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Dogs age, just like humans.
The needs of an older dog is very different than when the dog was younger. Most guardians find it hard to keep up with the needs of dogs in senior years
Once you understand the needs of your senior dog, caring will become much easier.
Old age in dogs should not be considered as a disease. It is just another stage of life. Once the guardians understand the needs of their pooch, caring will become easier and not seem like a burden.
These tips will help you take care of a dog in senior years
Most often, senior dogs don’t get adopted because the guardians feel that they will have less time to spend with pooch and they will have to care more for the dog. However, what they don’t realize is that they can give the world to the pooch in those few years. These tips will help you become adept at caring for a dog of senior years.
Senior dogs are prone to feeling uncomfortable in extreme temperatures
Dogs lose their ability to thermoregulate. Therefore, the guardian has to decide whether they want to opt for blankets or clothes for the dog. Clothes can be a great option.
The exercise levels should be kept to low or moderate.
In senior years, the dog's heart, lung, joints start to loose function. Thus, too much exercise can hurt your dog. Keep the exercise levels mild to moderate
Since your dog is in senior years, do not skip on exercise either.
Dogs need exercise. Some exercise is essential to maintain the fluidity in the joints. Regular exercise will help your pooch maintain the weight and good health.
The most ignored part of senior dog care.
Consult with your veterinarian before you change your dog's diet. Choose a diet that has low calories and fat but will complement the nutritional needs. Choose dog diets which are especially tailored for senior dogs.
Supplements are important for all stages of your dog's life.
Discuss with your vet regarding introduction of supplements like fish oil, glucosamine, probiotics. Your vet will tell you which supplement will be suitable for your pup depending on the needs of your dog's body.
Mental stimulation keeps the mind of your dog younger for a longer period.
Add some brain games which will help keep your dog’s mind stimulated like hide and seek, scavenger hunts as well as puzzle toys. These mind workout games are great when it comes to keeping the dog’s cognitive function healthy and prevent dementia.
It is difficult for senior dogs to groom themselves
You do not have to give your pup a bath daily or cut his or her nails on a regular basis. However you can brush your dog’s coat daily. If your dog is suffering from incontinence, you may schedule additional baths.
A massage will not only keep the joints healthy, it will also generate body heat.
Massage can either be done at home or you can opt for a professional masseuse. Massage, acupuncture and chiropractic treatments keep the joints and bones healthier for longer periods.
Social life is a must
If your dog loves company, bringing people and other dogs over may be the best idea for the both of you. Older dogs may have less patience towards dealing with puppies. Therefore, it is better if you get the type of guests your dog feels comfortable with
Most crucial part in taking care of a senior dog.
Take your senior dog for regular checkup once every six months. The check up duration should not be extended beyond a six-month period.
Oral care is crucial
Make sure that you brush your dog’s teeth daily. You can also give your dog dental treats if it’s not possible for you to engage in the act of teeth brushing on a daily basis. Take your dog to the vet at least once every year for a dental checkup and to get the teeth professionally cleaned.
Vaccination, deworming and flea treatment
Keep your dog protected from fleas, ticks as well as all types of intestinal worms. Therefore, regular deworming must be done. You can also consult your vet regarding flea and tick protection.
Soft bedding and easily accessible bed.
Spend as much time as you can with your pup. Time is of the essence.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day, Halloween, New Year, Christmas with your dog and make each of them extra special with more memories, more pictures taken and some more dog friendly treats for your pup.
Keep an eye out on your dog for any changes in diet, appetite, posture, walking style.
Make sure if you notice any changes in your dog's behavior, it does not go unnoticed. Take your dog to the vet if you notice any sign of problem.
Your dog is your child and deserves the same care and respect as you would give your own child.
Old age is just another stage of life. Most often, senior dogs don’t get adopted because the guardians feel that they will have less time to spend with pooch and they will have to care more for the dog. However, what they don’t realize is that they can give the world to the pooch in those few years.
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