How to Care for a Senior Dog
When your pet reaches senior age, that’s always a bit of sadness getting deep inside your heart. Of course, dogs are far from being the longest-living pets, and the grey hair on their bodies means that you’ll have to accept your new reality without your friend soon. Unfortunately, humans can’t change nature yet. However, you can do whatever is possible to make the elder life of your dog as comfortable as it should be. And that’s not too challenging.
Additionally, there are much more guides on puppy keeping than on caring for senior dogs available online. This article was written to try to fix that issue. Here are five main recommendations on making the life of your senior dog easier.
Little to No Stress
Here everything works for dogs just like it does for humans. More stress factors for the body mean higher pressure for all the organs and systems. So, stress minimization is the first measure to take if you want to increase your senior don’s chances to live longer and happier.
Dogs feel stressed when they’re hungry or when they need to deal with too much cold or heat and when feeling severe pain. Additionally, it’s challenging for a dog to stay separated from its keeper. The older your pet is, the more serious threats these factors become for it.
Balanced and Suitable Eating
Senior dogs are vulnerable to low-quality food, just like puppies or pregnant and feeding female dogs. The special requirement list for good senior dog food is next:
- Easy to chew – elder dogs frequently have troubles with teeth
- Supportive for joints – one of the greatest problems for a senior dog is arthritis
- Simpler to digest – this is the reason to find the best senior dog food for sensitive stomach you can afford because other ones are too “heavy” for your pet’s intestine
- Balanced to control weight – overweight is frequent for senior dogs, which is the additional stress and risk factor
Make sure you buy food only supplied by reliable brands offering product lines for senior pets. Additionally, the local distributor should be certified and authorized to sell the products by your chosen brand. It’s better not to save money on your senior dog’s eating menu.
Stable & Comfortable Environment
Dogs overall, and senior ones, in particular, are quite vulnerable to environmental factors, such as sudden temperature changes, excessive humidity, and draughts. In case you keep the dog in the yard, don’t forget to let it in the house to warm up in winter. Also, set something there to cover your pet from heat. Finally, keep an eye on humidity: don’t leave your dog in a wet environment for too much time.
The point is, any dog’s immune system gets weaker as they grow old. It’s more difficult for senior pets to resist infections and environmental changes as a result. And their health suffers from that.
Here are the most common symptoms to understand that your dog’s environment isn’t alright: cough, getting cold, weak joints, and neuralgia. Keep an eye on the conditions around your pet. And try to avoid any sudden or rapid changes.
Excessive pounds that your senior dog needs to carry all the time cause not only joint issues for it. Overweight causes additional strain on the heart, lungs and other organs made to function intensively.
So, there is no way for senior dog keepers to feed their pets with random staff from their own table. In case you want to pamper your beloved pet friend, you better buy special dog delicacies instead. It is critical to keep an eye on the calories that your dog consumes. If necessary, consult your veterinarian and find dog food for senior dogs with sensitive stomach able to help you control your pet’s weight.
Locomotor system troubles are almost 100% features of older dogs. The slow movement, pain due to arthritis and joint tissue degeneration, and other serious health problems can complicate their life a lot.
It is crucial for a keeper to prevent their dog from intense running, and especially high jumping. Make sure your pet won’t be able to jump off high surfaces anywhere because that’s dangerous for senior dogs. Too much strain put on joints will most probably complicate troubles already existing for it. This is especially relevant if you own a dog of large breeds (shepherds, Labradors, Rottweilers, etc.).
A senior dog requires special care. If you want to help your pet to live the final stage of its life happily and comfortably, keep an eye on strains you put on its body, make sure you picked the best food for senior dogs, don’t allow it to jump and run too intensively, and keep an animal in a comfortable and stable environment.
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