As dogs get older, they’ll become more and more part of the family, but they’ll also have some specific issues and needs that you’ll need to take care of to ensure that they’re as happy and healthy as possible.
With this in mind, keep reading to find out more about senior dog care to make sure that you’re doing the very best for your much-loved pet.
Understand the aging process
Although you should definitely know what to do when it comes to your older dog, it’s also worth learning about the aging process in general to ensure that you’re doing the right thing and are aware of what the main issues are. In this way, if you notice your once-energetic dog has slowed down or isn’t eating as much, you’ll have a better idea of why this might be happening and what it means.
Some of the things that older dogs might experience include joint stiffness, decreased energy levels, changes in appetite, and maybe even forgetfulness or confusion. Every dog is different, and some might not be affected much at all, but knowing the signs means that you can start changing how you take care of your dog and perhaps look into upgrading your pet insurance to insurance for older dogs at perfectpetinsurance.co.uk to cover all eventualities.
Diet and nutrition
A well-balanced diet is something that all dogs need, no matter their age, as it’ll help to keep them as healthy as possible (along with regular exercise, of course). However, as your dog gets older, it might be that their diet has to change, as they’ll have different nutritional needs.
This is why when you go shopping, you’ll see that there’s dog food for puppies, adult dogs, and older dogs, and each one is formulated in a different way to ensure the dog itself is getting all the nutrients they need for their age. If your dog starts to display any signs of aging, you might need to switch to senior dog food for them.
Exercise and activity
Senior dogs won’t be as active as they were when they were younger, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t still get exercise, so don’t just leave them inside and assume that they no longer need walks and playtime.
What you will need to do is change the type of exercise you give your dog. Rather than going for long hikes, it might be that a slow walk around the block or in the local park for 10–15 minutes is enough for them. Something is better than nothing, so pay attention to your dog’s needs, and when they start to get tired, the exercise can end (even if it’s only been a few minutes).
Grooming and hygiene
One problem that dog owners often find as their pet gets older is that their grooming needs change. Their fur might get thinner, and they might even develop bald spots, or their skin could be more sensitive. However, they’ll still need regular brushing, and it’s vital that you keep this up as it’s a great form of bonding and makes your dog feel relaxed. It can also help keep their fur in better condition for longer.
Plus, when you’re brushing your dog, you can easily feel for any lumps and bumps that might be a problem and make an appointment with a vet to get them checked out sooner rather than later. Without grooming, you might miss the problem, meaning your dog could get unwell.