Dogs are amazing. They are the perfect companions for humans, but sadly, dogs don’t live forever, and their life span seems so heartbreakingly short for the amount of happiness they bring to our lives.
This makes losing our pooch a heartbreaking experience, especially when we realize that the dog was only a few years older than us.
So, what can we do about it?
Improving General Health In Older Dogs
Research shows that older dogs have higher rates of joint diseases, such as arthritis, plus other common symptoms, such as weight loss or loss of appetite.
Old age also makes dogs susceptible to dental disease and skin conditions.
These issues can be effectively managed if your older dog is on an effective diet and has regular vet visits. However, there are several things you can do to protect your dog’s health in case of these specific diseases or conditions.
Here is a list of general tips for keeping an older dog healthy:
1. Keep Your Dog Active and Healthy
Older dogs that are kept active help maintain ideal body weight.
The more active your dog, the less susceptible to diseases and conditions it will be.
If you have an older dog that is usually inactive for some reason, be careful not to over-exercise it to avoid injuries. Instead, find activities that are simple and brief so that your older dog can rest between doing them.
In particular, check that your older dog’s joints aren’t getting worn out and give it extra time to recover from walks or jumps. It’s also good to continue taking the vet prescribed supplements if your older dog is on one.
2. Watch Out For Old Age Diseases
It’s important to consider the diseases and medical issues that may plague older dogs, diseases like Cushing’s and diabetes are two examples.
While these diseases can’t be prevented, there are different treatment options than for younger dogs and a vet will be able to help you choose the best possible treatment for your dog and help you, for example, understanding diabetes in dogs.
3. Keep An Eye On The Pup’s Weight
It’s a common sign of aging when your older dog’s metabolism slows down, affecting its appetite and causing it to lose weight.
However, it is also possible that your older pet is eating less because of some health issues or pain in the mouth. In any case, be sure to discuss this with your vet before reducing portions.
4. Avoid Obesity
An overweight older dog is prone to many health issues and complications. The extra pounds put additional stress on your dog’s joints and make it more likely that they will develop a heart condition.
Regular vet visits can help you keep an eye on how much your older pooch weighs, and help you take the right steps to get the weight down.
5. Watch Out For Dehydration In Old Dogs
While there are very few dogs that need extra water, it is still important to make sure that your elderly dog drinks enough water each day.