No matter how much we love them, there comes the moment in time when we must accept the fact our beloved dog aged over the years. The change that comes with it is not just physical, it’s also on the inside, which is why we must observe the symptoms to prevent further damage. If nothing, we can at least reduce the risk of serious diseases. So, how and where to start? Well, we have you covered. Read on to get all the important details on how to deal with your dog aging.
What happens during aging?
One of the red flags is certainly the loss of energy and the fact that dogs aren’t as perceiving as they once were. It starts with the hearing problems, and then, one by one, issues arise. One of the serious problems is definitely diabetes but what scares us the most with aging dogs is actually the fear of them becoming obese.
The gaining depends on a variety of factors, the key one being the breed and the age. Traits play role in the aging process, but it’s a lifelong activity that determines how long your dog is going to live. Larger breeds get old faster, and smaller breeds live longer, but this doesn’t mean they’re spared. Health issues are much more common with smaller breeds, given how long they live, which means they require extra care in order to secure their health.
How to take care of a senior dog?
Taking care of your dog is not an easy task, and with age, the number of possible issues arises. Checking them up daily for signs can be exhausting, and sticking to the rules is not only hard for them, but also for you, as you’re realizing they’ll never be the way they were. Still, sticking to the tips is essential, which is why we found 8 tips that will help you deal with it. Remember, as long as you stick to the plan, your dog will be fine and will pass away without a pain.
1. Dog Dental Care
Something that owners tend to ignore, oral health requires regular checkups. This is not just about washing their teeth, but also, looking for alternative solutions to the issue. If it means you ought to fight them every now and then for their own good, do it. There is also an option of dental treats, which many consider a good solution for those dogs who tend to avoid having their teeth cleaned every day.
The training is not just for puppies. Senior dogs also require a special program that will keep them as active as possible, and as included in the activities as possible. This way, you’ll avoid the weight gain, and help them feel good again. Of course, you’ll have to adjust the training to the age and the limitations, but it definitely is something that should become a part of their day. Running may not be the option, but there are plenty of programs that will leave a positive impact on your dog.
3. Hygiene and grooming
When it comes to hair, the situation gets worse with time, and it isn’t much you can do about it. There is no treatment to prevent the hair from becoming brittle. Yet, there are shampoos that will at least ease the pain, and help you get through the brushing without them running away. Make sure to switch to skin-sensitive products as the external irritation can cause flaky and dry skin.
4. Comfort before practicality
Once they reach a certain age, even getting them into bed with you will be a tough task. Which is why doing things before time is the only solution to this problem. Whether it’s the new doggy ramp or the new bedding, your dog will be grateful. Having everything in one place will help them care about themselves when you’re away, and keeping the doors locked will prevent the accidents. Given dogs often go blind when older, consider arranging the furniture in a way they can easily access the rooms and don’t do it once they’re blind, as that’ll only perplex them.
5. Special Diet
Weight gain is one of the major issues with old dogs, especially because you got them used to a certain diet. The first thing you ought to realize is that your dog is no longer able to use the energy the food provides. Special treatment is not something that should be a bother, at least not with food, given there is a whole program dedicated to senior dogs, switching the diet should not be the problem. Make sure to consult with the vet before you make drastic changes, but in any case, be sure to make them once you notice your dog isn’t as playful as before.
6. Vet visits
Avoiding the problem doesn’t take the problem away. Regular checkups are mandatory, especially when the dog is old given that organs may still be saved, and the visit to the vet may prolong their life. Consider having a vet nearby when moving, as later you just won’t be as eager to drive your old pet as you are when they’re younger.
7. Flea Protection
When it comes to fleas and other parasites, they don’t just go away once your dog gets old. This is why treating the issue is not something you should skip on. Whether it’s the regular vaccine or the ointment that is to be applied, don’t shy away from it. The skin gets more irritated with years, and sometimes, it can cause serious external damage without you even noticing it.
When it comes to giving affection, older dogs are much more sensitive to it. Leaving them alone for too long can cause anxiety, and worsen the symptoms. This is why you ought to consider being in theory presence as much as possible. This way, you’ll help them get through the last period without them feeling abandoned or alone.