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Things to Consider When Taking Care of a Senior Dog

Senior dogs can be a handful for any dog owner. They require a lot of love and patience, owing to the massive body and mental changes. Because of their weakening body and immune system, you must adjust their diet and incorporate the best-canned food for senior dogs.

If you have or want to adopt a senior dog, know it requires a lot of time and money to take care of them. . Your dog's happy, healthy face will make the saddest person brighten up.

Are you looking for tips to best take care of your senior dog? Here are a few to direct you to the right path.


Maintaining an Exercise Routine

Regular exercise will benefit your dog's general health while keeping them at their appropriate weight. Senior dogs not regularly exercised are most likely to suffer from severe arthritis, heart-related diseases, or diabetes. One can also tame frailty syndrome in your pet through exercise, as they maintain their muscle mass, which drives their metabolism.

Even though your dog is older, play, have fun, and take walks with it. However, require additional motivation to continue being active. Don't push them to overdo it, instead, take their lead regarding how long the activities should last.

Depending on your schedule, your dog's breed, dietary needs, health needs, and vet's advice, you can create a well-working exercise regime for your dog. You can also hire a professional pet nanny to care for your senior dog. Other people regularly make physical therapy appointments for their dogs to improve their muscle and joint strength.

Feed the Right Diet, Based on Individual Needs

Feeding your dog a balanced diet is paramount, especially during old age. While feeding your dog, please limit the fat and calorie intake to prevent the dog from developing unhealthy weight gain and inflammation.

It also requires senior dog owners to limit unhealthy dog treats that they give their dogs. Treats like peanut butter and cheese are dog favorites that should be avoided at all costs; Instead, look for soft food for old dogs. You must also feed your senior dog with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods.

Not sure if you are feeding your dog maximum nutrient value from their daily diet? You can supplement their food intake using supplementary tablets. But, consult a vet before buying the supplements, as they recommend the best brand for your pup.

It also, ensure your senior dog takes lots of fluids. Old dog owners should make it simpler for their aging puppies to locate a water bowl. If your pet has problems remembering where any particular water bowl could be, you might need to place more water bowls around the house. It also, associating a specific color with water bowls is an added way of helping your dog remember them.

Regularly check the old pup's fecal waste for any irregularities. You can check the color, thickness of the fecal matter, and how many times they defecate daily. If you notice something abnormal, If you do notice anything abnormal, seek a vet's help.

Maintaining Good Dental Hygiene

A dog's dental health must be taken seriously from a young age. Senior dogs can suffer from severe dental problems if they are not well cared for. Such issues can involve missing teeth, cracked teeth, and gum diseases. However, It is, however, not uncommon to detect a dog having missing teeth from a very young age.

To maintain your dog's oral hygiene, brush their teeth regularly using toothpaste and a thumb brush while making circular movements. You can also use dental chews to help with that, as the chews scrap the teeth, working as well as toothbrushes. It also, always take your dog to the vet to get their teeth checked and fixed.

Signs of Dental Problems in Your Dog

Here are the five most common signs

● They show less interest in food, dehydrated, hard foods
● They drool a lot, well, more than usual
● They chew food much slower than normal
● They hate it when touched around the mouth area
● Nasty breath, especially in the morning.

Make Grooming a Priority

Older dogs may have a more challenging time grooming themselves than other dogs, as they may strain too hard to reach some areas. It also, as they age, their skin and fur become dull. The skin becomes flaky, dry, lumpy and irritated. The shiny coat has also affected it, becoming brittle and dull.

To combat this, the pet parents should schedule regular bath times for their aged pets. A mild shampoo is advisable to use to nourish the skin and fur. This time is also excellent for bonding between you and your dog.

After a good bath, gently brush their fur to remove any tangles and give a good haircut around the eye, nose and ear areas. Do not trim the nail too short because doing so could cut sensitive nerve endings and blood vessels. It also, clip long ingrown claws, as they can get stuck to surfaces, hurting the dog.

Making Regular Checkup Visits to the Vet

Dogs, unlike humans, cannot talk. It becomes tough to define a dog's problem unless you are looking. Therefore, paramount to take regular checkups as a preventative measure.

These checkups can be monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually. During these visits, blood work is done, as well as oral health checks. Blood work helps define the state of organ function of the kidneys and liver of your senior dog.

Checkups form an excellent medical history for your dog. One is also able to identify silent diseases from an early stage which allows, for better medical intervention. It also, gives a dog owner peace of mind, knowing their dog has a clean bill of health.

Standard diagnostic tests your senior dog is likely to undergo are;

● Fecal tests
● Urinalysis
● Thyroid function testing
● Blood testing of heartworms
● Complete blood count of both the red and white blood cells, as well as platelets
● CHEM screenings

Keep Up With Vaccination Schedules

Due to irregular grooming, old dogs are likely to suffer from lice, fleas and ticks. Thus, vaccinations are vital. Senior dog vaccinations may not be as standard as vaccination for other dogs, occurring at least once every three years. You should consult a vet on vaccination and make necessary changes to vaccination depending on individual needs.

Be Flexible With Your Dogs Changing Needs

Start with giving your elderly dog a lovely, cozy bed, ideally somewhere warm, peaceful, and accessible without mounting steps. Warmth is paramount, as older dogs struggle to control their body temperature compared to younger dogs.

They are more susceptible to overheating and humidity than younger dogs, so keep them out of those situations by using a warm bed.

Accessibility is also important, as the bathroom needs of your senior pet may change as they age and necessitate more frequent trips; they should have easy access to the garden.

Always keep your floors clean and uncluttered, as senior dogs suffering vision loss are likely to stumble on things on the floor area and hurt themselves.

For dogs suffering from arthritis, ensure that your house is fitted with ramps to suit their needs instead of making them walk over stairs.

You can also purchase elevated food bowls for your dog to prevent them from straining their necks while eating and drinking.

Play Games that Simulate Brain Function

Mental illness among senior dogs is also common. Dogs may suffer from mental diseases such as dementia, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and phobias. Parents of old dogs are advised to play some brain games to stimulate brain activity, thus preventing or slowing down the development of these ailments. Such games involve puzzle toys and scavenger hunt games.

Signs Your Dog is Suffering From Mental Health Issues?

● Aggressively barking at its owner
● Chasing its tail
● Loss of appetite
● Unhealthy changes in weight. It could be weight gain or weight loss.
● Excessive drooling
● Pacing and air snapping
● Isolating itself from other dogs.

Spend Time With Your Dog

Living in the moment and savoring every moment spent with your senior dog is an excellent decision that will allow you to give your dog love and assurance. It can be very upsetting to see your pet dog go through all these changes that come with old age and have no way of helping them.

However, you must understand that this is a stage all living creatures go through, including humans. Therefore, take the best care of your pets, and offer them every ounce of love, and you will have no regrets when he is all gone.

Final Thoughts

A senior dog may experience loss of sight, hearing loss, arthritis, dementia and other complications. As scary as it sounds, aging is a normal and natural process, and if dog owners give their dogs the necessary care, their aging process will be graceful and enjoyable.

Above all needs that a senior dog is likely to have, the most important one is getting maximum love and attention from its owner.

Have you been an old dog parent before? How was your experience?

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