Caring for an older dogAuthor: Nicolette Craig
Although aging in dogs is much like that seen in humans in that they slow down, get more ailments and their senses deteriorate, dogs can often be older than you think.
Although the oldest ever dog lived for over 29 years, old age in dogs can be very variable. Smaller dogs for example tend to live for longer whereas larger dogs can be classed as ‘old' by the age of six or seven. Things such as medical history, diet and genetics also affect how long your dog will live for.
As your dog becomes older their requirements change. Exercise needs, medicines and diet should all be tailored to your dog. Ailments such as osteoarthritis, dental problems, kidney, heart and lung diseases become more prevalent and need to be looked for. It is important that you take your pet for regular check-ups at the vet as this will ensure that your dog maintains a healthy lifestyle. Some vets run clinics especially for older dogs where they can get weighed and if need be have urine and blood tests.
As dogs become less active and their metabolism slows down it is important that you tailor their diet and provide them with a specific senior dog food. These foods provide high quality, easily digested protein, lower far and as a consequence fewer calories. A good quality dog food will also provide minerals to support ageing joints, and vitamins, along with protein, help support the aging immune system.
Make sure that you continue to look after your dog as before. This includes regular grooming, a bath and dental checks. Although they may have slowed down, it is also still important that they get regular exercise to avoid obesity. Consult your vet for an exercise plan if your dog suffers from arthritis and ensure that you give your dog support getting in and out of the car if they need it.
By maintaining a daily routine, and giving your dog plenty of love, they will feel reassured and better able to cope. Visitors and children should be alerted if your dog is losing either eyesight or hearing as being approached without warning can be frightening and an older dog may lash out.
Finally make sure that your dog has a comfortable, well cushioned dog bed. Older joints need plenty of support and it is a good idea to research a comfortable bed. Site the bed away from drafts and make sure that their food and water are within reach and that they don't need to go up or down stairs to reach them
By following these simple steps your dog should live out their twilight years in comfort and happiness.
Nicolette Craig is a writer for Swell Pets, the UK's Leading Online Pet Superstore. Visit Swell Pets to see their range of pet supplies and dog food.
How to take care of an old dog?Author: Akansha
Like humans, pets also go through a process of growth and maturity. Ageing in dogs is a gradual phenomena and it becomes tough for us to cope up with the different needs of our canine friends as they grow. If you find that your doggie is usually stiff in the mornings or is no more an eager eater or is slowing down and sleeps more deeply, then these signs indicate that he/she is ageing. Their organs deteriorate, energy reduces and their senses decline. It is the time when they are not able to convey properly what they need and hence, greater support and attention from our side is required.
Different breeds of dogs show signs of ageing at different times. Giant breeds tend to age early, for their life expectancy is generally less than 10 years. Large and medium-sized breeds have a life expectancy of 11-14 years, and small breeds can live up to 15 years or more. Health is also an important factor determining the life expectancy. A strong, healthy dog will probably age later than a dog that is stressed by disease early in his life.
There are some steps that should be followed in order to keep your old dog healthy. Exercise your dog daily but try not to overdo it. Cuddle him and reassure him that he is still your cute little baby. Brush and groom him daily to check for lumps and tumours. Take him to a veterinary for regular check-ups. Feeding him the right type of food at the right time is essential. Don't feed him extra, only the amount which he is able to digest in accordance with his dietary needs. If he puts on extra weight, his health might be at a risk.
Keep in mind that there is a significant degeneration in your dog's senses when he/she is growing old. He might not respond to his name or start barking without any reason. Be patient. His auditory powers might be getting weaker. An old dog is very likely to develop tooth and gum conditions because of which, he may let food drop out of his mouth or even refuse to eat. Old dogs are also prone to heart conditions. Coughing, difficulty in breathing and tiredness could indicate possible cardiac problems. Take him to a vet and get him properly medicated for any such problems in order to add years to his life. It is always better to get your dog vaccinated because an old dog is more vulnerable to catch infections. It is also important to note that older dogs do not like change. Do not shift his bed or force him to adapt to new situations.
Make sure that you provide him with treats often and keep the environment happy and cheerful around him. Things might get challenging but be with him and give as much emotional support as you can in his last years. Shop for dog products at http://www.tupples.com