Unfortunately, dogs don’t live as long as we’d like them to but, if they are given the right care, they can enjoy a complete life filled with happiness. One day though, your little puppy will end up as a senior dog. Of course, the lifespan of one dog is different from every other, but each breed has average lifespans. So, as your dog enters the golden years, it is imperative that you take action to provide him the comfort he needs by adapting his environment. You must remember that when your dog becomes a senior, joint pain becomes more prevalent, new aches develop, and unfortunately, he will experience some medical issues. Caring for a senior dog is different, therefore, than the care you provided him in previous years.
Caring for a Senior Dog and the Changes You Need to Make
Therefore, it is up to you to minimize any discomfort by adjusting his surroundings. Ensure that he is protected from fluctuating temperatures and excessive temperatures, be them cold or hot. An older dog is simply unable to regulate its body temperature as it did when it was younger.
Regular exercise must continue to be provided for your dog, even when he is older. However, there may have to be some adaptations to this exercise routine. Ensure that the exercise you provide is in keeping with your dog’s health. Change his routine accordingly, such as if your dog shows no interest in exercise or exhibits signs of heavy panting.
His age will also bring about new diet requirements, and in addition to that, you may have to alter his feeding schedule. Just like humans who are less active and require fewer calories, the same goes for dogs. It may be necessary to discuss an individual diet plan for your dog with your vet.
Again, like humans experience varying medical issues, older dogs will likely experience them too. For instance, their eyesight may decline, and hearing loss could also become a factor. Be sure to keep an eye on these issues to ensure his safety.
Dog Dental Care
Another consideration with aging dogs is their exceptional need for dental care. Problematic dental issues could arise, such as gum disease. As such, it is important to provide dental care on a daily basis from the time your dog is still young. In older dogs, a complete dental cleaning, performed by a veterinarian at least annually and preferably twice yearly would be best. Anesthesia would be required to perform dental cleaning. Perform complete blood work tests as often as your doctor suggests.
As dog’s age, everything seems to change, much like in humans. For example, they’ll need more grooming and bathing than they ever did. As the changes occur, dry skin may be an issue, but in some cases, this may be a sign of an underlying medical condition.
Dogs age seven human years for each human year. In other words, if your dog is two years old, then he would be 14 in human years. A 10-year-old dog would, therefore, be a 70-year-old person with similar aging conditions and ailments.
As such, it would be necessary to conduct medical checkups twice a year. For younger dogs, perhaps once a year would be enough, but as they age, they’ll need extra care.
Keep him happy. That is the goal. While he may not be fit enough to go on a 5-mile jog with you, you can still spend quality time with a senior dog in other ways.