How long a dog will live depends a lot on his genes and breed. It’s an undeniable fact that we’re likely to outlive our furry friend.
Geriatric dog care can be a lot of work, but keeping our pooches happy and comfortable through their twilight years is the very least we can do. It’s in our power to make their life the best it can be.
Eager to learn more? Here are 10 tips for taking care of your senior dog:
Regular Vet Checkups
Senior dogs are much like senior people. As they grow older, their susceptibility to disease can increase. Regular vet checkups will ensure that any medical concerns are caught early.
Your vet will also ensure that your senior dog is up to date on his vaccinations.
Adjust Their Diet
A proper diet is important no matter your best friend’s age. However, certain adjustments will need to be made as they navigate their twilight years.
Specialized dog food designed for geriatric dog care is easier to digest. It also has the proper balance of calories and nutrients that are important for older dogs’ health.
Take Care of Their Teeth
Older dogs are prone to teeth problems. Brushing your best friend’s teeth may seem like overkill, but it can help prevent painful and costly tooth issues.
If brushing isn’t an option, then dental treats or toys are also a great way to keep your dog’s mouth healthy.
Keep Them Stimulated
Just as people can slow down or become senile in their old age, so do dogs.
Toys, food puzzles, and other activities are all a great way to keep their brains sharp as they age.
Be Mindful of Mobility
Old dogs, particularly larger breeds, can be prone to arthritis and other joint issues. Adjusting your routine by taking shorter or less strenuous walks can help keep them comfortable into their senior years.
Make Environmental Adjustments
Mobility issues can also affect the way your dog gets around the house.
Setting up a ramp over the stairs will help them navigate better. Also, make sure their food and water are easy to get to.
Switch Out Their Bed
Switching your dog’s bedding to something more comfortable will help relieve joint or other pain issues. Be mindful of their decreased mobility and ensure their bed is easy to get in and out of.
Geriatric dog care is as much about prevention as treatment.
Since older dogs’ immune systems aren’t what they used to be, it’s important that you keep up a strict parasite prevention regime. This will ensure they stay happy and healthy.
Watch Out for Behavior Changes
Changes in behavior can indicate a change in your pet’s health.
Senior pets, in particular, are prone to health concerns. Thus, it’s important to consult a vet at the first sign of any behavioral abnormalities.
The world can be an overwhelming place for a geriatric pooch. Some may develop mobility issues, sensory issues, or both. Giving them extra time to navigate the house or on walks is important for their comfort and well-being.
Geriatric Dog Care Is Worth It
Taking care of a senior pooch can be difficult, but it’s well worth it to see your best friend living his best life. By following these tips, you’ll ensure your dog sees through his twilight years as comfortably as possible.
Brushing up on health issues that could affect your older dog? Here are five common dog health issues to watch out for.