One of the most fulfilling things to do is to own a dog. Even so, as much as owning a furry friend can be fun, it comes with myriads of downsides.
One of the worst and unavoidable aspects of having a four-legged friend as part of your family is seeing them age rather swiftly. While the vast majority of dogs enter the senior age at around 6-7 years, some other breeds, mostly large dog breeds, become seniors relatively quickly.
But how can you know that your dog has become a senior one? First, your dog will start to gain weight rapidly. Other indications include difficulty in walking or running, wasting of the normal senses such as hearing and vision, difficulty in chewing, among others.
Due to this, you will have to manage your dog differently. The good news, however, is that these signs give you a clear indication of how you are supposed to handle your senior dog.
So, what next? It’s time to start adjusting your dog’s lifestyle. This, to some extent, involves adjusting your own lifestyle as well. All this is to ensure that your dog not only enjoys a comfortable life but a healthy one as well.
These pointers will give you a way forward in handling all the required changes as your dog graduates from a puppy to a senior.
1. Proper Dental Care
One of the most important things to consider when raising a dog is dental hygiene. The way you handle your dog’s teeth during senior age plays a crucial role too.
If you have been cleaning your dog’s teeth, it’s probably better to take your dog to a vet for regular dental cleaning. This way, you can prevent any onset of painful dental disease, and ensure that your dog chews properly.
2. Proper Nutrition
As mentioned before, senior dogs have myriads of problems. One of the most noticeable is dietary issues. These include obesity, difficulty chewing, loss of appetite, digestive issues, among others. This affects your dog’s overall nutrition.
In a bid to ensure that your senior dog is in an optimal healthy state, it’s advisable to visit your veterinary doctor to advise on the best dietary plan.
Due to the conditions of your elderly dog, you may have to add a little fiber to your dog’s diet. Additionally, you will also have to decrease your dog’s carbohydrate intake in order to maintain healthy body weight, by using such foods as Wellness Super5mix food for Senior Dogs.
3. Regular Exercise
Older dogs are quite similar to older adults. When it comes to exercise, senior dogs often experience pain in their joints while trying to enjoy different exercises.
While your senior dog will still be able to manage shorter walks, you will be required to keep a close watch on his breathing pattern and gait.
This is to ensure that the dog does not develop any other problems and complications.
4. Regular Checkups
For any ordinary dog, it’s essential that you ensure to take it, at least once per year, to the vet for check-ups. However, when it comes to your senior dog, you should ensure to schedule more frequent visits to the veterinary. But what’s the reason for this?
Unlike puppies, senior dogs are at far more danger to develop different age-related diseases. Therefore, regular visits to the vet ensure that these issues are detected and managed early enough.
5. Improved House Help
It goes without saying that house help is of utmost importance for any dog. This includes to dog-proof your house to prevent your dog from any harm.
For a senior dog, you will still have to senior-proof your entire house extensively, including your garden. These adjustments should ensure that your senior dog is also comfortable.
6. Increased Bed Rests
For obvious reasons, your dog will tend to sleep more often than usual. Due to this, you should ensure that your senior dog has a soft and comfortable pouch to sleep on. You should also ensure that the room your dog sleeps on is quiet and tranquil enough.
7. Ample Grooming
Just like puppies, grooming has immense benefits to your senior dog. You’ll, therefore, need to regularly groom your senior dog by brushing. In case your senior dog starts to shed its coat during summer, ensure to use a furminator to do away with the extra fur.
Grooming involves thorough body cleaning as well. To that extent, you should ensure to choose a shampoo that is made specifically for sensitive skin. This way, you can rest assured that your senior dog will not be susceptible to any skin diseases.