Published on April 29th, 2014 | by Debbie Martin0
Your Senior Dog – How to Keep an Old Friend Happy and Healthy
When your canine friend starts to get a little bit older, they will have a few different health requirements than they did when they were young. It is important to take good care of your senior dog so that you can ensure that they will get the care that they need to grow old gracefully.
Is Your Dog Going Through Behavioural Changes?
Take a close look at your dog’s behaviour – dramatic changes in the way that they act might be the sign of a disease. Pay close attention to how much they are eating and drinking, as well as changes in their sleep routine or toilet habits.
Also, if your usually laid back and friendly dog becomes irritable for no reason – it might be because they are experiencing a lot of pain. You should ask your veterinarian for advice on what to do.
Older Dogs and Mobility
When your dog gets old and stiff, it will be more difficult for them to get around. Be aware that they might be experiencing arthritis and other health issues that make it hard to get up off the floor or climb stairs. Try placing carpeting on your slippery floor so that your dog can get its footing and consider adding a ramp to help your dog get into its bed.
Changing Your Dog’s Diet
As your dog ages, its diet should change along with it. It is important to feed your dog an age appropriate dog food, which will be specially formulated for older dogs. Also, you will need to start giving your dog smaller portions, because they are naturally less active than when they are young so they will be burning fewer calories. Reducing their portion size will prevent weight gain.
Make Your Dog’s Bed More Comfortable
If your old dog is feeling a little tired and achy, having a warm and soft bed to lie in will really help. Provide plenty of soft towels and blankets for your dog’s bed, which will help him to sleep easier. In fact, you can even buy special beds that are designed for elderly dogs. Some beds even have a heat source, which can be very comforting for dogs with arthritis and decreased circulation.
These are just a few of the ways that you can care for your canine friend in their old age and have a happy and healthy old dog.