Though we wish our dogs were eternal, they grow old just as we do. As they advance in age, their needs change and they require more attention so they can be comfortable and live a little longer. Today, I want to talk about 5 things you need to keep in mind when caring for an older pet to keep them healthy and happy!
1. Monitor Their Diet
Senior dogs often develop certain issues with food, such as a lack of appetite, obesity, trouble chewing, and digestive issues. You can prevent these issues with a balanced diet and an exercise regime tailored to your senior dog. As they age, dogs need more fiber and they can benefit from supplements and consuming fewer carbs.
2. Care for Their Teeth
Dental hygiene becomes essential as your dog ages, so it’s important to brush their teeth regularly and have occasional professional cleaning to prevent tooth decay and disease. If your dog hates it when you brush their teeth, you can still care for them with dental treats and toys.
3. Make Regular Vet Appointments
As your dog gets older, you will need to take them to the vet lot more often than before. Ideally, take them twice a year. It’s also common for senior dogs to need blood tests and additional examinations. Some breeds are predisposed to certain diseases, such as diabetes, so early detection is key, which is why you need to make regular vet appointments.
4. Pay Attention to Changes in Behavior
Senior dogs can develop many issues, including hearing or vision loss. Another big thing that may change is their behavior, so you need to pay attention to that. If you notice that they often experience confusion or disorientation, it can be a sign of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD), which is like Alzheimer’s. However, it’s difficult to diagnose because many other issues can affect your dog’s behavior. But whenever you notice changes, go to the vet to rule things out.
5. Make Changes in the Home
Remember when your dog was a puppy and you had to puppy-proof your home? You can do that for senior dogs as well to keep them comfortable and safe. Old pets are more prone to accidents, especially if they have hearing or vision problems or are suffering from CCD. To keep them from getting hurt and to give you some peace of mind, you need to make some changes to your home and senior-proof it.
Consider CBD for Dogs
CBD can be very helpful for many common conditions in senior dogs. Though there’s no definitive evidence of the effectiveness of these supplements yet, the potential benefits and the positive testimonials are interesting. CBD supplements can help dogs with their appetite, anxiety, inflammatory bowel disease, cognitive function, and more. Of course, you need to consult with your veterinarian first, but it’s a great option to consider.
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