Senior Dog Care Guide for Dog Owners
Time flies before you know it, your puppy is now a senior. And senior dogs have different care requirements than puppies.
As they age, their mobility suffers, sight and hearing aren’t what they used to be, and they are prone to many health conditions.
Get some inspirations from our guide, this will make your senior dog happy and healthy, and keep you company for more years to come.
Best Routine for Senior Dogs
When dogs reach their senior years they start to slow down because of health conditions. But you can make a difference to help resume your senior dog’s active lifestyle.
Before starting a workout plan visit your vet to help you out with an effective exercise strategy.
Call on a canine rehabilitation specialist to check the strength, balance, and range of motion of Fido.
Start your dog walk with short, low-impact gaits on smooth surfaces. This should increase gradually, as long as the dog enjoys the exercise.
Go dog swimming will put less pressure on joints than running.
Dogs love a massage to reduce stiffness and joint discomfort.
Keeping Older Dogs Healthy
At 6-7 years old, Fido is considered a senior pet. In human years that is about 40 years old for a medium-size dog and 50 for a large one.
There will be health problems and behavioral changes. Understanding the symptoms and knowing how to deal with it will go a long way to keep your old friend healthy and happy.
Double up on Vet Visits
Early detection is a wonderful way to keep track of any medical condition. The vet will do a full exam, look for any unusual physical changes, evaluate hearing and eyesight, and carry out some lab tests.
Watch the weight
Excess weight will shorten the lifespan and expose Fido to ailments. Track your dog’s weight, reduce or increase intake depending on the heft.
Keep Fido active, but don’t overdo it
Muscles protect joints, without good muscle tension movement declines. Take Fido on long leisurely walks to keep him physically fit and entertained. Visit your canine rehabilitation specialist to tone those stiff muscles.
Show lots and lots of love
Love is medicine, happy moments with their pet parent is what they cherish most and are simple for us to deliver.
Senior Dog Care – Diet & Nutritional Needs
When your beloved pup ages the eating habits and nutritional needs change.
A serious problem among senior dogs is overweightness, as prevention, they need to be fed with low-calorie food. And to improve their gastrointestinal health, they should have high-fiber diets.
When it comes to snacks consider low fat, low sodium treats. Most dog owners would go for bones and milk cookies as munchies. Vegetables and fruits are great alternatives, dogs just love carrots and apples. No sharing of grapes and raisins, it is harmful to Fido’s health.
Make sure that your elderly dog has lots of water, their body’s ability to keep water decreases.
Your vet will assist you with a diet to treat medical conditions like diabetes, kidney failure, and liver disease. Heart disease issues require a low-calorie diet to keep the scale down and a lower-sodium formulation. Diabetic dogs need lower-fat, higher-fiber foods. A high-fiber diet will help senior dogs with constipation and keep it regular.
When Fido won’t eat check with your vet for any underlying condition. Home-cooked meals like chicken and barley or lamb and rice will entice him to eat and put in extra TLC and he will ask for seconds. The last resort is appetite stimulants at pet stores to help your dog eat.
Physical & Emotional Changes in Older Dogs
Physical changes aren’t the only things you would notice when Fido reaches the golden years, but also his behavior.
This is normal. Your dog is undergoing changes as he’s grown from puppy to adult to senior citizen. And each phase has its own humps and bumps, and joys.
Just like humans, the aging process affects dogs too, and as Fido ages, his body begins to fail him. Here are some common physical issues that you’ll notice in your senior dog.
Dogs just love eating and they never stop loving mealtime. But when they age they lose interest which is normal for a lot of reasons. But when it is abrupt there might be some underlying conditions which a vet can find out.
A walking limp from joint pain
In cases involving joints, there may be no external indication of injury. You’ll notice this by a change in his normal walk or he’s favoring a leg.
Also called nuclear sclerosis, it is normal for an aging dog to have cloudy eyes and it has minimal effect on vision. Fido will have difficulty seeing up close, going downstairs, or catching a treat.
The personality of your pup changes as he grows older.
His once confident demeanor changed into an anxious and fearful behavior. A door-bell or the sound of a washing machine might make him quiver and shake.
Fido doesn’t want to be petted instead he becomes ill-tempered and aggressive.
Dogs get depressed too and show this by moving his food away, feels tired, and not able to run and play.