Dog pension or how to take the best care of a senior dog?
Aging is a normal part of life, and all dogs will become seniors at some point. It is important to know that senior dogs have different care requirements than young dogs and to treat them while keeping this in mind.
Not all dogs are considered seniors at the same age. It depends on size and breed. Small breeds are considered old around the age of ten. Medium-sized breeds, such as the Golden Retriever, become seniors at 8-10 years of age and large breeds at 6 years of age. It is therefore important to note the first signs of aging and then adjust the care of the dog accordingly. As they get older, they start to have difficulty moving around, their eyesight is not as sharp, they have a harder time hearing what is rustling around, and they are also more susceptible to various diseases. And while dog aging may seem like a sad subject to some, they can live out their retirement in health. So how can we make the autumn of their lives more enjoyable?
A balanced diet plays a big role in keeping your senior dog fit. Since the dog is not bursting with as much energy and has less exercise as he gets older, he is at a higher risk of obesity. That's why it's important to find the best low-fat, low-calorie food to prevent weight gain.
Regular exercise will help your dog maintain his ideal weight and will also have a positive impact on his overall health. It is best to consult your veterinarian, who will know best how much exercise your dog is still capable of. Be patient, your dog may not be able to walk as much as he did in his younger days, but if you give him regular walks, his physical condition will still be good.
Regular checks with the vet
Regular veterinary care is one of the most important factors in caring for an older dog. As the dog ages, his immune system weakens, making him more susceptible to various diseases. That's why most vets recommend preventive checkups every six months. With regular vet visits, you can detect early on that something is wrong and provide your dog with the best possible treatment.
You have certainly seen a senior dog that was missing a few teeth. If you do not want your pet to end up like that, focus on oral care in his old age. This should not be neglected from an early age, but you should pay more attention to it in old age. The vet should check your pet's teeth regularly and advise you on how to care for them. There are several options from dog toothbrushes to dental treats. It then depends on which care will be best for your old buddy.
As the dog ages, so does his hair and the once luxurious, rich "mane" can later become dull and lusterless. Senior dogs can also suffer from dry, flaky, and irritated skin, which can become worse with inadequate care. So be sure to brush your dog regularly. We also recommend using only gentle shampoos that nourish irritated skin and hair.
Make moving around the house as easy as possible
Older dogs often develop arthritis or other bone and joint problems that affect their mobility. In addition, an older dog will also have trouble jumping on the bed or sofa at night. In these cases, provide him with an easily accessible place to sleep and rest that he will not have to jump or climb into with difficulty. And if you really want to give him the best possible care, get him an orthopedic bed.
Walking upstairs can also be a problem for the dog as time goes on and should be avoided as much as possible. For this purpose, there are practical ramps that make walking less strenuous, or you can prevent access to the staircase altogether with special gates.
You should also consider getting carpets. It is not advisable for dogs with arthritis to walk on slippery floors. A carpet will help them to get a firm footing and better stability.
Spend time with your buddy
Aging is a perfectly normal part of life, but it is often challenging to keep track of all the changes in your beloved dog. The best thing you can do for him is to live in the moment and cherish all the memories you have together. A senior dog can easily feel anxious if he can't feel his master by his side.
So, try to spend as much time with him as possible. Even though he may not see or hear you well anymore, he still needs your presence to maintain his mental well-being. So instead of focusing on age, take your buddy for a walk, play, and give him some treats. Treat him like your best friend who deserves your love and attention every day.