With the right type of care most dogs are able to live complete and happy lives.
It’s an unfortunate fact that our adored pets never seem to live long enough, although each breed has different life spans. While taking care of your aging dog you need to adapt their environment for comfort. As our dogs get older, they develop aches, joint pain, generalized weakness and an almost definite increase in medical problems.
Adjust his surroundings to minimize discomfort. Protect him from excessive heat and cold. No one likes to sit in a draught do they? We need to remember that older dogs really can’t regulate their body temperature as well as they could when they were young.
Try to give your dog regular exercise – it will have a positive benefit for you too! Make sure your dog’s health matches his exercise routine. If your dog shows signs of heavy panting or opposes exercise you need to change his routine. Alternate a longer walks with shorter ones and games of fetch the ball.
Adapt his diet and feeding schedule to his needs. As dogs age they are less active and need fewer calories. Although prescription diets are available, well known brands that cater for older dogs are generally fine. If you think that your dog would benefit from something more specialized then discuss this with your veterinarian.
Older dogs can experience hearing loss and declining eyesight. Bear this in mind when around the house but especially when walking, crossing roads and particularly when he is off the lead.
Senior dogs require special dental care. They are more likely to develop gum problems and disease. Through an accumulation of dental plaque. Complete dental cleaning should be performed by your vet every six months which does require anesthesia. Definitely a case of prevention is better than cure.
Older dogs need extra bathing and grooming. Dry skin can be a normal part of aging or it can be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Consider giving Omega 3 supplements to help with dry skin and overall conditioning. They also require more frequent nail trimming.
Take into consideration his age in human years. If he is 13 in dog years, he may suffer the same aging ailments as a 75 year old human.
Continue with bi-annual vet exams. Senior dogs need extra care with their aging problems.
Give his life quality! Keep those memories alive!