Considered as man’s best friend, thoughts of one’s pet dog growing old and eventually dying can be quite painful for any pet owner. Aging of pet dogs is an event that every pet owner should be aware and prepared of. Signs of aging in dogs usually appear when they are between 6 – 13 years old. Signs of aging ranges from slowing of movements, lack of energy, falling of hair, thinning of fur and the likes.
Care of aging dog involves specific consideration and precaution. Old dogs should be given gentle care and attention as they have needs that must be achieved in order for them to live as comfortable as possible before they will die. Old dogs are basically like puppies that are prone to diseases and injuries. This is because puppies are still young to have developed body system that will allow them to take care of themselves. On the other hand, old dogs is now reaching a stage wherein their bodily functions are slowly deteriorating, making it incapable of doing things that a young dog usually does.
Taking care of aging dogs needs modification in terms of its usual diet, grooming and activities. This is done in order to meet their present concerns and needs.
Aging dogs should be provided with fresh foods and water daily. At the same time, feeding must be done frequently as they may tend to eat less in every feeding. Dog foods should be of high quality and enriched with necessary nutrients and vitamins to nourish the dog’s body. Old dogs need as much nutrient supplementation as possible in order for them to be healthy. Providing clean water daily is also important. Water bowls must be refilled every time it is empty to make water available to dogs always. Old dogs are more prone to dehydration. And dehydration can be deadly to an aging dog.
Regular grooming must be specifically observed in aging dogs. They must be regularly combed and brush as to remove the shedding hairs. At the same time, it will stimulate the release of natural oils that can coat the dog’s hair, making it shiny. Shampooing of dog’s hair must also be done very other week. Over shampooing must be avoided as it can cause the dog’s hair to dry. While providing hair care, it is important to check for lumps or bumps that may need immediate veterinary care. Trimming of nails can be done by veterinarians or special dog groomers. But pet owners can also do the trimming, only if they are properly trained as improper trimming may lead to bleeding and infection. When it comes to cleaning the dog’s ear, a soft cloth can be used together with a special ear cleaning solution.
Though they may not be as active as when they were young, it is important that aging dogs must still engage in exercise. Exercises, by means of running or walking around the neighborhood, are recommended. Nonetheless, it is important that pet owners should be mindful when signs of tiring are already showing such as drooping tail and excessive sweating.
It is important that as dogs get older, veterinary visits must be done on a regular basis. In having the dog checked by a veterinarian, problems can be easily detected and treated at the same time. During veterinary visits, appropriate vaccinations can be given that could protect the dog from unwanted diseases. Having a regular veterinary visit can help maintain the dog’s healthy body that could lead to a longer life.