Taking care of aging dogs might prove to be more difficult than it seems. Typically, dog owners stick with their regular routines, schedules, and diet plans all throughout their pet’s lifespans. However, this should not be the case. A responsible dog owner should know how to adjust and change things up if necessary. This is especially the case when your dog’s grow older. In this article, we will talk about some key things you need to consider when taking care of your aging dog. Specifically, we will discuss strategies on how to combat ticks and fleas, the proper diet plan, and other adjustments and changes you have to make regarding your routine.
Tick and flea prevention and treatment
Ticks and fleas are a life-long threat to pets. Though this may not be much of a problem for young dogs with active immune systems, aging dogs with weaker bodies may not stand a chance. With that said, you must be extra careful and cautious in looking after your pet. Routinely clean your house and disinfect areas where your dog’s prefer to stay or lay around. Also, regularly give your dogs a bath and use shampoos with special ingredients against ticks and fleas. Lastly, continue your dog’s vaccination and medication against pest bites and other infectious diseases. As the age-old saying goes prevention is better than cure. So, always put in that extra effort to keep your dog’s healthy and safe.
Age-appropriate diet strategy
Though it may not seem like a big deal, your dog’s diet strategy should also be appropriate for his/her age. Unlike younger puppies who are more active and playful, older dogs tend to require less daily caloric intake. This is because their bodies are no longer developing and they are usually less active, so they burn less food as fuel. With this in mind, be sure to adjust the amount of food you give to your dog according to how many calories he/she needs. Check with your vet for the right amount. Keep in mind as well that this is not only limited to the quantity of food. It is also a smart strategy to feed your dog with special senior dog food. Typically, this type of food is formulated with more vitamins and nutrients which can help maintain your dog’s muscle strength and bone integrity. Once again, consult a veterinary professional before trying out new food types and brands.
High quantity, low intensity
Aging dogs require more exercise to keep their bodies going. However, you need to be mindful of the intensity of the activity as your dog may not be able to handle extremely vigorous tasks. Regular walks around the block are generally advised to help your dog’s stay active if they just sit around the entire day. Moreover, do not suddenly force your dogs into physical activity. The sudden rise in a heartbeat and internal body temperature could prove to be harmful to your dog’s health, especially to their heart. Regular exercise could also prevent them from going obese. As they are naturally less active and playful, older dogs have higher chances of overeating which may pose other health problems when ignored. Thus, be sure to plan your activities ahead: what to do, when to do it, and how hard you should do it.
Senior dogs may also show signs of bone, joint, and muscle problems. This could greatly affect their mobility and their access to areas around the house. As such, it may be a good idea to set up special tools and items around your home to keep your area safe and free from the danger of injuries. Things like orthopedic beds, dog ramps, and dog gates could prevent them from going to hard-to-reach and hard-to-get-out-of places. Finally, move your dog’s eating and drinking bowl downstairs so that they can easily reach for their food and water without having to do too much work.