Your pet pooch has been a beloved member of your family for years. As your dog ages, there are different things you need to do to keep him happy and healthy. By partnering with your veterinarian and following these helpful hints, you can ensure that your dog's later years are full of smiles and tail-wagging good times.
Consider Mobility Aids
Just as humans need extra help getting around the house, so do older dogs. If your pet regularly sleeps on the bed or couch, consider getting a doggy step stool or ramp to make it easier to get to that beloved napping spot. Raising water and food bowls off the floor can make it easier for big dogs to eat without neck and back pain. Visit your local pet store to see the different products you can add to your home to make it easier for your dog to get around the house.
Schedule Regular Checkups
Regular checkups are extremely important as your dog gets older. Catching potential problems with your dog's health can help your veterinarian to identify arthritis, kidney disease, or any number of other medical conditions. Be sure to arrive at the vet's office prepared to answer questions about your dog's behavior and appetite to make it easier to identify potential health problems.
Watch Your Dog's Diet
Talk to your veterinarian about healthy food choices for your dog. Your vet might recommend a special diet for any medical issues your dog might have. Dogs with heart disease or kidney disease might need different food than healthy senior dogs. Table scraps should be avoided, as they should be with any dog, as they can cause weight gain and some medical complications. Some human food is even poisonous to dogs, so it is best to avoid giving any food other than dog food to your pets.
Keep an Eye Out for Changes in Your Dog
Changes in a dog's diet, behavior, or overall demeanor can signify a bigger problem. Don't hesitate to call your veterinarian or bring your dog to a local animal hospital like Abri Animal Hospital if you suspect a problem. Keep an eye out for sudden weigh loss, difficulty walking, loss of appetite, increased aggression, or loss of fur. Keep track of how long your dog has had any of these symptoms so you can share the information with the vet when you arrive. This will make it easier to diagnose and treat the problem.
Older dogs require a different type of care, but with hard work and love, you can keep your dog healthy and happy as he grows older. Use this list and talk to your veterinarian about other things you can do to care for your pet.