As a pet parent it can be tough to come to terms with the fact that your beloved dog is getting older. However, it’s extremely important to realize the signs of your aging pooch and take measures to ensure your dog’s quality of life is not deteriorating as the years go by. The following are some important ways to help you care for your senior dog and keep him happy as he ages.
Feed Your Dog a Nutritious Diet
The food your dog eats plays a critical role in keeping him healthy. Just as with humans, good nutrition is vital at any age, but properly feeding your dog will help fight the signs of aging and keep him active and playful. Discuss your dog’s diet needs with your vet. He or she can recommend quality brands, special formulas, and crucial ingredients that your dog needs.
Be Sure Your Dog Gets Regular Exercise
Although your dog is older, it is still extremely important that he gets plenty of exercise. Older dogs often spend all day sleeping, but exercise is critical to keeping your dog physically and mentally healthy. Although he may not be able to go for runs or long hikes like he used to, walks will keep him healthy and feeling good. Keeping your dog lean is one of the best ways to maintain his health.
Keep Your Dog at a Healthy Weight
Being overweight can slow down an already less active dog. Extra pounds can put unwanted stress on their joins and internal organs. Your vet will help you create a diet and exercise plan for your dog if he needs to lose weight.
Maintain Healthy Teeth and Gums
Oral care is important throughout your pet’s life, but during their senior years it is critical. Tarter build up can cause gingivitis which creates bacteria in the bloodstream and can damage your dog’s organs. You can keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy with regular brushing and professional cleanings every year. There are also dog toys and treats available that can help clean teeth and gums.
Regular Check-ups Are a Must
Scheduling and keeping veterinarian appointments is very important to maintaining your dog’s health as he ages. Senior dogs should see their vets every six months for a check-up. Diseases and health issues can spring up at any time, but if caught early and treated quickly, the dog is much more likely to overcome them. You may also want to discuss with your veterinarian the various issues and potential diseases that are specific to your dog’s breed. By doing so you will be able to identify early warning signs that may have otherwise be overlooked. Check-ups are also a great time to discuss your dog’s weight and exercise routine.
Your senior dog needs your care more than ever. As a dog ages it is critical to monitor his health and do whatever is necessary to keep him healthy, happy, and safe throughout his “golden years.”
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