Caring for an Older Dog
As much as you hate to think about it, your loyal dog is eventually going to grow old and pass on. If your dog is already approaching his or her last days, you may be wondering what you can do to make life as comfortable as possible. Here are a few simple tips for caring for your older dog.
Feed Nutritious Food
While it can be tempting to save a few bucks on dog food by purchasing the cheapest brands available, it is important to realize that nutritious food is imperative for an aging dog. You wouldn’t feed your kids the cheapest and most unhealthy foods you could find, and you should show your dog the same courtesy. Your dog may also have some specific nutrition requirements based on his or her health issues, so it is important to talk to your veterinarian about the most appropriate foods for your dog’s health. Once you switch your dog to a healthier diet, you may notice that he or she has more energy and seems livelier than before.
Monitor Your Dog’s Weight
Obesity is no healthier for dogs than it is for humans, and it is important to make sure your dog stays at a healthy weight in order to maximize mobility and energy levels. If your dog has put on a few extra pounds over the last few months, talk to your vet about modifying your dog’s diet and exercise programs appropriately.
Help Your Dog Exercise
Although your furry companion may seem tired and lifeless much of the time, you are not doing him or her any favors by encouraging a sedentary lifestyle. Your dog will probably respond very positively to a morning or evening walk or a game of fetch. Even if your dog is not able to go for long walks around the neighborhood, a little bit of exercise will surely do him or her some good and will likely improve both of your moods.
Schedule Checkups Regularly
As your dog ages, he or she will need even more expert care than usual. In order to make sure that your dog is as healthy and happy as possible, schedule veterinarian checkups regularly. Your vet may also be able to catch early signs of disease and sickness if your schedule regular and frequent appointments.
Schedule Surgery as Needed
In some cases, older dogs may suffer from disease, vision problems, or joint problems that may require surgery in order to ease discomfort. If your dog has tumors, cataracts, or any other age-related problem that is causing undue suffering, be sure to talk to your vet about the possibility of dog surgery in order to alleviate symptoms and restore the greatest degree of comfort possible.
Check Your Dog’s Teeth
It can be easy to overlook the health of your dog’s teeth, but dental care is very important for all dogs. Gingivitis can build up on your dog’s teeth over time and lead to organ problems due to bacteria in the bloodstream. To avoid this, be sure to brush your dog’s teeth and have them cleaned regularly by your vet.
Just because your dog is older does not meant that he or she can’t have an enjoyable life. To maximize your dog’s comfort, be sure to follow these simple and important care tips.