The senior dogs have been with you for a very long time. When they become old, tired, and needy, it’s your duty to care for them and give them a proper life that they needed. Giving them away to care givers is the last thing they would expect from you. So keep them beside you as much as possible and let them leave this world happy and satisfied. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to keep them happy as well as healthy.
Diet Care For Senior Dogs: Food is the first and foremost important factor for the senior dogs. Food is their energy source. They may be reluctant to eat; it is your responsibility to see to that they eat enough. Aging dogs need the correct food in the right amount. Choose the food that is meant for senior dogs to ease their digestive system.
The diet should be low in calories but must have enough protein and fat. The senior dog food is made with less calories and high protein, fiber and fat to make them fuller without eating much. Some of the older dogs may be reluctant to eat dog food and might sow interest in cat food. Add a little cat food in their diet to enhance the flavor. Too much of cat food could be harmful as it contains more protein than necessary for the dogs. Also keep track on their nutritional levels.
Keeping Them Active: This is a hard part. Senior dogs do not like much to indulge in physical activities. You might have to make them do the exercises. Some amount of physical and some mental stimulation is enough for the day. The idea is to keep their muscles intact. Inactivity for a long time could make them lose the muscles.
Make use of some puzzle toys if your dog is interested in. taken him out for a walk everyday without fail, either in the morning or in the evening. Interaction with other dogs might be relieving for them, unless they show signs otherwise. All they need is some attention in one way or another.
Regular Vet Visits: Senior dogs, like the little puppies would need frequent visits to the vet for checkups. They are vulnerable to so many diseases at their age and an early detection could save time and makes it easier for recovery. Set a checkup date for every 6 months or it could even be every 4 months or as needed. Do not hesitate to consult the vet if you notice any discrepancy in their behavior.
Ageing Signs: Older dogs shown change in their normal behavior and patterns. Their frequency of urination might change and there might even be cases of ‘accidents’. Do not blame it on the dog; blame it on its age. Having more than 1 or 2 litter boxes would be helpful in these cases. Also make sure that they are at a convenient place and at a suitable height as well.
Their appetite may change for the good or bad, there is nothing much to worry about it. Their activity level would be decreasing. If there are signs like vomiting, coughing for a long time, limping, sudden hair loss, weight loss etc might be a bigger problem.
It’s Your Turn Now: When you have done all that you can, one more duty is left for you; to be their watchdog. Keep track on all its activities and notice even the slightest change and remember it to tell the vet on the next visit. Because you now your dog than anyone else.
Originally posted 2016-03-23 00:00:06.