Dogs are considered elderly between 7-13 years of age and over. And, if your Fido has started growing old, he might be undergoing some physical and behavioral changes. Well, these transitions are normal and imperative because as the dogs grow old their bodily functions start deteriorating. Just like us, they too suffer hearing loss, memory impairment, cognitive difficulties, kidney diseases and Cancer. Their joints ache and climbing and running become a task. In fact, chewing the meal properly also takes a lot of time. Grumpiness and depression settle in quickly if the dog is left alone for long. In such hard times, it is our responsibility that we pay more attention to our furry friends who have been like a family member all these years. They require the same care as any elderly human would. Therefore, make little amendments in favor of your old pet.
5 Ways You Can Take Care of Your Old Dog
Provide Comfortable Bedding
Older dogs may suffer from Arthritis and find difficulty not just in doing the physical chores but also in sleeping. As they age, their joints ache and the sleeping patterns change. So, their bed must be very comfortable and highly padded to support their pressure points. If your dog had been sleeping upstairs till now, bring his belongings down so he doesn’t have to climb the stairs.
Change His Diet
Older dogs generally face tooth loss and aches. They may no longer be able to chew those treats and kibbles as easily as they once did. Therefore, you must switch to something that is softer and easily chewable. Maintain a good oral hygiene, flush his mouth daily and check for any abnormalities like pale gums or plaque and tartars. If you see a deposition of any sort or any changes in the mouth, do consult the vet.
Pay Regular Visits to Vets
With age, the body deteriorates at a higher rate which may affect the overall functions of the body. This makes it extremely important to get your Fido checked by the vet, at least once or twice a month so any issues can be handled the sooner they show up.
Keep Him Protected From Parasites
Parasites can infect your pet at any age and are hard to deal with. However, it is harder to eliminate them when the Fido is old because the immunity of the body deteriorates over the years as old age sets in. A body’s natural strength to combat the disease loosens up which indirectly exposes the pet to a higher risk of getting infected with parasites and diseases. In order to prevent them in the first place, it is important to take the measures in advance. So keep your canine on flea and tick preventatives and also start providing heart-worms if you haven’t already.
Be Patient with Your Old Dog
Cognitive functions decline remarkably when the dog grows old. He may not respond to your commands or have issues following them. You may also have to deal with incontinence as old dogs find it hard to hold their pee and can litter anywhere. Loud noises may scare him like hell and he may bark unnecessarily without reason. All these behavioral and physical changes may be challenging to the pet-owners, but they need to be very patient with their furry pal. They must understand – all these transformations have happened because of his growing age. They aren’t deliberate attempts to create a nuisance.
As pets reach their twilight years they need our support and care more often than earlier. Thus, pet owners must spend more time indoors if they have a senior dog at home so they don’t get depressed or dull. Moreover, senior dogs may have frightening thoughts just like older humans; therefore our support towards our aging dog has to be perpetual. Your now senior dog had been a stupendous companion throughout his life. So, why not support him when he needs you the most?! These simple tips will enhance his quality of life and you will understand him better. Follow them, so you can be the best parents to your canine.