How to Take Care of Elderly Dogs
Aging is a normal part of live for every living species on earth, and our canine companions are no exception to this universal fact. When you start to notice a few grays in their muzzle, it’s fair to say your loved child is knocking on the doors of its senior stage of life.
All dogs don’t reach seniority at the same age. Aging in dogs vary as per the dog’s breed and their characteristics. As dogs set a foot in to their senior age, they all go through both physical and behavioral changes. This is the time when your canine requires you the most. They need your attention and special care.
This blog briefs you on some of the tried and tested ways of taking care of senior dogs. Read on to explore more.
Understand their ‘Changes’ first
As a dogs start to grow old, they experience various bodily as well as psychological changes. Some of the changes may not be readily noticeable, but become evident as the dog gets older. Here are a few physical and behavioral changes in aging dogs:
- Impaired Vision or cloudy eyes
- Lethargy and tiredness
- Decreased appetite
- Bad breath
- Noticeable change in weight
- Inadequate sleeping patterns
- Excessive barking
As parents, we first need to understand and adopt these changes to help them make peace with their growing age.
Ways to take care of senior dog
Significantly different from a young and growing dog, old dogs have a different set of requirements, that needs special attention and care. Here are a few simple ways to take care of aging dogs:
Diet Suitable to their age
Aging dogs no longer carry the same digestive abilities as to the younger ones. In fact, senior dogs carry a risk of developing obesity due to lack of physical work-out. This is why it is crucial to pay special attention to what we give them to eat.
Senior dog’s diet should include fewer calories, minimum fat, and maximum nourishment. Check with your vet for the precise nutritional requirements of your senior dog.
Physical Work out
Daily physical exercise helps your senior dog up with their ideal weight. Take them for walks, or light jogs, play fetch, or whichever game they enjoy. Regular exercise not only keeps aging dogs fit, but it keeps both their body and mind busy and boosts their confidence.
Regular Vet visits
As dogs get older, their immune system gets weaker and they become prone to illnesses. Seeing a veterinarian on a regular basis is a key to preventing all major illnesses. Even if you don’t sense any ailment in your senior canine, give your vet a visit at least every 3-4 months to keep up with your canine’s health and wellness.
Maintain Oral Hygiene
Poor oral health leads to many illnesses. At worst, compromised oral hygiene may lead to organ damage as well. This is why maintaining oral hygiene and taking care of your senior dog’s dental health is crucial to their well-being. Brush their teeth regularly, give them dental treats, or take them to a vet dentist more often.
Vaccines and Parasitic Treatments
To prevent your aging dog from health consequences, it is vital to keep up with your growing dog’s vaccination schedule. Moreover, old dogs are easy targets for various blood-sucking parasites like fleas, ticks, and worms. Provide your senior dogs with appropriate parasitic protections. BudgetPetCare carries a wide range of flea, tick and worm treatments from popular brands such as Nexgard, Frontline Plus, Simparica Trio, Bravecto, and many more. Check with your vet to get one for your senior dog.
What once used to be a lustrous, shinier coat becomes dull as a dog grows old. Their skin becomes dry and itchy if not provided with appropriate grooming. Brush your senior dog’s fur daily; take them for their regular grooming sessions. Use dog grooming products, such as skin care shampoos and conditioners to maintain their skin and coat health.
Give them your time
As your dog ages, it goes through several changes. The best thing we as pet parents can to during this stage of their lives is, give them our time and relive old memories making the most of their remaining days. Senior dogs are prone to anxiety. If they don’t find loving guardians around them, it even gets difficult for them to cope up with their stress and loneliness. So, make efforts to spend as much time as you can with your senior dog and give them your love and care.
Aging is an unavoidable fact of canine life. Seeing our best friend struggle through its later stages of life can be painful at times. But we can reduce the pain of our aging canines by incorporating the methods mentioned in this blog to help their transition to their golden years smoother, healthier and most importantly, happier.
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