Many pet parents struggle with the realization that their dog is getting older. But it’s important to recognize the signs of aging and take measures to ensure your dog’s quality of life doesn’t change. Here are some things you can do.
Feed Your Dog a Nutritious Diet
Good nutrition is important at every age, but, according to Dr. Ernie Ward, veterinarian and senior pet health expert. “Feeding your pet the proper nutrition in their senior years… is critical to… keeping them active and playful.”
Help Your Dog Get Enough Exercise
Your dog may be slowing down but that doesn’t mean he should spend his days curled up on the couch. Exercise is critical to keeping your dog healthy, both physically and mentally. Your dog may not be able to go on long hikes with you but shorter, less strenuous walks will keep him feeling good.
Keep Your Dog at a Healthy Weight
Extra pounds on older dogs means more stress on their body, including joints and internal organs. If you feel your dog needs to shed a few pounds, talk with your veterinarian about a weight loss and exercise plan.
Schedule Regular Check Ups
A lot can happen in between vet visits. The American Animal Hospital Association recommends senior dogs see their vets at least every six months for a check up. Many diseases and health issues, if caught early enough, can be treated.
Don’t Neglect Your Dog’s Teeth
Regular dental care is important throughout your pet’s life but especially for seniors. Dr. Fred Metzger, veterinarian and contributor to the Caring For Your Senior Dog report, says, “older dogs and cats with neglected teeth are time bombs ticking.” The report explains how tartar build up can cause gingivitis, which can cause bacteria to get into the bloodstream, wreaking havoc on your dog’s organs.
read full article here