How to Care for the Older Dog

Many people will educate themselves about how to care for puppies but what they may forget to do is to learn how to care for the older dogs. As a dog ages their care changes.

Diet changes

During the dog’s younger years most likely there was more flexibility with what the dog could be fed. As they get older focus has to be put on the nutritional value of the food and what their digestive system is able to handle. This is the time where dog owners have to be more astute at reading the labels and what the ingredients are it is well worth investing in higher quality food for these later years

Exercise

Even though the senior dogis getting older it still needs a certain amount of exercise, however, this will have to be adjusted accordingly. If the dog is showing signs of ageing there could be issues with their bones and extra caution has to be taken with not only the amount of exercise they’re getting about the type.

Increased Vet Visits

During the earlier years most likely the vet has only had to see the dog for regular checkups unless any specific problems have been identified. For the senior dogs, it is advisable to have them checked by the vet more often. The vet will determine how often this is needed and during these visits the doctor will probably do a body condition evaluation. This will determine if the dog’s weight is correct and if there are any signs of deterioration that need to be addressed.

Rest Time

Most often the family dogs like to socialize whenever the family is around. As they get older they will demand more rest time. The older dog should have a place to go that is out of the hub of the family activity whenever they want to rest. Family members should be taught to allow the dog to do this.

Special Accommodations

As the dog ages they are not going to be as agile as they once were. They may have difficulty getting upstairs and when signs of this are showing then they should be discouraged from doing so. Blocking off the stairs will be the easiest way to accomplish this. They may also require softer bedding as their bones are more sensitive. A lot of dogs can suffer from arthritis and laying on hard surfaces can increase their pain.

One of the common problems that the older dogs run into is dental disease. When this happens it can lead to other potentially serious problems such as heart and kidney disease. Dental care is needed

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