We all know that canine’s age is not as long as human’s age.
Unfortunately, we cannot influence the laws of nature, but making the senior age of our dog comfortable, safe and cozy is quite a feasible task for every loving owner.
There is more than enough information on how to care for a small puppy, but there is not so much information on how to care for a senior dog. In this article we will try to fill in the gaps and talk about what should be paid attention to all owners of elderly dogs.
Elderly dogs are already a vulnerable category of animals in terms of health, as are puppies, and pregnant dogs. A feature of older dogs is the need for easily digestible food, which:
- could be easily chewed (older dogs often have problems with teeth and chewing);
- would allow weight control (older dogs are often obese, which is an additional risk factor for them);
- suitable for sensitive digestion (even healthy aged dogs may have problems with the normal functioning of the digestive tract);
- would provide additional nutrition for hips and joints (arthritis is the scourge of old dogs).
You need to choose food from trusted brands, in the lines of which there is food developed for the needs of adult and aging animals.
2. Less stress
The more stress factors any living organism are exposed to, the more chances it has for a longer life. Our beloved dogs are no exception.
Dogs experience stress when they are hungry, when they have to endure heat, extreme cold, severe pain.
It is very difficult for any dogs to endure separation from their owners. The older your dog is, the more serious consequences these circumstances can have for him. Try to minimize any physical and psycho-emotional stress for your pet. If possible, protect your pet from the intrusive attention of strangers, postpone moving to another city, go outdoors during repairs in the apartment, do not let younger and more energetic dogs bully your pet - in a word, create conditions for the comfortable life.
With all the dedication, your fur friend definitely deserves this attitude on your part.
3. No dampness, sudden temperature changes and drafts
Do not allow your dog to lie in drafts, if you keep it in the yard - let it into the house in the cold season, create conditions under which the dog could hide from the heat, and make sure that your pet is long was not in a damp room.
With age, immunity in animals, like in humans, weakens, and each additional unfavorable factor will negatively affect the health of the dog.
Colds, coughs, neuralgia, sore joints are just a few of the consequences of prolonged exposure to dampness or draft.
4. No jumping from great heights
Problems with the musculoskeletal system occur in almost all older dogs. Lameness, slow movements, pain caused by arthritis and other degenerative changes in the joints are ways to poison the life of any elderly dog. To help your pet get through this period, you should be very careful with the stress - remember when as a puppy you did not let your dog run down the stairs? Now, in the same way, you need to protect the dog from sudden movements, jumping from great heights and other potentially dangerous situations. Too much stress on the joints and ligaments can lead to the aggravation of existing problems.
Owners of larger dog breeds (Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Labrador, Bullmastiff, St. Bernard) need to be especially careful - due to the large weight, the load on the joints remains significant. This is one of the reasons why a dog should not be obese.
5. No excess weight
Not only problems with joints are fraught with extra pounds in dogs. It is also an unnecessary burden on the heart and other internal organs of the dog, which are forced to work intensively. Therefore, stop feeding your dog unhealthy treats and table-feeding.
Replace it with organic chews for senior dogs. If you want to pamper your pet with something, pick up special treats and monitor the calorie content of its diet. If necessary, and after consulting a veterinarian, make adjustments to the menu. Dry food of well-known brands have in their line of food for weight control.