Your faithful friend has been with you for many years and is just beginning to show a little age. Nothing serious, and there are still plenty of miles on the clock, but you should start treating your dog differently. Here are some ideas to help you prolong your dog’s active life
changes in older dogs
As a dog matures, hearing and vision can be affected, and the ability to smell and taste can also be affected.
Problems with the digestive system of older dogs are common. Poor dental hygiene can prevent food from being processed properly before it enters the digestive system. Infections in the mouth can cause a buildup of toxins in the body, leading to digestive disorders that lead to diarrhea and vomiting.
Joints and muscles can ache preventing the dog from moving as nimbly as before. You will probably need less exercise. Where once your dog was eager to chase after a ball or Frisbee, a leisurely walk may now suffice.
In older dogs, the efficiency of the lungs decreases, causing less oxygen to enter the body. Oxygen is essential for the renewal of the body’s cells, which is why older dogs may be more likely to develop respiratory infections.
Older dogs are more prone to stress. Changes in routine or diet can contribute to this, as well as illness and neglect. If there are small children in the house, help them understand that your dog needs peace and quiet and that he cannot be expected to play like a puppy.
Is there any action I can take?
I bet there is. A good quality balanced diet, with special vitamin supplements and regular gentle exercise, can be of vital importance in prolonging an active and healthy life for your dog.
senior dog feeding
As dogs age, nutritional needs change. In general, they need fewer calories and may also require other changes to their diet, especially if they are beginning to develop any diseases associated with aging (such as kidney or heart disease). Your vet will be able to tell you about specific illnesses, but in general you should feed less and you should consider switching to a complete food specifically for older dogs.
This is a time when you’ll need to watch your dog’s weight carefully to prevent the spread of midlife! Older dogs should not be fatter than young adults. Because they are more prone to arthritis and other conditions, being overweight is very bad for the older dog.
Giving your dog treats throughout the day, especially as a reward for good behavior or training, is good, however remember to compensate by slightly reducing the amount of main meals each day.
Do not change your dog’s diet suddenly, consult your veterinarian about the ideal food and the necessary supplements for older dogs.
Feeding your dog a good quality balanced diet will go a long way in reducing the risk of arthritis. Try to find a food that contains a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate that provide the body with the necessary nutrients for cartilage repair and function. Such foods usually also contain antioxidants to support a strong and healthy immune system.
Remember to try to keep your dog at an ideal weight. Arthritis is a much bigger problem in obese pets. If your dog is overweight, a strict diet can be beneficial by helping to reduce the workload on bones and joints, but consult with your veterinarian on how to achieve healthy weight loss.
dealing with arthritis
Just like us, dogs are at risk of developing joint problems, especially arthritis. This is more common in some breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and Rottweilers.
When dogs have arthritis, they show symptoms such as being less active, having trouble getting up or lying down, being reluctant to go up or down stairs, or limping. Some dogs slow down a lot when they move.
Exercise for arthritic dogs.
Provide moderate amounts of exercise daily. Moderate exercise can actually help some dogs by strengthening muscles and ligaments, reducing the potential and risk of injury. Arthritis requires special care, so consult your veterinarian who will recommend an appropriate exercise program.
How to help a dog with joint problems
Non-slip floors. Wood and tile floors are slippery and can be very difficult for arthritic dogs to navigate. strategic placement of rugs and/or mats will help ensure your dog’s balance. This can help prevent slipping and injury, cheaper than a vet bill.
Soft bedding can help support bones and joints, making your pet more comfortable. This can be especially important in lean dogs where bony prominences are likely to rub against hard surfaces. Some beds are made especially for dogs with arthritis, such as water beds, hammocks, and beds with lots of extra cushions.
More general tips
1) Your dog may need a little extra grooming to help maintain a healthy coat and skin
2) Older dogs should be kept indoors where it is warm at night and not left outside to face the elements.
3) Changes as a dog ages are usually gradual, but it’s important to be aware of these changes as early as possible because early diagnosis and treatment can prolong your dog’s ability to lead an active life. good quality well into old age. Regular physical and dental checkups by your vet can keep an eye out for ailments that may occur at this time in his life.
4) Dog training is still important to keep him interested and alert
I hope these suggestions help you and your dog.