Is there anything more precious than a dog with graying hair? Senior dogs are wonderful companions, especially for owners who are unable to meet the expectations of a high-energy puppy. However, elderly dogs have their own set of difficulties.
Keeping up With Your Dog’s Veterinary Care as They Get Older
When your dog reaches his senior years, regular check-ups are more necessary than ever. Wellness visits allow your veterinarian to suggest pet care modifications that can help protect your dog’s health and detect problems before they become too costly or impossible to treat.
For elderly dogs, you should arrange wellness checks every six months. If it isn’t already, regular dental care should be a part of your dog’s routine. Dental problems can make it difficult for your dog to eat and lead to dangerous infections. Cleanings are recommended once a year to keep your dog’s teeth clean and detect dental problems before they become serious.
Getting Your Elderly Dog Around
Senior dogs are prone to arthritis. Arthritis inhibits your dog’s ability to move freely, just like it does in humans. Your dog may take a bit longer to walk, lose interest in jumping onto the couch, or groan as he settles into his bed.
In the life of an arthritic dog, slight modifications around the house can make a tremendous difference. Area rugs and stair treads assist your dog grasp hard surfaces, while pet stairs make it easy for him to jump into the car or onto furniture. An orthopedic dog bed cushions your pet’s aged joints against the hard floor when it’s time for bed.
The importance of exercise for arthritic dogs cannot be overstated. Exercise keeps your dog’s joints healthy and prevents further deterioration. It also keeps them from growing overweight and putting extra strain on their joints.
Diet Modifications for Senior Dogs
Exercising your older dog is only one element of keeping him trim. As senior dogs begin to slow down, portion control is essential to avoid weight gain. Adjusting your dog’s meals is an excellent place to start if he’s gaining weight. You should, however, reconsider what you feed your older dog.
Senior dogs require high-quality animal-based proteins in their diet—senior dogs who are overweight benefit from reducing their fat intake as well. If your dog is having difficulty chewing kibble due to dental issues, it may be time to transition to soft food.
Are you considering supplementing your senior dog’s diet? The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, as well as glucosamine and chondroitin, are very good for elderly dogs’ joints. Always check with your veterinarian before giving your dog vitamins.
Dementia in Senior Dogs: What to Do
Unfortunately, some senior dogs lose their cognitive abilities. Dogs with dementia may display signs of bewilderment, such as becoming disoriented in their own backyard or forgetting commands they’ve known for years. They may lose interest in exercise and play and begin to have accidents at home.
Dealing with canine dementia is both frightening and stressful, but there are methods to cope. In addition to speaking with your veterinarian about medication (and ruling out other health issues), you can confine your senior dog to easy-to-clean areas of the house and increase the number of trips outside to reduce accidents. Maintaining a consistent daily schedule is also beneficial. Make sure to incorporate fitness into your daily routine! Exercise helps dogs with dementia sleep better and provides crucial mental stimulation.
Living with a senior dog can be challenging, especially if you don’t have much free time to meet your dog’s growing needs. But it doesn’t mean you can’t be an excellent dog owner; you just need a little extra help! There’s no shortage of dog-loving experts who can assist your senior dog age gracefully, from dog walkers to poop scoopers.
Let Doggy Detail Help Today!
Doggy Detail is a professional dog waste removal service that currently serves Northern Cook County, Lake County, Eastern McHenry County, and Northern DuPage County. We provide dog waste removal, sanitizing scrubs, and deodorizing scrubs. Our company guarantees 100% satisfaction and makes it our business to treat customers and their pets like family. For any questions regarding our services, please contact us at your earliest convenience.