Just like humans, as your canine companion gets older, they may start to slow down a little. They might not have the same level of energy as they used to, and they may experience some hearing and vision loss.
That said, there is no reason that senior dogs can’t live a happy and fulfilling life, provided they are given the right care.
Make sure they are still getting exercise
Even though your pooch may have less energy, it’s still really important that they get daily exercise. Older dogs love exercise just as much as younger ones; you may just need to make a few tweaks to your routine:
- Rather than one enormous walk, consider taking your dog on several shorter ones. Then they will still get the exercise they need, without putting too much pressure on their joints.
- Extreme hot or cold may be more difficult for an older dog to deal with, so bear this in mind when you are planning walks. It can be worth investing in a dog coat to keep them warm for the cold weather.
- If your dog is struggling with its senses, then stick to walking routes that they know well. Keep an eye out for things that may startle them, and be reassuring so that they don’t become frightened.
- If the weather is bad, your dog can get a lot out of indoor exercise such as puzzle games and training.
Joint stiffness isn’t ‘part of aging.’
If you notice your dog having difficulty walking, or if their movements seem stiffer than usual, then be sure to take them to the vets.
Joint stiffness isn’t ‘part of aging’ and can be indicative of arthritis. If your dog does develop arthritis, then your vet will be able to recommend how you can help them to lead a healthy and happy life.
This article Weight Loss And Arthritis Management In Dogs | Diamond Pet Foods offers some great tips on how to look after dogs with arthritis and how to manage the weight of older dogs to keep them as healthy as possible.
Regular veterinary check-ups
As your dog gets older, your vet will probably recommend that your dog come in regularly for a check up. When your dog is actually considered a ‘senior’ will depend on their breed, but your vet will be able to advise you on this.
Older dogs need regular check-ups so that any health concerns can be picked up early so that you can be sure that they are comfortable and happy.
Take care of their teeth
Taking care of your dog’s teeth is important throughout their lives, but even more so as they age. As your dog gets older, take extra care of their teeth by brushing them regularly, feeding them a tooth-friendly diet, and ensuring that they are hydrated.
You should also attend regular veterinary check-ups as your vet will monitor your dogs oral health, as well as their overall health.
Older dogs still benefit from grooming, but because their skin can lose elasticity and their joints can become painful, it’s worth investing in a softer brush and being extra gentle.
Grooming may also take longer as your pooch won’t be as able to stay in one position for long periods of time.