Is your once high energy puppy entering retirement? We do understand this heart-wrenching feeling in pet owners when their four legged baby slows down due to old age and abandons most of its spirited antics. You can’t reverse ageing but can reward your senior dog with a special diet for older canines and care during this golden phase of his/her life. Think beyond a run of the mill routine for the pet! We are here to help you with some points to practice, that’ll help you inject right doses of companionship and happiness to make this final-stage a fulfilling one.
1. Your senior dog needs your company all the more now: Elaborating the importance of companionship as a quencher for emotional thirst and loneliness is vital. An old dog may not be able to accompany you on long walks. Perhaps ways in which you spent time together have diminished but you still got to be around your dog for keeping its body and mind healthy.
2. Avoid any drastic change in its routine: Aged dogs find it really tough to break old habits. Sometimes even a small shift in routine can be disconcerting and trigger depression/mood swings. The reason for this is a decrease in stress-fighting hormones at this stage of life. Avoid changing its environment or routine. This means any long distance journey you’ll have to make sans your beloved pet. In your absence it mustn’t be made to shift to a doggie boarding, get some relative or pet sitter to fill in your absence.
3. Exercise the pooch but in moderation: Ageing does play spoilsport when it comes to play sessions and other forms of physical activity. But old dogs certainly need to be exercised albeit in moderation. Inactivity can lead to piling on excess weight and related problems like joint pain and arthritis. Obesity does greater damage by shortening your dog’s lifespan.
4. Oral health needs attention: Periodontal disease, tooth decay and tooth loss are serious concerns for a dog at any stage of his life. Canines 10 years and above are at a risk of facing greater damaging effects of improper dental care. Veterinary Dr. Fred Metzger formed a report on Senior Dogs and explained how tartar build up leads to gingivitis and further elaborated how the bacteria enters the animal’s blood stream damaging its organs. Therefore regular brushing at least thrice a week is recommended for the canine. Always use a tooth paste prepared for dogs. In case your dog has aversion for a tooth brush, use dental sprays on its teeth especially the ones that are infected. Dental sprays effectively tackle bad breath causing bacteria and tartar build up. Dental treats, dog chews, and chew toys are some ways to scrape plague off a dog’s teeth while it plays or gorges on some yummy edibles and satisfies its inherent chewing instinct.
5. RegularPet grooming: When dogs grow old obviously they spend lot of time lying down on one side or the other. If the dog has long hair the fur gets tangled on these spots. Also old age makes the pet more susceptible to skin infections. Therefore daily hair brushing and regular trimming are two things not to be skipped and can save the dog from aforementioned issues. Regarding the frequency of baths, your vet can guide you as per your dog’s breed type. Another area that requires your attention is nails. Pets that are active grind their nails against the ground. However elderly dogs with a more sedentary lifestyle may lack this quality requiring you to clip their nails after every few weeks.
6. Regular vet check-ups mustn’t be missed: The American Animal Hospital Association recommends vet check-ups at intervals of six months for senior dogs. Most diseases when detected early on can be effectively treated. Also your dog’s vet can help you understand if your pet’s breed is predisposed to certain ailments like arthritis, diabetes or any other health issue and thereafter will discuss symptoms you need to look out for. Also let the doctor guide you on things like ideal diet and food quantity for your four legged oldie.
All these tips are only directed towards one goal and that is making your senior more comfortable, happy and healthy in its old age.
Article Resource: https://iheartdogs.com/5-things-your-senior-dog-needs-more-of/