How To Care For Your Aging Dog

It may seem like yesterday that your dog was a puppy, staggering around the carpet on uncertain legs, and getting itself into all kinds of trouble by exploring its new home. However, just like humans, all dogs grow old, and their health will start to deteriorate. If your furry friend is starting to get into its senior years, it’s essential you know what to expect. Here are some pointers for caring for an elderly dog…

 

Schedule Regular Trips to the Vet

From Wikimedia

 

At the very least, you need to make sure your dog is being examined once per year, even if it appears to be totally healthy. Many diseases that affect dogs can be completely undetectable to an untrained person. Aside from that, your vet will be able to tell you about the kinds of conditions your dog is at risk of, and how you can minimise their chances of getting them. It’s much cheaper to prevent diseases than to actually have them treated.

 

Ask for a Body Condition Evaluation in Each Visit

 

Having your dog’s body condition evaluated is essential when you want to determine if your pet is overweight, underweight, or just about right. Your veterinarian may be able to teach you how to check your dog’s body condition yourself. Still, it’s good to make a point of asking your vet for this procedure just to be safe.

Give Them the Right Food

 

Older dogs are more susceptible to conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, skin disease and similar worrying health problems. To prevent these, your vet will be able to give you some guidelines for the kind of diet you should be setting for your dog. This is especially important for overweight dogs, as they have to be fed very carefully to ensure they get all the nutrients they need, while still allowing for enough weight loss. Even if your dog is a healthy weight, it’s very important to make sure they’re getting a nutritious enough diet. You can read more about this at FeedMyOldDog.com .

 

Take Care of Their Mouth

 

Brushing your dog’s teeth may seem like a bizarre, not to mention very difficult task. However, it can be a very important routine for maintaining a dog’s health as it ages. If you’ve never done this before, you can ask your vet to walk you through it during your next visit, or read guides like the one on banfield.com. As you can imagine, some dogs are more receptive to having their teeth brushed than others! If your pet won’t let you brush their teeth, there are various dental treats and toys that can help to maintain their oral health.

 

Get Some Exercise In!

From Wikimedia

 

Obviously, every dog needs a decent amount of exercise to maintain healthy joints and muscles. However, you should still be tailoring their walkies schedule to their unique needs. Larger breeds could do a walk around the block in their sleep, but with breeds like a Chihuahua, a brisk loop around the corner could be like running a marathon! Again, ask your vet for guidance, and stick to an exercise quota meticulously.

 

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