Having a dog as a companion can be a life-fulfilling experience especially if you get to spend years with that dog by your side. Watching your pet grow from a puppy to a senior dog can be completely rewarding, especially if you’re able to watching him grow and thrive through all stages of life.
Caring for a dog throughout each life stage requires specific knowledge and skills. By learning about how to care for a dog at each age, you can ensure your dog has a healthy, happy life, no matter how old he is.
If you have a senior dog, check out the following health information. These tips can help ensure that your senior dog is adequately cared for and that the last stage of his life is comfortable and enjoyable.
Switch Up Your Dog’s Food
When your dog becomes a senior, he’ll probably move around less. He’ll probably also need more nutrients to keep him healthy and strong. Switch up your dog’s food to a senior-specific food. Senior foods are packed with nutrients to make sure your dog is getting the appropriate amount of nutrition. They may also be lower calorie, so your dog doesn’t gain weight while living a slower lifestyle.
As your dog slows down, it’s important to keep playing with, exercising and walking him. Moving around can not only help keep your dog limber and eliminate stiffness and soreness but also ensure that he expends enough calories not to gain weight — and that he stays stimulated and happy. Walks might be slower and play time might be less rough, but they’re both still an important part of your dog’s daily routine. If your dog seems to be in pain or limping, and this is stopping him from enjoying enough physical activity, take him to the vet to get checked out. A vet may be able to detect arthritis or another condition making him physically uncomfortable and then prescribe medication to help.
Clean Your Dog’s Teeth
Your pooch’s teeth should always be kept clean. This means that you should schedule regular cleanings at your vet’s office (and try to do some daily brushing at home). When you have a senior dog, this becomes even more important. Dental health for dogs has a strong effect on their body. If teeth become rotten and infection develops in the mouth, it can spread to the blood and other organs in the body — and this can be extremely damaging or fatal. Make sure you focus on cleaning your senior dog’s teeth at home, and keep taking him in to the vet for professional cleanings. That way you can avoid any dental disease or any of the effects it can take on your dog’s body.
Go to the Vet More Regularly
When you have a senior dog, one annual checkup probably isn’t enough. Make sure you go to the vet multiple times per year to get your pooch checked out. Regular vet visits will ensure that the vet catches any health conditions as they arise. This means that he can treat them or stop them from progressing before they take a toll on your senior dog’s body. The vet can catch uncomfortable conditions like Cushing’s disease and prescribe helpful medications like Vetoryl.
Having a senior dog can be rewarding but also challenging. By learning how to take care of the health of a senior dog, you can ensure that your pet thrives and is a loving companion for as long as possible.
Listed below are some helpful resources referenced in the article: