
Senior dogs can suffer from incontinence issues and may need to relieve themselves more often. Talk to your vet to see if there are any appropriate drug therapies for your dog. Your dog may also experience other behavioral issues as he or she ages. These behavior changes can include confusion, increased reaction to noises, disorientation, increased irritability and aggression. Noticing any sudden behavior changes can be an indicator that they are experiencing a medical issue. Be sure to talk to your vet at the first sign of behavior changes.
You will likely notice changes in your dog’s physical abilities as they age. Your dog may not run as fast or prefer taking shorter walks. It is important to watch his breathing while exercising to see if they have any issues. You can help keep your dog’s mind sharp with interactive things such as food puzzles. In addition, our Twistep helps provide lower stress access to vehicles for your aging dog.
Providing your dog with a healthy diet, good oral hygiene, and exercise will help them in their golden years. Reporting any sudden changes in behavior, including eating habits, to your vet can help catch any issues before they become too serious.