Caring for Older Dogs
As our dogs age it is important to make some changes to help improve their quality of life. Mature dogs need monitoring more than younger dogs to help prevent any illnesses.
Your older dog will need more rest than they did before and it’s best to exercise them little and often. Strenuous activity can make a mature dog sore the next day, 20-30 minutes 2-3 times a day is good.
As they are walking and exercising less, you will need to clip their nails more frequently to stop them from growing too long. If you neglect clipping their nails they can become sore and tender and cause lots of problems in the dog’s feet and toes.
A good way to help your dog feel young is to give them lots of mental stimulation. You can do this by playing with new toys or teaching them new tricks. This is also a great way for you to spend quality time together.
Something for you as an owner to do is ensure that everything your older dog needs is easily accessible. For example, an older dog may not be able to get up steps as easily as he could before, so if any of their toys or food is upstairs then it may be best to move them to a more reachable place so that they don’t struggle to get to anything they need.
As dogs get older, you must monitor their eating habits more closely and if you do notice a change, it is best to get advice from your vet. Similarly, if you notice any changes in their toilet routines, get professional advice from your vet to check that everything is ok.
A common problem with older dogs is deteriorating joints and arthritis. Weight control is vital for helping with these problems and you can do this by following a diet and exercise plan. You can also add a supplement to your dog’s diet to support with joint health and mobility such as Golden Paste or TurmerEase. Another change you could make to help care for your mature dog, is to lay rugs or carpet where there is smooth floor. Hard laminated floors can be slippery for old dogs so laying a rug or carpet can provide extra grip and prevent them from getting injured.
Just because your dog is older it doesn’t mean you can’t spend quality time with them, if anything you should focus more on this! Gentle grooming is a great way to spend time with your dog, and as a bonus, it gives you the opportunity to check for lumps and bumps which, if left untreated, could lead to serious health problems. So by checking and finding problems early you can improve your dog’s quality of life.
Caring for older dogs can be more time consuming and require more adapting from you, but by making these changes and monitoring them closely, you can help them to live their best life even as they feel a bit more tired and fragile! Remember to contact your vet if you notice any changes that worry you.
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