Dogs can still live happy and healthy lives as seniors. However, during their senior years, dog’s age faster, are less mobile, have poorer hearing and vision, and are more susceptible to various diseases.
It’s important to recognize the signs and take the necessary actions to ensure your dog’s health during this point of time in their lives.
What happens to a dog’s body as it ages?
As dogs age, they may lose energy, develop hearing or cataract problems, and eventually, their organs stop functioning properly. Senior dogs are more likely to develop diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, or other health problems.
All dogs can be considered senior at different ages. It all depends on their breed and individual traits. When a dog is 10 to 11 years old, small breeds can be considered elderly. Seniors in medium-sized breeds like the Golden Retriever become old at 8 to 10 years of age, while giant breeds can be considered elderly by 5 to 6 years of age.
Here are some valuable tips on how to care for your senior dog
Older dogs require different care than puppies and adult dogs. Below are things you will need to approach differently to ensure that your senior dog is healthy.
Eating a balanced diet will maintain your dog’s health even as they age. Older dogs do not have nearly as much energy as they would in their younger years, so it is likely they could become more obese.
It’s essential to choose senior dog food that is specifically designed to help prevent weight gain. These foods are low in fat and contain fewer calories, which will help your dog meet his nutritional needs.
To help regulate weight gain, it’s encouraged that senior dogs take a multivitamin such as this all-in-one Balanced Breed chewable. Balanced Breed vitamins are made with all-natural ingredients and are great for helping to increase your senior dog’s energy, which results in keeping any added weight off. They also have many other benefits to help older dogs such as relieving joint pain.
Regular exercise can help your dog to maintain its ideal weight, and it will also improve its overall health. Talk to your vet about the best exercise program for your dog based on your dog’s health.
Start slowly, be patient, and increase your dog’s endurance with walks and light jogs. As dogs age, their energy levels lower. As a result, your dog might not be able to run as long as he did before he approached his senior years.
Regular vet checkups
When it comes to elderly pet care, regular vet care is essential. This is because your dog’s immune system gets weaker as they age, making them more susceptible to various ailments.
Most vets recommend that older dogs have checkups once every six months. This will allow your vet to determine if anything is wrong and give your dog the best treatment possible.
Keep his mouth healthy
Many dogs over the age of 10 don’t have adequate dental care. As a result, it is common to see dogs with missing teeth. Therefore, regular dental care is an essential part of grooming.
Vaccination and protection against parasites
Flea, tick, and lice protection doesn’t depend on your dog’s age. However, you should still administer the same effective treatments as before.
A vaccine should be administered once every three years. Older dogs do not require vaccines at the same time. Check in with your vet to determine your dog’s best schedule for his vaccine.
As dog’s age, their fur and skin can become less shiny and dull. Seniors may also experience dry, flaky, and irritated skin. This can lead to even more severe problems if they are not properly cared for.
This means you’ll need to brush your dog frequently and give them a haircut on time to prevent mats and tangles. Make sure always to be using mild shampoos to soothe and heal skin and coat irritations.
Offer special accommodations
Many older dogs develop arthritis and other bone and joint problems, which can affect their mobility. Blind dogs may also have difficulty jumping on the sofa or bed at night.
Your dog may benefit from soft bedding, an orthopedic bed with easy access that doesn’t require climbing or jumping. As a Senior, your dog should not attempt to climb up or down stairs.
Giving your dog a multivitamin
As mentioned earlier in this article, multivitamins are essential for a healthy senior dog. Giving your dog a nutritious diet supports and positively affects aging. It’s always recommended that all dogs, especially seniors, take a daily vitamin containing all the proper nutrients. With great reviews by many senior dog parents, Balanced Breed’s all-in-one vitamin is a healthy, all-natural choice with all the right ingredients that will leave your dog feeling his best, even throughout his senior years.