It is really hard when your precious pup grows up and gets old. The realization that they are far past their puppy years sets in and you start to notice signs of their aging. The truth is, none of us can get around getting old so you need to make sure you are doing everything you can to care for them properly.
Below are 5 of the most important things you can do when properly caring for your senior dog:
Feed Your Dog a Nutritious Diet
Good nutrition is important at every age, but, according to Dr. Ernie Ward, veterinarian and senior pet health expert. “Feeding your pet the proper nutrition in their senior years….is critical to helping them fight the signs of aging and keeping them active and playful.”
Talk with your vet about the type of diet your dog needs. Your vet can make recommendations about quality brands, ingredients or special formulas your senior dog needs to thrive.
Help Your Dog Get Enough Exercise
Your dog may be slowing down but that doesn’t mean he should spend his days curled up on the couch. Exercise is critical to keeping your dog healthy, both physically and mentally. Your dog may not be able to go on long hikes with you but shorter, less strenuous walks will keep him feeling good.
Keep Your Dog at a Healthy Weight
Extra pounds on older dogs means more stress on their body, including joints and internal organs. If you feel your dog needs to shed a few pounds, talk with your veterinarian about a weight loss and exercise plan.
Schedule Regular Check Ups
A lot can happen in between vet visits. The American Animal Hospital Association recommends senior dogs see their vets at least every six months for a check up. Many diseases and health issues, if caught early enough, can be treated.
Don’t Neglect Your Dog’s Teeth
Regular dental care is important throughout your pet’s life but especially for seniors. Dr. Fred Metzger, veterinarian and contributor to the Caring For Your Senior Dog report, says, “older dogs and cats with neglected teeth are time bombs ticking.” The report explains how tartar build up can gingivitis, which can cause bacteria to get into the bloodstream, wreaking havoc on your dog’s organs.
As our best furry friends get older they need more attention to little details in order to catch any under lying illnesses early enough to treat. Never just chalk it up to their age or that they might be under the weather. Once they are old it is much harder for them to heal and snap back into shape.
Are you putting off a vet trip for any reason? Don’t, take them in now!