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Aging Dogs – Comfort for Old Dogs
Old dogs that are happy and pleasant are a beautiful sight. It means that someone has done an excellent job taking care of their dog and making his life worthwhile; says very good things about the dog’s owner.
Arthritis in dogs is common as they get older, they suffer from the same inconveniences as old people: their joints become stiff, their energy levels drop, their hearing weakens, and their vision becomes less sharp. Canine incontinence can also be a problem in older dogs. Fortunately, a dog’s sense of smell seems to be the most resistant to the changes of aging.
There are many products in today’s world that will make your aging dog more comfortable.
Care for older dogs
An old dog appreciates a warm, comfortable bed. An orthopedic bed is a good choice, it provides maximum support and is specially made to relieve joints and bones. For dogs with arthritis these are ideal and are available in a variety of styles. For added comfort, consider a heated dog bed, bed warmer, or heated blanket for your aging best friend. The combination of a supportive bed and warmth will have a very therapeutic effect on your dog. Place the bed in a draft-free place.
Choose food carefully for an older dog. Older dogs tend to put on extra pounds due to reduced activity and burn calories less efficiently. They do best with fewer calories because they use less energy. But don’t cut back on your aging dog’s food; just choose less caloric foods. Ask your veterinarian for dietary recommendations and a vitamin/mineral regimen based on your dog’s health. This can affect his energy level. Make sure your senior dog has plenty of water at all times. Older dogs can dehydrate more easily than younger ones.
Practice is important, but don’t tax your best friend too much. Let him smell the flowers or the “hydrant”. Short walks several times a day, instead of one long one, can be a good idea.
Regular controls are mandatory for older dogs. In addition to annual vaccinations and health examinations, pay special attention to dental care. He will likely lose some teeth and may develop bad breath. Keep his teeth clean and free of plaque and check his teeth regularly. This will reduce the chance that they will develop serious problems, such as heart disease resulting from tooth decay or gum disease.
Incontinence is sometimes a problem for old dogs. There are many reasons. Don’t scold him for something that isn’t his fault. See your vet, maybe it can be cured. A temporary solution to urinary incontinence is to use dog diapers and training pads to declutter your home. Dog diapers are available in several sizes and styles designed for both males and females. Training pads can be placed under your dog to protect the carpet, furniture and his bed.
Finally, a good grooming it is useful for your older dog. Brush every day to keep the coat healthy and to detect any problems such as dry skin, sore spots, unpleasant body odor, fleas and ticks. Check your dog’s ears for an unpleasant odor or discharge caused by an infection.
Genetics play a role. Generally speaking; small dogs (20 lbs) live longer and show no signs of aging until about 12 years old. Whereas in medium sized dogs (20 – 50 lbs) the effect of aging will be visible for about 10 years. For larger breeds (90 lbs and up) aging generally starts to show around age 8. Of course, there are exceptions to this. With advances in geriatric veterinary care, good nutrition and excellent care for senior dogs, the aging process can be slowed.
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