Although many of us don’t like to admit it, there comes a time in every dog owner’s life when a dog grows old. This happens gradually of course, but you’ll notice one day that their fur may be going grey. They might be a bit slower than usual. Maybe they want to sleep more, or suffer with health problems. The way you care for your dog should be a little different to the way you did it when they were young. Here’s what should change as your dog gets older:
When your dog gets older, it might be better to change their diet so that it’s suited to a senior dog. This is usually after the ages of 7 to 8. They might have a more sensitive tummy. Nothing may have changes, but senior food could help to support them when it comes to their joints, exercise, and so on. Specially formulated food will make them feel better and they’ll get a better quality of life.
The Way You Exercise Them
You may need to change the way you exercise your dog as they get older. You may need to take them on shorter walks. Instead of taking them on one big walk, you might find it better for them to go on multiple shorter walks at a time. Some older dogs can become stiff and get arthritis. If this is the case for your dog, then make sure you don’t walk them when they are particularly stiff or don’t seem like they want to move.
Supplementing Your Dog
Whether you currently supplement your dog or not, it’s a good idea to start as they get older. You can buy special vitamins for senior dogs, treating them for arthritis and other common problems.
Grooming your dog is important at any age, but it comes especially important as they get older. You may need to brush them more, and bath them more often. You may also need to pay attention to their claws and paws. If you’re not confident doing this yourself, you could take them to a professional place to help you. Just make sure you read reviews to make sure you can trust the place you’re planning on visiting. Not all grooming places are created equal!
Keeping an Eye on Them
Keep an eye on changes in your dog as they get older. If they put on or lose weight, have changes in their appetite, changes in their fur, toilet patterns etc, then it could be a good idea to take them for a check up. Catching something early is the best way to combat it. You should take your dog for a checkup at least once a year if there are no visible problems, maybe once every 6 months.
As your dog gets older, it can also help you to prepare for what you’ll do once they are gone. It isn’t a nice thought, but it can help you to cope. Some people plan to go to someone who will ashes into diamonds for pets. There are plenty of different strategies though, so pick something that works for you. Good luck!