7 care tips for senior dogs | Living the Country Life
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7 care tips for senior dogs

Tips from a pet nutrition expert on how to care for your dog as it ages.
  • Pottenger expands on the canine care that can be given to allow one’s pet to not only survive but thrive into old age.

    What you can do

    As man’s best friend, dogs age similarly, albeit much quicker than their human companions. In the same way that the elderly need friends through the aging process, dogs need an owner who is willing to go the extra mile with their health care.

    “It can be difficult for owners to come to grips with their dog showing signs of aging,” says Katie Pottenger, CEO of Parker’s, A Natural Dog & Cat Market and pet nutrition expert. “However, once this realization has been reached, there are critical steps that, if done properly, can add more dog years to your companion’s life.”

    Pottenger expands on the canine care that can be given to allow one’s pet to not only survive but thrive into old age.

    Date Published: August 5, 2014
    Date Updated: December 9, 2014
  • Exercise is important to dogs of all ages. However, the older a dog gets, the more crucial this good active regimen becomes.

    1. Exercise

    Exercise is important to dogs of all ages. However, the older a dog gets, the more crucial this good active regimen becomes.

    Though they may not be able to run as fast or go as long as they once did, this should not stop them from staying active. The amount of exercise depends on the size of your dog. Larger dogs are more susceptible to joint pain than smaller ones, so proper precaution is important to ensure a dog is given sufficient exercise without being overworked.

    Date Published: August 5, 2014
    Date Updated: December 9, 2014
  • As dogs age, their diet needs to change in order to sustain their health and changing activity levels.

    2. Healthy diet

    As dogs age, their diet needs to change in order to sustain their health and changing activity levels.

    It is not uncommon for dogs to gain or lose weight as they age. Excess weight causes stress on joints and internal organs, while losing weight can be a result from lower activity levels and cause illness and lethargy. Meals need to be more digestible and contain anti-aging elements. 

    Pottenger recommends avoiding high starch foods, which cause inflammation, and adding a joint supplement into your dog's diet.

     

     

    Date Published: August 5, 2014
    Date Updated: December 9, 2014
  • Doggy dental care is easily overlooked, but it is extremely important for disease prevention.

    3. Keep teeth clean

    Doggy dental care is easily overlooked, but it is extremely important for disease prevention.

    A dog’s mouth is filled with all kinds of germs. Lack of dental care can lead to bacteria, which can travel to a dog’s bloodstream and cause organ problems. There are many toothpastes and treats that can keep your pup smiling from molar to incisor.

    Date Published: August 5, 2014
    Date Updated: December 9, 2014
  • Vet visits are a necessity for aging dogs.

    4. Regular check-ups

    Vet visits are a necessity for aging dogs.

    The immune system becomes weakened, and it increases their susceptibility for disease and infection. Many health issues are not detectable early on without veterinary assistance. A check up to the vet twice a year can lower your dog’s risk of serious infection and disease.

    Date Published: August 5, 2014
    Date Updated: December 9, 2014
  • To make your dog as comfortable as possible, there are many easy changes that can be made in the household and with daily routine.

    5. Alter environment

    To make your dog as comfortable as possible, there are many easy changes that can be made in the household and with daily routine.

    A couple of the more basic alterations can be as simple as moving the sleeping area closer to the outside door and avoiding stairs. As dogs age and their body weakens, their mind still tells them that they are able to the same things they could during their youth. This is where, as their best friend, you can protect the pup from his/herself.

    Date Published: August 5, 2014
    Date Updated: December 9, 2014
  • It’s important that throughout all stages of a dog’s life they have proper human and animal interaction.

    6. Human interaction

    It’s important that throughout all stages of a dog’s life they have proper human and animal interaction.

    When dogs age, so does their mind, body and reflexes. While you may have never seen your dog bite, it is not uncommon for elderly dogs to get agitated and act out.

    Unfortunately socialization can become more difficult as these problems are elevated when an elderly dog is around children or unrecognized animals. Ensure that any new faces are introduced gradually.

    Date Published: August 5, 2014
    Date Updated: December 9, 2014
  • Older dogs usually do not enjoy being groomed or tampered with.

    7. Groom frequently

    Older dogs usually do not enjoy being groomed or tampered with. If that's the case with your dog, take him to the groomer or vet.

    Keeping constant care of your dogs hygiene will help keep their spirits high.

    Pottenger advises that longhairded dogs go to a professional groomer every six to eight weeks. 

     

    Date Published: August 5, 2014
    Date Updated: December 9, 2014

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