When your dog gets older, it may seem like a difficult task to keep on-top of their healthcare needs.
Dogs tend to live for around twelve years on average and their behaviours change with age, so it’s important to tailor the care you provide them with around their age.
This guide will help you to care for your senior pet in their older years to ensure that they’re always kept healthy and happy:
1. Consider your senior dogs’ diet
Just like when your dog was a puppy and they required special foods, the diet of your senior dog will also need considering. Include meals that contain fatty acids within your dog’s diet, as fish oils have been shown to help with mobility issues in older pets.
You can also check which ingredients are best for your dog by consulting with your vet. If they’re suffering with a disease or a heart condition, you may want to give them foods that are low in sodium.
2. Give them regular exercise
Regularly exercising your dog is important at any age, yet even more vital when it comes to senior pets. Although it’s important for them to have proper rest, they should also be receiving some form of light exercise.
If you fail to provide your dog with suitable exercise they could become overweight or even lead to obesity; a condition that can spawn a host of life-threatening issues such as heart disease and diabetes.
As well as light exercise, it is important to keep older dogs stimulated through socialising, contact and tricks.
3. Create a peaceful environment
Although it’s important to keep your senior dog active, you should also provide them with a relaxing environment and a place to call their own.
Older pets will also need more rest than a younger dog, especially if they are suffering with common illnesses such as arthritis. Create a space in your home that your dog can retreat to and include a bed that is in a warm area and away from any draughts.
You will also want to consider where this location is in your home. If possible, keep your older dog’s resting place in an area that provides them with easy access to their food, water and outside space.
4. Keep an eye on their dental hygiene
If your they have poor dental hygiene, their mouth could quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria and if left untreated, can lead an infection in the bloodstream.
Keep an eye on your dog’s teeth and regularly brush them to avoid the chances of this happening. You could even provide your pet with special treats and toys that are specially designed to clean their teeth.
5. Have regular check-up appointments
Because dogs are more susceptible to experiencing health issues in old age, it’s important for them to regularly attend check-up appointments at their vet. A visit every six months is advised, although this can vary depending on your pet’s age, breed and size.
As you can see, there are a variety of simple ways which can make caring for an older dog much easier, and which will help keep your pet happy and comfortable in their later years.