Basic Care For Elderly Dogs

June 5, 2018

Animals age just like people do. As the years go by, the owners need to pay more attention to them. In the following article, you can find out how to care for an elderly dog and provide him the best quality of life possible as he lives out this stage. help him live this stage in live in the best possible way.

Guide to caring for an elderly dog

An animal is considered to be elderly once he turns 10 years old. This is true even if he still looks young and energetic. Little by little, his body, habits and movements will change. He will walk slower, eat less, and spend more time sleeping.

caring for an elderly dog

During this last stage of life (although he can reach the age of 15), the changes in his behavior go along with his physical appearance.  Just like people, elderly dogs have gray hair, suffer from arthritis, and their senses begin to diminish. Your responsibility as an owner is to make the effects of aging less abrupt or painful. Pay attention to the following to care for an elderly dog:

1. Take care of his diet

As soon as they reach a certain age, pets start having different nutritional needs. Check with the vet to find out which diet is best for your dog. You’ll probably have to buy low-fat dog food, or one made specifically for “senior” dogs. Both have fewer calories and are usually softer (helpful for when they start losing their teeth).

If you notice your canine not drinking enough water, you can mix a little broth or milk into his food (this also is good for making the food softer). Another option is to give him wet food. Do not give him anything that requires gnawing with his teeth, because they will become weaker. This means no bones or treats.

2. Analyze his physical appearance

An elderly dog should not be obese. Obesity can cause many disease and problems with his bones and muscles. Likewise, check with the vet if you notice him losing weight quickly.

3. Don’t forget about having him exercise

Allow your elderly dog to perform mild exercise only if his body and state of health could withstand it. Taking him out for walks around the block or at the park allow him to benefit socially with other dogs. It’s important to adjust a routine according to his specific needs, taking him on shorter walks (not exceeding 30 minutes) in the morning or at dusk.

4. Make sure you know his limits

As the years go by, pets lose their sense of direction, sense of smell, eyesight, hearing, and even their memory. For example, an animal might forget where his bed or dish are located, and he might not recognize certain people.  He may even “forget” that it was eating, or be unable to hear you when you call. Be patient and help make his life more enjoyable.

5. Love your dog unconditionally

Make sure to continue being affectionate with an elderly dog because he always has been there for you during so many years. Pets become more independent at a certain age, and even shy, so don’t stop pampering them.  Pamper them even more than when they were a puppy!

Do not interrupt them while they are sleeping, avoid loud music, and tell your children to play outside. However, don’t ever neglect him or forget about him for even a second.

elderly dog care

6. Go to the vet more often

It’s best to take the dog to the vet once a year. However, at an old age, appointments may become more frequent, especially if the animal has some medical condition.
The main problems elderly pets experience (along with losing their senses) are arthritis, hip dysplasia, gingivitis, renal failure, diabetes, and urinary incontinence. A specialist will tell you which are the best treatments for your dog.