Pets grow older with time; hence there are different ways of caring for an older dog. We need to accommodate to their mental needs appropriately.
Caring for senior dogs is completely different from caring for young dogs and puppies. We need to adjust to their physical and mental needs on daily basis. Senior dogs are well adapted to a calm environment and are well behaved. As they grow old they are prone to more health problems and can pass away not just due to health problems but also illness and accidents.
A senior dog starts showing signs of aging by their slow movement, their eye sight dims gradually and they have gradual hearing loss. It is necessary to do a regular checkup for senior dogs to keep them healthy and fit and prevent them from capturing diseases soon. Keep a check on its weight and take into account for its healthy eating habits.
Food for senior dogs has less protein and more fiber which is supposedly easier on the kidneys. Since senior dogs don’t exercise regularly their loss of muscle becomes a subject of concern.
How can we give the optimum care for our senior dogs?
Nutritional needs: Nutritional requirements change as a dog gets older day by day. Their digestive system has aged and can no longer process the same types or volumes of food like it used to. It is suggested to opt for high-quality dog food made especially for older canines which usually have fewer calories.
Reduced physical activity and exercises: Although daily walks and other physical activities are ideal for canines of all ages, it is important that senior dogs avoid daily walk and exercise to prevent exhaustion and health issues such as arthritis and orthopedic problems. Low impact exercise like swimming can be a good option.
Lookout on health: As a parent or owner of a senior dog, it is important to know the type of diseases your pet is susceptible to depending on his breed. it is easier to catch the warning signs. Also, by the time a canine reaches the age of eight, they are usually required to undergo an annual checkup with the vet.
Changes in mental state of the dog: Similar to humans, the mental state of canines decline as they reach seniority. Dementia in dogs isn’t uncommon agitation, disorientation, circling in place and restlessness among others. It is necessary to contact your vet immediately if your senior dog shows these signs.
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