By the time your dog is seven they are classified as a senior pet. Aging happens so fast in your dog’s life. It can be difficult to think about it, but eventually, your vigorous, energetic pup will become a senior dog. Of course, the specific age at which your pup becomes “senior” varies with the breed and size of your dog. Smaller dogs age slower than larger ones. The needs of aging dogs change and are much different than those of their younger counterparts. An aging dog is not as energetic as they once were, and they are also less mobile. You may notice that their hearing and eyesight begin to deteriorate. Aging dogs are typically more susceptible to disease than younger pups. Let’s take a look at five tips for caring for your aging dog.
Tip 1: Watch Their Diets
As your dog ages, they may have more challenges with food. They may start to exhibit problems with chewing. Obesity is more of a problem in older dogs. Or, they may start to lack an appetite altogether. Since they are less active than they used to be, they will need fewer calories. Your dog’s diet may need to be adjusted to help them maintain a healthy weight and muscle mass. Also, having a good diet will help ensure their immune system remains strong and functioning correctly. If your dog becomes overweight, they may become predisposed to various diseases and joint issues as they age. Talk to your vet about supplements like fish oil or glucosamine that can be beneficial in treating joint issues.
Tip 2: Frequent Vet Visits
Of course, it is important that all pets see their vets regularly. But it is more necessary for senior dogs. Aging dogs become more predisposed and susceptible to diseases than younger dogs. Regularly scheduled visits to the vet can often help diagnosis diseases earlier, which means timely treatment can begin. This allows you to manage your dog’s health more effectively. It’s suggested that senior dogs visit the vet at least every six months. Regular blood work, dental care, and exams will help the vet track your dog’s health more easily.
Tip 3: Maintain Oral Health
As your dog gets older, you’ll want to pay even more attention to their oral health. Dental issues can cause tooth loss and pain. They can also make chewing their food more difficult. Continue to brush your dog’s teeth daily to ensure their teeth and gums stay healthy. If you cannot brush their teeth, then provide them with dental toys and treats that can help. Ask your vet for suggestions.
Tip 4: Continue an Exercise Routine
Even though your aging dog may not have the energy they used to have, it becomes more important for them to exercise regularly. As a matter of fact, exercise becomes more essential to their health. Regular movement and activities will help keep their muscles healthy and strong. Exercise helps keep their joints healthy, improves their mood, stimulates their appetite, and prevents obesity. If they have trouble getting up, or have difficulty with their joints, a medical lift harness can be helpful for helping get them up and moving. The BrilliantK9 harness and lift harness can help with balancing and lifting aging dogs safely. Make sure to round your dog’s back when getting them up and moving. Arching their backs will cause injury.
Tip 5: Make Changes to Your Home to Accommodate Your Aging Dog
Aging dogs often develop various bone and joint issues. This can limit their mobility and range of motion. If your dog’s sight begins to deteriorate, they may have trouble navigating your home’s furnishings. You may need to make some adjustments in your home to accommodate these and other changes. You may get them a special bed that is easier to access, for example.
BrilliantK9 has a wide variety of harnesses, leashes, toys and personalized crate pads to help you care for your aging dog. Let us know what you need!