Is your dog getting slower, is he becoming more grey or finding the games he loved most being too strenuous. All these could be signs that your dog is aging. Different breeds of dogs age differently but one important fact to note is that larger dogs age faster than smaller dogs. This means for a Chihuahua to be declared a senior dog, it has to be around 11 years of age and above while large dogs like Bulldogs enter the senior class at 7 years of age.
Even though aging is different for different breeds of dogs, strategies to keep them happy and comfortable are similar. In this article, I am going to discuss some vet-approved tips to keep your senior dog happy.
RESEARCH YOUR DOG BREED’S COMMON DISORDERS
There are numerous disorders associated with specific breeds when they are aging, for example, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Boxers, and Labrador Retrievers are more susceptible to cancer at their senior age. Also, Cavalier Spaniels have a high rate of Cardiac disease. It’s important to do some research and consult your vet on the issues related to your dog’s breed so that you can narrow down to the most appropriate senior dog care products from here InnoVet Pet and preventive measures.
Good health is the key to a happy senior dog and you can’t achieve good health without good nutrition. How well you feed your dog when he’s young determines how healthy he will be when in his senior age. With that said, giving your dog heavily processed foods is counterproductive. Some of these foods contain preservatives that are toxic especially when they are allowed to add up to some levels. Highly processed foods can also lead to degenerative disease, where the dog’s body starts to break down. Also, these foods tend to cause chronic inflammation in dogs.
In order to keep your dog happy, you should ensure that you give your dog fresh or less processed foods. The more you process the foods, the more they lose their nutritional value and their quality to the dog. Dietary changes are known to add on the overall dog’s energy. It’s advisable to consult an expert in dog’s nutrition to know what foods to give your dog depending on his conditions.
USE DOG SUPPLEMENTS
A good diet is not always enough, just like humans, dogs too need supplements to boost their brain health, joints, bones and heart health. Dogs need minerals such as magnesium, iron, selenium, and unfortunately, not all of these nutrients are found in the foods we have. Additional supplements containing these minerals should be administered to dogs.
However, not all supplements are equal but I believe organic supplements are always the best and of high nutrition value.
Your senior dog may be slower due to age but they still need exercise. Keep them active but don’t treat him as a young dog, treat him as the senior he is. It’s advisable to at least walk your dog every day. A sedentary lifestyle leads to Arthritis and the only way to deal with inflammation and other Arthritis symptoms is to make the dog walk every day. Exercise not only keeps the body healthy but also, it helps stimulate the senior dog’s mind. Frequent exercise leads to a leaner body that doesn’t exert excess pressure on the heart and the joints.
ALLOW YOUR DOG TO HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE
Since dogs were first domesticated by man, they have always loved our company. Don’t let your senior dog spend his old age in loneliness, go out with him for bonding, take him to family outings, bring other pet owners and their dogs along. This will kill the boredom and make the dog feel appreciated.
Stimulating your senior dog’s mind mind can help to keep him jovial. You can play games such as “Find”, where you hide treats and make the dog use his smell to find all the treats and when he does you reward him. This keeps him active and jovial and it’s a plus if the treats are of high nutritional value.
This might seem like the simplest thing to do but it’s often neglected by most dog owners. Show your senior dog by taking him to special outings, taking care of teeth since they get sensitive with old age and spending more time with him even though you’re not doing anything specific.
You can also show your dog love by taking into considerations his new developed handicaps. Most senior dogs develop hearing and vision impairment and they also have trouble moving around. Make the environment free from dangerous items such as sharp objects that could injure the dog.
Also, make the vet visits more frequent. Like I mentioned above, different dog breeds develop different complications in their senior ages. The best way to monitor these new developments is to have your vet examine him frequently and recommend what needs to be done to keep the dog safe and happy.
Just like us human beings, senior dogs need special care when they are old. They need a good diet, frequent vet visits, mental stimulation and love, lots of love, to keep them happy.
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