They say there are two types of people: cat people and dog people. If you are a dog lover, then you understand how deep your passion for your four legged friends can run. As the old saying goes, dog is man’s best friend. As your dog ages he or she may lose a bit of their pep, which is why it is important to make sure that you are doing everything you can for your aging furry companion. As your pet grows old, you’ll have to do much more than playing fetch, going for walks, and carrying pet waste bags. They were always there for you, now it’s your turn to return the favor for your older pet.
If you’re worried about your dog’s advanced age, here are four tips for caring for aging dogs:
Choose Age Appropriate Food for your Four Legged Friend
Dietary needs may change as your once young puppy advances in doggy years. It’s very important that your older canine has a diet that is suitable for their senior status. Older pets can have a tendency to put on weight due to lower activity levels and may require a different diet than younger, more active dogs. Some pets may also face issues maintaining their weight and may require an eating routine with a higher calorie intake or better or more diverse flavor. Your veterinarian can help you to pick a customized eating routine for your aging dog.
Your Older Pet May Have Trouble Getting Around Like they Used to
While you will always see the energetic puppy that was bounding through the doggy playground, barely giving you enough time to bust out the pet waste bags, the truth is that your aging pet doesn’t have the same energy they used to. Your older dog may have pain because of joint inflammation or other medical problems that make it harder for him to get around. Those areas in your home that once served as dog playground equipment can easily turn into a canine obstacle course. Consider creating doggy ramps or stairs to allow your senior doggy to more easily get onto furniture or beds. Another tip is covering slippery floors, which may make it harder for your dog to maintain their balance.
As Your Pet Ages, Vet Visits Become More Important
While it is always important to take care of your pet’s health, as your pet ages, maintaining regular vet visits becomes even more imperative. Make sure that your pet has standing appointments with your veterinarian. According to the leading vets, senior dogs should be seen at least twice a year if they are in general good health. For dogs that may have a history of illness, the number of visits per year should be significantly more than healthy dogs. Careful physical examinations by your veterinarian have the possibility of uncovering medical problems that can affect your pet’s life span.
Take Changes in Behavior Seriously
Just like humans, as your pet ages things may change. Sadly, many senior dogs will suffer from incontinence. Keeping pet waste bags handy, even inside, may become necessary. Likewise, seniors dogs’ behavior can change quickly in other ways. While many of these are expected in old age, monitoring your senior pooch’s temperament is very important. In fact, keeping track of your pet’s mood is important at any stage in their development. Changes in your dog’s behavior might be a sign of disease, depression, or chronic pain. Pay careful attention for changes in your puppy’s appetite and water intake, too. Occasionally check pet waste bags to see if their stool is off. In the event that your dog abruptly ends up bad tempered for unknown reasons, he or she might be dealing with pain, experiencing issues with sight, or experiencing serious joint difficulties. Any adjustments in your senior pet’s habits should prompt a visit to your veterinarian.
From the day you bring your puppy home in the dog crates to the day they leave you, make sure to do everything you can to ensure that they have a life well lived.