As your dog gets older, you need to pay more attention to their health and look out for any warning signs. Typically, older dogs develop digestive issues that can lead to obesity and a few necessary dietary changes. In addition, you may need to change a few things around your home to cater for your dog’s age and diminished mobility.
Here are few ways you can help to care for your senior dog.
Get the right food
You may need to switch up your dog’s food when they reach around ten years old. Food aimed at older dogs can help them to live healthily and manage any developing health problems. However, if your dog has a specific health condition, you will need to ask your vet for advice on what food to get.
Food formulated for older dogs tends to be lower in calories and lower in protein and fat. This is because older dogs tend to have diminished kidney function, making it difficult for their bodies to process large quantities of food. Instead, invest in dog food that is higher in fibre to aid digestion and dry food to reduce risk of gum disease.
Visit your vet
You may find yourself visiting the vet more often with an older dog. It’s best to attend routine veterinary exams and blood testing to ensure your dog is on the right food and lifestyle. Aim for two check-ups per year for your dog so you can stay on top of their health and any developing conditions. You should also ask our vet whether your dog is predisposed towards certain illnesses because of its breed or other factors. Look out for the warning signals for these conditions and bring your dog to the vet straight away.
Make your home safe
When you get a puppy, you have to ‘puppy-proof your home to make sure they can’t chew any cables, urinate on your favourite rug and knock over the Christmas tree. Well, when your dog gets older, you need to adjust your home to fit their needs again. For example, if they have joint issues, you might want to put some ramps in place for the stairs or couch. Also, try to keep their food and water in easy to reach locations and opt for non-slip surfaces so they don’t fall and hurt themselves.
A pet can enrich your life with a lot of love and happiness. However, it’s important to look after your pet properly to ensure they are comfortable and healthy.