As your dog grows old its health requirements change. Just like human beings become delicate in old age so do dogs. However with good care and attention your senior dog can successfully navigate through old age with minimal health complications. Below are tips on how to keep your dog healthy when it gets older.
Keep up with regular health checks
Frequent visits to the veterinary is a must. Prevention is better than cure. Vets understand older dogs better than you the owner does. Early diagnosis of certain conditions may help a lot in preventing disastrous aftermaths. Older dogs should not miss vaccinations and even blood and urine testing.
Be informed on common health complications associated with older dogs
Having enough knowledge gives you the power to formulate appropriate solutions. Read and learn more about what might put it at risk. Learn about popular ailments like osteoarthritis, dental diseases, kidney problems, cancers, cataracts, heart and respiratory diseases. Know the common signs and symptoms of the mentioned diseases.
Adjust dietary requirements accordingly
Feed old dogs on food that is appropriate for their age. Study your dog well , especially as far as weight loss or gain is concerned. Also because of the weakening immune system, older dogs may require more immune building foods. Consult a veterinary on the type of pet food that will help shield your dog from common ailments. Old dogs should have a diet full of vitamin C and E. in addition nutrients like beta carotene, and omega 3 fatty acids are great health boosters.
Be on the look out for any behavioral changes
You should be able to note any behavior change in your senior dog. Look out for changes in feeding and sleeping patterns. If your old dog is not walking well or active as usual then there must be something wrong. If the dog suddenly becomes harsh and angry then it might be feeling some pain. All these behavioral changes are meant to communicate to you that your dog is not at ease. Consult a vet as soon as you can.
Maintain regular dental care
Dental infections affecting the tooth and gum are common in older dogs. As such the only way to prevent them is to ensure regular dental care. For instance if your dog suddenly drops food from the mouth and has difficulty in chewing , something is probably not right. Another serious dental disease to look out for is smelly breath. You can do brushing at home regularly and occasional professional cleaning from a veterinary.
Provide comfortable sleeping and resting areas
Older dogs usually have trouble sleeping and resting due to sore and worn out joints. If you are unable to buy orthopedic beds deisgned for older dogs provide very soft blankets and towels. Provide more comfort by ensuring basic necessities like food and water are close by.
Groom your dog regularly
A dirty old dog is prone to numerous health complications. A regular bath and serious weekly grooming is enough to keep your senior dog sparkling and healthy. Check the nails to ensure they are clean and in good condition. When washing your dog choose a healthy shampoo , one that is recommended by a vet.
Ensure you maintain a consistent daily routine. This is important to give your emotional stability. Remember old age is inevitable, however it is up to you to determine whether your dog enjoys old age or not.