Aging is a part of life and at some point, your fur baby will grow old. The care and parenting that dogs need changes as age progresses. Their mobility declines and so does their hearing and sight over time. They also become more prone to ailments and injuries.
Hence, it is important to take note of the first signs of aging and take the necessary steps to keep your pooch healthy and happy. Read on to know the five best tips to care for your senior canine companion.
- Complete and thorough check-up
As your pet ages, it is advisable to see a veterinarian regularly for checkups. Besides the bi-annual examination, it would be a good idea to get a complete blood checkup done, including white and red blood cells as well as the kidney and liver function.
- Age-appropriate diet
The dietary requirements of a pet change over time. Initially, your fur baby needs a lot of proteins and fat for proper growth but over time mobility and activity levels reduce and it becomes tough to digest food. Obesity can develop with more food and less exercise. So it is important to give your pet a low fat diet.
Give foods that help maintain joint health as bones and joints get brittle with age. Foods high in Omega 3 like fish and egg yolk are excellent. Homemade bone broth is good for joint support. Pumpkin helps increase fiber and bowel issues.
Switching from dry food to canned food might help because with age, teeth get worn out or damaged. Canned food is moist and easier to chew. Most of the good dog food brands have a special category of dog food for senior dogs. Try that out for your pet.
They are easier to digest and many like Fidele+ Senior Dog Food have cancer fighting ingredients like turmeric, ginger and basil in the food composition, which is essential for an older dog. In fact, turmeric is a crucial ingredient for anti inflammation too, which is quite common as age increases.
- Modify activity levels
You cannot expect your canine companion to be as agile and alert as it was in its youth. The long walks and exercise routine you could follow in the initial few years would need to be adjusted over time.
It does not mean you completely stop the walks. In fact, your dog looks forward to the walks. It is good not only for the physical activity part but also for mental stimulation and the feel-good factor. However, keep the walks short and frequent.
In the summer months, take your fur baby out only after sunset or early morning, while during winter months, go out at noon and keep your dog snug with a coat or sweater.
- Dental care
Dental diseases are common in senior dogs as they progress slowly and can go unnoticed easily. It is important to take your pet for dental checkups to the vet. Instill the habit of regular flossing and brushing for better oral health.
- Tweak bedding requirements
As dogs grow older, problems like arthritis and other joint issues develop. Thus, it would be advisable to change their bedding. Give them soft bedding with heated pads. They are available at pet stores. You could also add soft towels and blankets to their bed to give them adequate cushioning.
Not all dogs age the same way and at the same time, but the fact is that all of them grow old at some point. It is a natural process and as a pet parent, you have to be prepared for it. These tips will surely give your senior dog the required care and attention needed to maintain its health and enjoy its senior years to the hilt.