Caring For An Elderly Dog
As pets get older, they often require additional care and this can be a problem if the owner is not adequately informed on how to do this and thus unprepared.
Generally speaking, a dog 7 years of age or older qualifies as a senior. This varies, however, with the size and breed of the dog. For instance, smaller dogs tend to have longer life spans than giant-breed pets.
Special Care For Older Dogs
There are quite a few tell tale signs of an aging dog besides the obvious age factor.
These signs would include:
- The overall slowing down in the general activity of the dog, the longer periods of rest the dog now is prone to taking.
- Greying around the face and muzzle which is more notable in darker furred dogs.
- Hearing problems and perhaps cloudy eyes.
- Increased tiredness (hypothyroidism)
- Bad breath or bleeding gums
- Sudden blindness and changes of weight and appetite
- Changes in urine output. Increased drinking ( which may be indicate diabetes, liver/kidney failure.
The following methods that can be adapted by the owner when caring for an elderly dog:
- Making the dog as comfortable as possible is perhaps the first place to start. As the dog is less like to be active, placing its resting basket or designated resting items such as blankets and throw rugs, in a more accessible location would help the animal find comfort easily.
- Making sure the dog has access to clean water perhaps at different locations in the house, especially if there are stairs to attempt, will be convenient for the dog.
- Changing the diet plan to a low calorie and a low-fat plan would be better, as at this point the dog would very unlikely be capable of coping with a vigorous exercise routine.
- General grooming for the dog should be done more frequently as it will also help the dog’s circulation and will be comforting for the animal. Generally, most dogs enjoy a gentle hair brushing session and it also helps to reassure the dog, that it is still very much loved.