Managing health issues in older dogs. Care requirements for senior dogs differ from those for younger canines. Most people are probably not surprised by this reality. But how do you recognize when your dog is a senior?
Really, it all depends on the dog. Giant breed dogs typically age more quickly than smaller breed dogs. A Chihuahua would likely only be middle-aged at that age and probably not be called a senior until 10–11 years, whereas a Great Dane is thought to be senior by about 5–6 years old. Dogs of medium size breeds fall somewhere in the middle. By the age of 8–10, a Golden Retriever might be regarded as senior. How quickly your dog ages depends on a variety of factors, including genetics, nutrition, and environment.
What Changes your Dog might go Through as it Ages
Your dog could slow down due to arthritis or other degenerative conditions. They might not be able to play for as long or walk as far and might get tired faster. They might have trouble standing up or getting into a sleeping posture. Also, they might start to avoid climbing stairs or have trouble getting in and out of a car.
Dental disease can be an issue if it is not treated properly, especially for elderly pets. You might be surprised to learn that many pets have dental disease as early as 2-3 years of age, according to vets. If your dog’s mouth isn’t taken care of, he might even lose some teeth by the time he’s an old dog. Because it hurts, dental problems may make your dog reluctant to eat or have trouble doing so. This could cause weight loss and untidy hair. Kidney illness, liver disease, heart disease, and other disorders are usually present in older dogs and can cause weight loss.
However, some older dogs could experience the reverse issue. Some dogs gain weight as a result of getting less active as they age and essentially turning into couch potatoes. Senior dogs are not exempt from the serious health problems associated with obesity in dogs of all ages.
How can you Assist Your Aging Dog? Here are a Few Tips:
Make sure to take your pet to the vet on a regular basis. If your dog seems healthy, it should nevertheless have at least a yearly examination because many diseases are silent and difficult to detect. Keep in mind that treating a sickness is significantly more expensive than preventing it!
Request a body condition assessment at every visit to the veterinarian. Determining whether your senior dog is overweight, underweight, or at an optimal body weight depends critically on their physical condition. You should ask your vet to demonstrate how to assess your dog’s physical condition at home.
Give your elderly dog a nutritious diet. Additionally, become familiar with reading the dog’s food label and select a diet that is suitable for the age and way of life of your dog.
Maintain your senior dog’s appropriate body weight by feeding him. Dogs who are overweight are more likely to develop illnesses like diabetes, heart problems, skin conditions, and even cancer. Your vet can advise you on the best diet for your dog. Overweight dogs need to be fed carefully to provide all nutritional requirements while still promoting weight loss. For instance, there are specialist diets for overweight dogs that are both higher in L-carnitine and fewer in calories. A correctly selected carbohydrate or carbohydrate blend in your dog’s feed can also keep them feeling full.
Think about adding fatty acids like DHA and EPA to your older dog’s diet. They have been shown to be helpful for dogs who struggle with mobility because of arthritis or other joint conditions. For older dogs, supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin are advantageous.
If your senior dog has renal or heart illness, think about switching to a special diet.For instance, diets reduced in salt may be recommended for canines with heart illness, whereas canines with kidney disease may benefit from diets that assist regulate levels of phosphorus, calcium, and other electrolytes. Based on your dog’s particular needs, a veterinarian can assist you in selecting the finest diet for your dog.
Keep your dog’s mouth clean. Although it may seem foolish, brushing your dog’s teeth can help keep their mouths healthy. If you are unable to brush their teeth, think of dental toys and snacks that promote oral hygiene.
Get your senior dog some exercise. Your senior dog’s muscles and joints can remain strong and slender. However, take into account each dog’s unique exercise needs. A quick walk around the block is generally just getting started for a large breed dog, but it might be a long journey for a tiny Chihuahua. Start slowly and gradually raise the intensity if your senior is not used to exercising, and only after consulting a veterinarian. On hot days, exercise caution when around short-nosed (brachycephalic) dogs.
Give your elderly dog lots of toys to keep him busy. For instance, food puzzles can be entertaining as well as helpful for losing weight.
Give your senior dog sleeping area particular considerations as well. For instance, soft bedding such as a specific dog bed or towels/blankets may be beneficial for dogs with arthritis. If steps cannot be avoided, ramps can be used to make them easier to use. Your arthritic dog can benefit from carpeting or rugs over hard surfaces to gain their balance and improve mobility.
To feel safe and secure boarding your elder buddy contact Charolette Kennels today!