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Older dogs, like older people, lose part of their vitality and young vigor as they age, and they are also at risk for acquiring age-related health problems. For older dogs, a trip to the vet is advised twice a year. However, it’s crucial to look out for any health problems that may develop in the meantime. Your older dog may also require more attention than a puppy.
Read on for some tips to keep senior dogs healthy that you should know as a dog parent if you want to make your senior dog’s golden years as pleasant as possible.
When it comes to feeding the dog, make sure to choose meals that are nutritionally complete, of exceptional quality, and appropriate for your dog’s age and stage of life
When you own a senior dog, the ideal diet is generally one that is rich in fiber and low in calories. Your dog may benefit from several little meals rather than a bigger meal once a day.
Even though your elderly pet is slowed down and presumably prefers to sleep a lot, they should still get some exercise. Their muscles will deteriorate without regular exercise, enabling them to perform less and less. Not only does exercise keep their bodies healthy, but it also keeps their brains healthy. Other advantages include:
• Joints stay limber and loose
• Reduces inflammation and pain
• Promotes healing and tissue regeneration
• Flushes out toxins from the cells
• Helps with bowel function and digestion
• Maintains a healthy weight
• Increases mental stimulation
Start with short daily walks for about 10-15 minutes to get your elderly pet started on an exercise routine. Stick to the flat and even pathways. Areas that are rough or steep may be hard for the senior to navigate and may result in an injury. Swimming is a great way for dogs of all ages to get some exercise. If necessary, take regular pauses. If it refuses to exercise, they may feel discomfort or pain in their joints. This leads us to the next point.
It could be arthritis if the senior dog seems stiff, walks a bit slower, has difficulty getting up or is hesitant to go upstairs, or isn’t leaping as high or as frequently as normal. The painful inflammation within one or more joints may affect dogs of any age, although it is most prevalent in older dogs. To keep your dog’s joints supple, make sure he receives regular activity. It’s also crucial to maintain a healthy weight for them so that sore joints aren’t overworked. Supplements including glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM (MethylSulfonylMethane), and hyaluronic acid have been shown to help maintain joints healthy and pain-free. Senior dogs can also improve dramatically after starting a joint supplement program. They are able to walk for longer periods of time, zoom up the stairs, and even become more playful. These canine joint supplements may help your older dog feel more at ease and limber.
Certain breeds, such as Labrador retrievers, German shepherds, and dachshunds, are prone to arthritis; therefore, it’s a good idea to start giving them a joint supplement as soon as possible. The greatest treatment is always prevention.
Omega-3 fatty acids may also help to maintain your pet’s joints in good shape. Omega-3 fatty acids are light and heat sensitive and therefore are made inactive during the manufacturing of commercial pet food. As a result, even if they’re mentioned on the food label, they won’t help you. A dog-specific Omega-3 supplement such as fish oil is what the senior dog needs. Furthermore, Omega-3 fatty acids may help with heart disease, osteoarthritis, and renal illness. Other advantages for your elderly citizen include:
• Reducing the symptoms of allergies
• Reducing growth of bad bacteria and yeast
• Healthier eyes, skin, and brain
• Slowing down the spread and development of cancers
Have you noticed that your dog’s eyes aren’t as brilliant and clear as they once were? Maybe they’re grayish-blue in color? A disease known as Nuclear Sclerosis, sometimes known as Lenticular Sclerosis, affects many elderly dogs. The lens of the eye looks hazy, which is sometimes mistaken for cataracts, although the dog may still see well. If your dog starts slamming into objects more often, it may be a symptom of something more severe. It’s time to go for an eye examination.
Here are some suggestions if your older dog’s vision is deteriorating:
• Use throw rugs to cover slick floor surfaces to keep your older dog’s confidence up. Yoga mats are also effective.
• Natural smells, such as essential oils, may be utilized to designate specific areas in the home (food, bed, door to yard, water dish, etc.)
• Keep your pet’s eating area in the same place and avoid moving furnishings.
• Keep home traffic areas clean and minimize floor clutter to make it simple for your pet to move around the house.
When your dog isn’t feeling well, take action as quickly as possible. Senior dogs have less physical reserve than younger dogs, and they are more likely to become impaired after a series of symptoms, such as:
• Not eating
While a 24-hour “wait and watch” approach with a young dog with similar symptoms may be acceptable, waiting that long with older dogs before calling your veterinarian might be fatal.
We hope these tips to keep senior dogs healthy can keep your old pet fit!
by Maria A Davidson || You can’t buy love, but you can rescue it™ .
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