Complete Guide To Taking Care Of An Elderly Dog ​​

Complete Guide To Taking Care Of An Elderly Dog ​​

Like humans, dogs age; it is a reality that you must be aware of. As our furry companions reach old age it is important to make their time left on earth tranquil, peaceful, and full of love. We have compiled a list in regard to taking care of an elderly dog.

Old age tends to come too fast to dogs; since, for them, one year of life is equivalent to seven years of human life. So, in reality, when your dog is 3 years old, they are not an infant but rather a young adult at the age of 21.

That is why when they reach old age, more or less after 8 or 9 years, proper care must be presented to them. They must feel the love of their owners more than ever before because easy activities like getting into bed will not be so easy anymore. As dogs age, they become calmer and no longer move at the same energetic pace as before. Just as you have grown, they have also grown only seven times faster.

The average dog typically lives to the age of 10 to 15 years; during this time, you must prepare yourself and make the dog as comfortable as possible. You must offer your understanding and compassion as you observe the energy they once had fade away from their eyes.

Common Signs Your Dog Has Aged

The first thing you should pay attention to is the change of color in its fur, especially in the part of the head and muzzle, revealing the characteristic the white color of old age, which in humans means gray hair. This white hair serves as a reminder that it is not that puppy that once came into your arms and brightened your life; now, it is your turn to brighten your dog’s life with the proper pampering and care that it deserves.

As dogs age, they become less active as they tend to suffer from joint pain and other ailments typical of old age. You will notice that they sleep more often, and when you call them to eat, they do not approach with the same enthusiasm they once had many years ago.

Your elderly dog will still enjoy walks with you, just not as long and energetic as your walks were once before. They tend to walk slowly and take their time, stopping for a few seconds in places to take a break. If they do stop, do not force them to continue walking as they may need a break.

As dogs age, they tend to become more nervous than usual as they can no longer protect themselves with the same energy that they once had. To combat this, you can provide your elderly dog with games that provide mental stimulation.

Larger breeds of dogs tend to have a shorter life span compared to small breeds. However, both breeds tend to age at more or less the same rate and begin to develop signs of old age around 8 to 10 years of age.

Be sure to caress your elderly dog from time to time, spending time with them lying on the floor so that they still feel loved and appreciated. Show them that you still adore them despite their age, as you do not want your elderly dog to become depressed.

Elderly dogs tend to become confused, and you may find them doing things that they did not use to do. Do not be surprised if they urinate or defecate inside of your house as they tend to lose control of bodily functions.

Feeding Your Elderly Dog

Older dogs tend to develop dental problems, also having worn teeth and weak gums. It is essential at this point in their lives to give them soft vegetables or shredded food so that they can easily ingest it without having to chew too much; in addition to this, be sure to provide them with proper dental care.

On the other hand, you can also give your dog regular dog food that has been soaked in a sauce or liquid so that it becomes softened and is easier to eat.

Should you give your elderly dog more protein? Due to the decrease in their physical activity, they do not need as much protein. Their metabolism tends to slow down as they age, and overfeeding them can cause weight gain leading to other health issues.

Weight gain can cause your dog’s hips, legs, and joints to suffer as they do not have the same durability as they once had. Try not to overdo it on your dog’s diet and take them for daily walks. To continue to provide your dog with all of the nutrients that it needs, consider implementing the BARF diet, a homemade diet for dogs.

Increase Patience And Understanding

As your dog ages, it will begin to lose energy and strength and become more nervous; you may find them wanting to be alone to avoid all of the noises around them. This does not mean that they have lost the joy of living; they simply do not get as excited about what is happening around them as they tend to show indifference at times.

It is important to continue to give love and caress them, offering rewards and positive reinforcement through nutritious dog treats that they have always loved. This will ensure that they know that you still love them despite their age and that they remain loved members of your family.

If you have a younger puppy or dog at home, it is important not to give it more attention than your elderly dog; otherwise, your elderly dog will feel rejected by you. Rather be sure to include them in everything you do.

Maintain Regular Exercise

Like humans, as dogs age, they tend to develop health issues along with the other consequences of old age. Their character may become more sullen as a result of what is happening to their minds and bodies. During this time, it is important to provide them with regular exercise to maintain a positive quality of life. However, do not overwork them as their joints are not the same as they used to be.

Provide your elderly dog with daily walks, giving them space to roam around and do what they love to do. By now, your dog knows what it wants in terms of games, walks, sniffing, and relieving itself, among other things.

Common Health Issues

As dogs age, they tend to develop health issues. Some of these common health issues are:

  • Blindness
  • Kidney Disease
  • Canine Osteoarthritis
  • Spine or Hip Issues
  • Circulatory Issues
  • Dental Disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Joint Issues

Keep an eye on your elderly dog’s conditions with periodic veterinary care. Remember that your dog is not so young anymore, and its immune systems tend to become weaker. It is important to keep a close eye on them in order to prevent infection, especially in regard to their respiratory system.

Additional Recommendations For Taking Care Of An Elderly Dog

Make sure that your elderly dog is comfortable and calm at all times. Provide your dog with a special place that is as cozy as possible that they can escape to if they are feeling anxious. Always have clean water available for them to drink to ensure they do not become dehydrated. Be sure to continue to brush your furry friend to ensure his coat remains healthy and free of debris.

The most difficult thing for a person to endure is the loss of a loved one, and the loss of a dog is no exception. You know that the moment will come where they finally cross over the rainbow bridge, but that doesn’t make it any less sad.

In spite of everything, the good moments will remain in your memory; and that should comfort you because the suffering of his old age is now in the past, and he is now at rest.

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