Like us, our pets grow older as time passes by. And as they do, their daily needs change. Caring for senior dogs is a lot different from caring for puppies and certain adjustments must be made to accommodate both their mental and physical needs. Generally, older dogs are more adapt to a quieter lifestyle and are usually more calm and well-behaved. However, because of their age, they are also more prone to health problems.
Follow these easy care tips for senior dogs so that he remains happy and healthy:
Be aware of his nutritional needs
Nutritional requirements change as a dog gets older. Their digestive system has aged and can no longer process the same types or volumes of food like it used to. Opt for high-quality dog food made especially for older canines which usually have fewer calories. You’ll know that it’s time to adjust your pet’s daily food intake when he can no longer finish his usual meal or when he’s leaving treats uneaten. It’s still best to consult your vet if you’re not sure.
Scale back on physical activities and exercise
Although daily walks and other physical activities are ideal for canines of all ages, it is important that senior dogs to take a step back to avoid exhaustion and to prevent health issues such as arthritis and orthopedic problems. If your pet is used to daily walks, consider taking shorter ones or skipping days. Look for signs that he’s tired and stop immediately. You can also consider low-impact exercises like swimming.
Always be on the lookout for health trouble
As a parent of a senior dog, it is important to know the types of diseases your pet is susceptible to depending on his breed. This way, you’ll be able to catch warning signs early. Also, by the time a canine reaches the age of eight, they are usually required to undergo an annual check up with the vet.
Observe changes in his mental state
Similar to humans, the mental state of canines decline as they reach seniority. Dementia in dogs isn’t uncommon agitation, disorientation, circling in place and restlessness among others. Contact your vet immediately if your senior dog shows these signs.
Spend more quality time with them
Gone are the days when both you and your pet will be tired from a game of fetch as senior dogs prefer a more quiet and relaxing bonding moment with you. Let him lay on your lap as you watch TV or give him a doggy massage. This reassures him that you are there for him even at this age.
Ensure that your senior dog is properly cared for with these 5 simple tips!