10 Oct | Posted by Lenka Laskova | no comments |
If you’ve enjoyed the company of your dog for seven or more years — or you’ve adopted a senior dog — then it’s time to pay close attention to his safety and health. Here are some things you can do to make their senior years more enjoyable for both of you.
Feed your dog better
Good nutrition is important at every age, but feeding your pet the proper nutrition in their senior year is critical to keeping them active and playful. Talk with your vet about the type of diet your dog needs. Your vet can make recommendations about quality brands, ingredients or special formulas your senior dog needs to thrive.
Help your dog get enough exercise
Exercise is critical for keeping your pet youthful. Also, it is one of the most important factors in preventing health issues. You don’t even always have to take your dog outside for the exercise – here are some suggestions for indoor activities the two of you can enjoy at home.
Take your dog to the vet’s regularly
A lot can happen in between vet visits. The American Animal Hospital Association recommends senior dogs see their vets at least every six months for a checkup. Many diseases and health issues, if caught early enough, can be treated. Ask your vet about common issues specific to your dog’s breed, like the predisposition to kidney problems, diabetes or severe arthritis. Find out what the early warning signs might be so you can be on the lookout. This is also a good time to talk about your dog’s diet and exercise routine as well.
As our dog’s age, they face a variety of conditions that can adversely affect their health during these golden years. Some of the conditions that commonly affect senior dogs include diabetes, kidney and liver disease, tumors and cancer, arthritis and other joint pain, obesity and thyroid conditions, as well as dental disorders. It is important to review your senior dog’s health regularly and take appropriate steps to ensure proper care.
Don’t forget about teeth checkups
Regular dental care is important throughout your pet’s life but especially for seniors. Tartar building up can cause gingivitis, which can cause bacteria to get into the bloodstream, wreaking havoc on your dog’s organs. A great way to contribute to your senior dog’s good health is to keep his teeth and gums in tip-top shape with regular at-home brushing and yearly professional cleanings by your vet.
It is of utmost importance to recognize the signs of aging and take measures to ensure your dog’s quality of life doesn’t change. The good news is that nowadays, thanks to medical advances, dogs are living longer. For prolonging the life span, dogs need to keep their brains active as well. Play games and keep trying to teach them things, even though they don’t seem as frisky as they were when they were pups.
Also, as frequently as you can, take your on walks to parks and to doggie daycare – socializing with other dogs might not increase lifespan, but it sure will improve their quality of life over their lifespan, which is arguably as important.