We all age, it’s a fact of life we cannot escape from. The same is true of your pet dog, and as he gets into his senior years, you will notice changes. Arthritis can become a problem, and you will notice this if your dog tires quicker when you take him out on the daily walk. There may also be issues around weight-loss, and this is symptomatic of dental disease and other health conditions, such as heart and kidney disease. Alternatively, you may also see a gain in weight, especially if your dog no longer enjoys exercise as much as he used to. So, what can you do to care for your dog in his advancing years? Here are a few tips to make your dog’s life as comfortable as possible.
See your vet on a regular basis
It doesn’t matter if your dog appears well or not; you should still schedule regular appointments for your pet, as some illnesses may not be easily apparent. As mentioned in our introduction, your pooch will experience bodily changes as he gets older, and the health issues surrounded with these can be alleviated by regular health checks. Your vet will give you all the advice you need, and it may be possible to keep your dog in tip-top condition, despite his age.
Feed your dog the appropriate food
Your vet will advise you on the correct meal plan for your dog, though you can often choose the right food by checking the food labels on the products at your local supermarket or pet store. In some cases, your dog will need an adjustment to his diet, especially if he has shown significant weight-loss or weight-gain. A special diet may also be prescribed by your vet, in the event your dog is suffering from one of the common diseases associated with old age. You should also consider supplementing your dog’s diet if he has arthritic problems, adding turmeric paste for dogs and anything containing fatty acids, such as salmon and anchovies.
Tailor the exercise routine
You will understand the importance of exercise for your dog, though you will need to tailor the exercise routine as your canine companion gets older. Despite your dog’s reluctance to get off the sofa, you should still maintain a daily walk to maintain healthy bones and joints. They may not be able to walk as much as they used to, so if you spot signs of tiredness or stiff joints, cut down the amount of exercise accordingly. It’s also important to speak to your vet for advice, especially if your dog is suffering from particular health issues in his advanced years.
Cater for mental stimulation
As a dog’s physical health declines with age, so will their mental capacities. Specialists call this Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome, and the symptoms are those found within dementia. Humans will continue to stimulate their minds with crossword puzzles and the like, and you can do the same for dogs by providing mentally stimulating toys to keep their minds active. Of course, playing with toys will not only benefit your dog mentally as continued play will also keep them physically active, too.
Your dog is part of your family, so you want him to be with you as long as possible. By following the advice above, your dog will enjoy good and better health, despite getting a little long in the tooth.