Adopting a pet is one of the most rewarding and genuine experiences that most humans will go through. Dogs are arguably the most popular and common pets in the world – along with cats.
When you introduce a dog into your home, you are opening your space to unconditional love, affection, and care.
Still, sooner or later, your little pup will grow into an adult and ultimately a senior citizen.
When this happens, many of us are confused about taking care of elderly dogs. Therefore, we curated this list for you. Below are seven ways to make caring for an elderly dog easier.
The best thing you can do for your dog is to prepare for old age. Like the way humans do not want to retire without planning for life after work; you also do not want to be unprepared with an aging dog.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), when your dog reaches 6-7 years of age, they are generally considered to be senior doggy citizens.
Doggy-proof your home the way you would for a pup and visit the vet frequently.
Frequent Vet Visits
We reckon that you are a responsible pet parent who goes out of their way to take care of your little fur babies. The older your dog gets, the more vet visits you might want to consider making.
A general rule of thumb in life and with pets is to detect things early so you can take effective actions to ensure a high standard of living for your aging dog.
As dogs age, the more likely health issues will develop. This will ultimately result in everyday tasks being more hectic for them.
A lot of advanced age dogs may deal with decreased mobility, vision, and hearing, to name a few.
To ensure a safe environment for your aging dog, avoid moving furniture around as your dog will have to learn new pathways. Also, avoid slippery floors.
Another way we can help our pet age with dignity is making sure we don’t avoid any concern or ignore any concerns that we might have. Remain vigilant
Aging dogs should be put on a consistent exercise schedule. However, they will not be as active or play as hard as they used when they were puppies.
Older dogs need regular low-intensity exercise to maintain healthy muscles, weight, joints and more.
Too much exercise may not be ideal for your aging dog as prolonged exercises can put pressure on aging joints and muscles.
Outdoor activities are a great option for an older dog, it is a great way to burn off some of that physical energy while keeping your dog mentally stimulated.
Exercise can also help behavioural issues.
Avoid Weight Gain
In a lot of animals, metabolism tends to slow down with age, and dogs are not an exception. As a rule, dogs need up to 20% fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight during old age.
Add to this the fact that older dogs exercise less, which may result in you needing to reduce calorie intake even more. Obesity is common with older dogs.
A significant part of maintaining a healthy weight during old age is by eating right. Please, do not reduce your dog’s food suddenly.
Instead, slowly reduce the number of calories they consume and track their weight throughout this process.
As Black Hawk Pet Care notes, every ingredient matters. Not all dog food is created equal. There are unhealthy meals that do more harm than good, and there are healthy meals that assist dogs with staying happy during old age.
It can be tough for a senior dog to have to bend all the way over and eat from the food bowl on the floor especially for those larger breeds. You can improvise and place their food bowl on a stack of books or a box, whatever makes it easier for them to enjoy their meals.
During the latter stages of your dog’s life, what they need the most is to be happy. This might be the perfect time for you to try new things with your dog.
Undertake new experiences such as teaching new tricks, interacting with other dogs, exploring new places, and introducing new activities & toys.
Try to give your dog more time and attention because they will need as much care as they did when they were puppies. And let us be honest, they deserve it.