As your beloved family pet gets older, he’ll start showing signs of aging, just like all of us. Caring for elderly dogs is much different than when they were puppies. Dogs are considered “senior” at around 10-12 years of age. Once they hit that age, there are different health conditions to watch out for, food to feed them, and exercise routines. Read on to learn how to care for your puppy when they’re no longer a puppy.
What Can Happen to an Aging Dog?
As dogs get older, their bodies start to deteriorate just like us humans. That means they could experience poor eyesight or hearing, sore joints, and weight gain. They’re also more susceptible to diseases, like cancer, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, and hypothyroidism. Certain breeds might be more susceptible to conditions specific to that breed as they age. You ought to review the facts about your breed so you know what to look for as they age.
To stay on top of any changes to your dog’s health over time, it’s imperative that you schedule regular check-ups with your vet. Veterinarians are aware of potential problems with senior dogs and will monitor your dog’s health over time. Early detection is key to helping your dog with medicines and/or surgeries so that they can live out the rest of their golden years in comfort.
Special Food for Senior Dogs
Senior dogs need additional nutrients to stay healthy and moving, so it’s best to change their diet in their senior years. No single diet works for every dog because each dog’s health risks are different. Your veterinarian can help you find the right food. In general, though, here are some changes to your aging dog’s diet that most dog owners will want to follow. You’ll want to increase protein intake to prevent muscle decay. Incorporating omega-3 fatty acids can help with joints and the immune system. To prevent weight gain, decreasing their overall calorie intake is another good tip to follow.
How to Exercise Older Dogs
Aging dogs cannot exercise as rigorously as energetic puppies, nevertheless, they still need to receive regular exercise. Rather than going for an hour-long walk each day, break it down into shorter intervals - perhaps four 15-minute walks throughout the day. As dogs age, they also need more consistency in their daily schedule, so spontaneous hikes at your state park might be more harmful than beneficial. Establish a walking schedule and stick to it. Since they won’t have as many engaging adventures outdoors, you should invest in some toys that will stimulate their mind indoors without draining too much energy. There are several toys made for senior dogs which you can find online.
Find a Lifelong Friend on Lancaster Puppies
Are you looking for a new pet which you can care for from their puppy years to their senior years? Check out the listings on Lancaster Puppies. You’re sure to find the perfect puppy for you to enjoy throughout all stages of its life.