When you become a pet parent, you understand that sadly your dog will grow old at a much faster rate than you do, which is an extremely upsetting concept. However, the love that a dog brings to a home is well worth it–no matter how long he or she is alive.
Of course, how you care for your pooch while young is different from how you need to care for your dog as he or she gets older. Obviously, before you can put a care plan in place, you need to determine whether your dog is actually deemed a senior as different dog breeds age at different rates. The larger the dog breed the faster they age; at five years old, a large dog, like a Great Dane, would be senior, whereas a smaller dog like a Jack Russell would still be fairly young and would not be considered senior until around 12 years old.
Once you’ve determined if your dog is, in fact, a senior, the next step is to consider what steps you need to take when it comes to his care. What do you need to do to ensure that he’s being properly looked after? To help you provide your aging dog with a high quality of care, below are some tips!
Schedule regular checkups at the vets
As your dog gets older, the chances that he will develop a health condition increase rapidly, which is why it’s so important that you schedule regular vet checks for your dog, to ensure that any health conditions are caught early and can be treated more easily. When it comes to choosing from various vet clinics, it’s a good idea to look for a vet that your dog is comfortable with and who has a strong knowledge of care for older dogs.
Ideally, you want to make an appointment at least once a year – or perhaps once every six months – to ensure that he is in the best health possible. By scheduling regular veterinary checkups, you can ensure that any health issues are caught as soon as possible, and therefore are easier to treat.
Feed your dog a special diet
When your dog gets older, his needs will begin to change. What this means is that you might want to consider discussing your dog’s diet with your vet, to ensure that he is getting enough of the nutrients that he needs. As dogs get older, they begin to develop various problems with their joints and teeth, and other body parts, which is why there is special food that’s designed for older dogs.
If you’re not sure which brand of food to pick, ask your vet to recommend a good one that will be a perfect fit for your dog and his changing needs.
Make exercise and fun a priority
There is a common misconception that older dogs don’t need exercise or like to play as much, when that actually isn’t the case. Dogs of all ages need regular exercise and a range of toys to help keep their minds stimulated, which is why it’s essential that you still walk your dog every day and invest in toys for them to play with.
If you’re worried that your dog is struggling with walking, mention it to your vet and follow their advice regarding walks. When it comes to toys for your pooch, if you notice that he’s not as interested in certain toys as before, attempt to find toys that are designed for older aged dogs.
There you have it, everything that you need to know about caring for your older aged dog in the best way possible.