Senior dog health is something that you should be concerned about, especially if you own an older dog. A senior dog’s needs are different from that of younger dogs, and its energy level is much lower, too. As a dog owner, you’re going to have to be more careful about handling senior dog health.
A dog is considered senior at different ages, depending on the breed. Smaller dogs may reach their senior years at the age of 10, and bigger breeds can be considered senior as early as five years old.
To be sure, consult your veterinarian about this matter. If your dog does indeed fall under the category of senior, then you should start being more aware of its needs and taking note of any developments. You may notice that your dog may be moving more slowly than it used to, and it is less resistant to diseases and may be having frequent bowel movements and urination.
As your pet grows older, you should look into a different kind of food for him, one that is specially formulated for older dogs. This kind of dog food can help maintain your dog’s weight, keeping it from tipping the scales, unlike those containing lesser nutrients that may make your pet vulnerable to diseases.
Even though your dog is aging, this doesn’t mean that you should just leave it alone and keep it from moving. Exercise is especially important for senior dog health, because simply having your dog do nothing but lie around will not help it in any way, and may even accelerate its body’s deterioration.
As part of being aware of senior dog health, you should also bear in mind that your dog will be susceptible to certain diseases.
If your dog suffers from arthritis, you will notice that its movements are stiff, and it may even have difficulty keeping up with you during walks. You can help ease this condition by helping your dog lose weight or through recommended medication.
If your dog’s hearing and vision are deteriorating, you should consult the veterinarian to find out what causes these changes. In the meantime, make sure you pet is kept out of harm’s way.
Periodontal disease is another sign that better attention must be given to senior dog health. Its symptoms include the buildup of plaque and even gingivitis. In this case, you should have your dog’s teeth cleaned regularly and don’t forget to give it chew toys as well.
You should remember to stay on top of senior dog health and always be alert when it comes to any changes taking place in your older dog. Schedule regular checkups with the vet and make sure that your senior dog still gets enough exercise. Your dog may be getting on in years, but this is no reason for you to stop enjoying its company and making sure it stays in good condition.