Caring For An Older Dog

caring for your older dog Care

Anyone who has a cherished older dog knows that as they age, their desire to please and play doesn’t necessarily diminish.

Their ability to do so, however, might change. Fortunately, there are things pet owners can do to make sure their aging dogs have as much energy as possible while enjoying good health for as long as they can.

Caring for an older dog isn’t really a whole lot different from taking care of a puppy. It’s just how things are done that might change.

From feeding and exercising to giving them space to relax, slight alterations in daily plans generally are required.

The areas where daily routine might need to change to ensure an older dog well cares for include:

Weight control

It can be very tempting to give a loved pet an extra doggie treat or even scraps from the table – especially when they’re batting big, brown eyes at their owner.

When it comes to older dogs, however, this is generally not a good idea. Keeping a dog’s weight in check as they age can help ward off such conditions as diabetes, heart problems and even joint issues.

The more on track with target weight an older dog is, the more likely he or she will be to maintain health and energy levels.

Nutrition

Feeding an older dog is a little different than nourishing a puppy. Just like people, as dog’s age, they don’t necessarily require as many calories as they once did.

Most pet food companies provide senior lines that can help keep dogs fit and trim well into their teens. These foods should have the proper nutritional balance for an older dog.

Checking with a veterinarian for recommendations is not a bad idea.

Exercise

This can be key to ensuring that an older dog stays healthy. Not only can daily exercise assist an older dog in maintaining the proper weight, but it can also help make sure their legs stay limber and their hearts stay healthy.

Exercising an older dog might be a little different than trying to run the energy out of a puppy, however. Remember, older dogs, just like older people, might get tired a little faster. Whether it’s a fast run around the block or a walk down the street, pay attention to cues from the dog on when it’s time to stop.

If he or she is breathing too hard or seems to winded, consider slowing the pace and perhaps doing something a little less strenuous the next time around. Also, remember to keep water on hand to help ensure your older dog stays hydrated during exercise.

If an older dog has never been exercised before, it’s a good idea to check with a vet before starting a program.

Dogs have an incredible way of becoming full-fledged family members. As they age, their health concerns can change.

Keeping an older dog as healthy as possible often requires a bit of preventative medicine, such as the right diet and exercise, and a whole lot of tender, loving care.

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