Good Bones: 5 Ways To Care For Your Senior Dog
Your dog may always be a puppy to you. But it’s important to remember that our dogs age just like we do and they’ll need a little extra attention and care once they’ve reached geriatric age (six-years-old for large dogs and seven for small dogs).
But what exactly is the proper care for a senior dog? And what can you do to make sure your furry friend ages with grace?
Here are five tips you can use to give your senior dog the care and attention they need:
Bring your dog in for regular check-ups. Most veterinarians recommend that you bring in your dog for a check-up once every six months after they’ve reached the senior age for their breed. Not only do regular check-ups help to keep your dog in good health but they also make it easier to spot and monitor health conditions that aging dogs commonly suffer from. These conditions include cancer, kidney disease, and arthritis.
Make sure your dog is getting the nutrition they need. As your dog ages, their nutritional needs change just like they did when they were a puppy. Consider switching to dog food that’s high in fiber and low-calorie. This reduces your dog’s risk of obesity and improves your dog’s gastrointestinal health. A dog food that’s also high in antioxidants can help to reduce the risk of kidney disease.
Switch up your dog’s exercise routine. Dogs often become sedentary as they age, especially if they suffer from arthritis and other types of joint pain. But a sedentary lifestyle can actually put your dog at greater risk for health conditions like heart disease and obesity. Talk to your veterinarian about which activities are safest for your dog so they can get the physical activity they need to stay healthy. Dog hock support braces and dog leg wraps can also help to reduce arthritis pain so your dog can go on walks without suffering from discomfort.
Brush your dog’s teeth regularly. Approximately 80% of dogs will suffer from gum disease at some point in their lives. Gum disease can make it painful for your dog to eat and can also put your dog at greater risk of heart disease. To help fight back against gum disease, veterinarians recommend brushing your dog’s teeth at least once a day using specialized dog toothpaste. Never use regular toothpaste on your dog. If your dog’s gums are sensitive and a toothbrush is too painful for them, consider using a dental spray and gently wiping away your dog’s plaque with a cloth.
Provide your dog with the accommodations they need. Joint problems and vision loss can make it difficult for your dog to get around the house like they used to when they were younger. To make sure your dog stays happy and comfortable, provide your dog with a soft bed that’s easy to access and doesn’t require jumping. If your home has hardwood floors, consider laying down a rug to make it easier for your dog’s paws to grip the floor.
Just like a senior person, a senior dog needs a little extra attention and care to keep them happy, healthy, and comfortable. By following the tips above, you can make sure your dog receives the care they need as they age.
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