As pets get older, their needs become different than before. The age at which a dog can be considered senior or old varies. Different breeds have different lifespans and, therefore, different ages at which they can be deemed old. The organs that power the body and the breed of the dog plays a vital role in determining when it is old.
The average dog reaches old age at 6 years, and it can live up to 13 years. Pets can attain longer lifespans if they are provided adequate care. In fact, more knowledge about how to take care of dogs combined with veterinary care and diets has increased the average lifespans of dogs drastically. Today, even in old age, a dog can live a comfortable, long and happy life.
However, the care of dogs in old age has raised various challenges for owners and vets across the world. Developing habits, diets and a caring routine has become a necessity to make sure old age does not result in the demise of the pet.
Various organizations in the world are dedicated to discovering the best ways in order to care for pets when they are older. These organizations include AAHA and AVMA. Thanks to their dedication and research, we are more knowledgeable about the needs of senior dogs and how to prolong their lifespans and make their lives happy and healthy.
A variety of steps need to be taken to provide dogs with the perfect care in old age. This article looks at the many ways in which you can prolong your senior dog’s life and make sure old age is a happy time for your favorite pet.
One of the most important things to consider when taking care of an old dog is its diet. While diet is the most important point of concern at any age, older dogs need to be cared for even more in this regard. Most studies and magazines about healthcare for dogs urge extra caution when creating a senior dog food.
A balanced diet which contains all the required nutrients is recommended for the proper care of a senior dog. You should be very careful of overfeeding your dog as obesity is one of the biggest problems that could affect dogs in old age.
Obesity is often not taken into account when considering a dog’s diet. Owners usually consider getting fat and slower as a normal part of growing old. However, an old dog can still be agile and physically fit. Various data collected by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention shows that 53% of dogs are either overweight or obese. Obesity can lead to lower life quality and a lower lifespan for dogs.
Creating a Healthy and Active Lifestyle
As previously mentioned, the weight of your dog in old age is very important. In order to fight obesity and prolong its life, exercise is very important as well. It can lead to great health and an active lifestyle for senior dogs.
You need to keep in mind that a senior dog cannot exercise with the same intensity as it did when it was younger. Hence, you need to make a plan for exercises that do not overstress your dog.
A veterinarian can help formulate the perfect exercise routine for your senior dog because they are aware of its limitations. It is highly recommended you take your senior dog to the vet and figure out what exercises it needs to do and how long it should be doing them. Medications can also be prescribed if your dog feels weak or is not interested in exercising. What matters most is that the senior dog has an active lifestyle.
As your dog grows old, the number of times it is taken to the vet should be increased. It is also important to have a regular veterinarian who knows the medical history of your canine friend. A study done by the AAHA came to the conclusion that a senior dog should be taken to the vet every six months.
Even if it does not have any visible symptoms of diseases or problems, it is better to have it checked often as that could help detect problems at an early stage. Since senior dogs are more prone to diseases than younger dogs, they require adequate care and visits to the vet.
Oral hygiene is an essential component for ensuring your canine friend lives a long and comfortable life. Most diseases find their way through the mouth, so dental care is vital in the senior years of a dog’s life. A routine for oral care needs to be created with the help of a veterinarian.
Once a plan is created, it should be followed completely without any lapses or delays. If you do not care for your senior dog’s oral hygiene, the dog itself will not be able to live a long life.
Parasites are one of the greatest threats to a senior dog’s life. A dog in its old age becomes highly prone to infections and might even require additional vaccinations. Thus, a detailed plan needs to be created with your veterinarian in order to combat these diseases through the use of vaccines. Failure to do so could result in infections that could end your dog’s life.
A senior dog needs proper grooming as part of its care. Dogs with longer hair need the most grooming. Regular grooming is a habit that all owners of senior dogs need to have.
In old age, dogs get more irritated by skin and hair problems, which could result in diseases and a low quality of life. However, if your dog is properly groomed, it would have healthy skin and hair.
These steps could go a long way in making sure your senior canine friends have a long and happy life. An old dog has drastically different needs, and you need to be aware of them and create regular habits that could cater to those needs. Just because a dog is old does not mean it should be unhealthy and sad.