Most dog owners know that a dog’s health requirements change as the dog grows older. You need to pay more attention to an older dog than to a younger dog. However, you must know when your dog is classed as a senior dog. The stage at which dogs are categorized as senior dogs depends on the breed. Large breeds mature faster than smaller breeds. The environment and diet also determine how fast a dog grows. You need to learn the health requirements of your older dog to prolong its lifespan. Here are some useful health tips for senior dogs:
1. Be Consistent with the Health Check-Ups
A senior dog requires a thorough check up by a veterinarian at least twice a year. As your dog grows older, you need to be consistent with normal visits to the vet. The vet can examine the dog for any developing complications and advise you on how to take care of the dog. Ask questions during these visits if you are unsure of how to take care of the dog or its growth process. Veterinarians have the experience and knowledge in the health requirements of different dog breeds at different stages of development.
2. Feed your Dog with an Age-Appropriate diet
Your dog’s dietary requirements change with age. If your dog has any health complications, you can improve its health through diet. Supplements like cannabis pet treats have proven effective in treating various conditions that affect senior dogs. Dogs tend to gain weight abnormally when they grow older. You may notice a sudden gain or loss of weight based on the diet, the level of activity, and feeding habits. Consult your vet on the appropriate diet for your dog based on its health status and age.
3. Watch your Dog’s Behavior
Senior dogs are more susceptible to diseases than younger dogs are. A reduction in the level of activity is normal for senior dogs. However, some changes in behavior are signs of oncoming health complications. For instance, changes in appetite, sleeping routines, water consumption, and bowel movements are signs of health complications. Increased irritability may be an indication that your dog is in pain. You need to see your vet immediately if you notice any of these signs in your senior dog.
4. Cushion the Dog’s Bed
Senior dogs require soft beds because of the aging joints. Many of them suffer from arthritis and the pain from the condition makes it hard for them to sleep comfortably. You can buy a special orthopedic bed for your senior dog. Such a bed has a denser foam that cushions the dog’s joints while sleeping. Some orthopedic beds have heat or vibration sources that reduce stiffness and boost circulation as the dog rest. Consider investing in a new bed if you notice a change in sleeping patterns or signs of discomfort at night.
The health and diet requirements of your dog will change as the dog grows older. A balanced healthy diet is a major requirement for all dogs of all ages. However, you need to consult your vet on the nutritional content of the daily diet for your senior dog. Keep the visits to the vet regular and consistent and observe any changes in behavior. You can prevent serious health complications that affect senior dogs if you are keen to observe any behavioral changes.