Being a dog owner is a big commitment and it’s important that you are willing to take on the difficult aspects of caring for your pet as well as the fun ones. Having a dog is great, but as they get older and their health suffers, caring for them takes a lot more work. It’s up to you to make sure that they are comfortable and healthy, and that can be tough. There are a lot of new health challenges that you have to deal with and the way that you care for your dog will need to change as well. These are some of the most important things to remember when caring for an older dog.
Regular Visits To The Vet
With a younger dog, you don’t need to take them to the vet that often unless there is a specific problem. But in the same way that people go to the doctor more often when they are older so they can avoid any serious health problems, your older dog needs to visit the vet on a regular basis. Even if you haven’t noticed any issues, they should still get checked over. Preventative care is very important in dogs because it can help to avoid any serious health problems before they arise, and the vet will inform you of any changes that you need to make. It’s much easier and cheaper to prevent disease than it is to cure it, so your dog should see the vet once a year at the very least, if not more.
Senior Dog Food
As your dog gets older, their nutritional needs will change, so you need to adapt their food. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t realize this and they continue feeding their dog the same food that they always have. The problem is, older dogs are not as active and they are more prone to weight gain. That’s why it’s important that you get specific food for older dogs and consider the breed as well. For example, if you have a terrier, you need to look for the best senior Rat Terrier dog food, but that same food would not be good for a different breed that is a different size or has different nutritional needs. It’s important that you watch your dog’s weight and make sure that you are not overfeeding them because if they gain a lot of weight, they increase their risk of all sorts of health problems. If they are rapidly gaining weight, you should get them to the vet right away and seek their advice.
Looking after your dog’s teeth is always important, but they are far more likely to develop problems as they get older. This can be very painful for dogs and make it difficult for them to eat, which will lead to a lot of other health issues, so it’s vital that you take care of their oral health. You need to clean their teeth regularly if you can, but if they are very resistant to this, you can get some treats or toys that help to keep them clean. Make sure that the vet checks over their teeth when you take them in as well. If their oral health suffers and their teeth are damaged, there isn’t much you can do for them, so you need to avoid it.
Exercise can be hard for older dogs, but it’s important that you keep up with it. They will not be able to do long walks like they used to and they won’t be running around so much, but you should still take them out regularly. If they are not exercised properly, they are far more likely to gain weight. As long as you pay attention to your dog and recognize when they are too tired, you can exercise them safely.
Adjustments To The Home
Keeping your dog comfortable is very important, and that means that you may need to make some adjustments to the home as they get older. If your dog has arthritis, for example, it can be very uncomfortable for them to sleep, so you should buy them some softer bedding. Hard floors can be tough for dogs that suffer with joint problems as well, so you should consider putting some rugs or even just some towels down so it’s easier for them to walk around the home. Ramps on the stairs can be a big help as well because they may not be able to climb them otherwise.
It’s important to make these changes as your dog gets older so you can keep them happy and healthy for a long time to come.
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