Monday, 8 September 2014

Caring Tips for Senior Dogs: Important Things to Know

Senior dogs have different care requirements than those of a younger dog. This fact probably doesn’t be a surprise to anyone. But exactly how do you know when your dog is regarded as a senior?

It really depends on the individual dog. In general, giant breed dogs age faster than smaller breed dogs. A Great Dane is considered to be senior by roughly 5-6 years of age whereas a Chihuahua may likely only be middle-aged then, and probably not considered a senior until 10-11 years. Large breed dogs fall somewhere in between. A Golden Retriever might be considered senior by 8-10 years old. Genetics, nutrition, environment; many of these play a role in how fast your dog ages.

Regular veterinary care

Regular checkups really are a must for older dogs. It's tempting to miss the check ups but remember that vaccinations, worming and flea treatments remain important on your dog’s senior years. In fact, as the defense mechanisms may not be what it used to be, these preventative measures are essential to keep your older dog in good condition. Older dogs should be weighed regularly, and when indicated have blood and urine analysed for several diseases. Some veterinary clinics run special nurses clinics for older pets to have a regular check up.

Senior nutrition

Aside from ensuring regular veterinary care, comprehending the changing nutritional needs of the senior dog is one of the most significant things you can do. In general, dogs of seven many older (depending on breed) begin taking life a bit easier and, consequently, their nutritional needs begin to change once more. Senior dogs are less active and also have a slower metabolism, so fewer calories are needed. However, high quality, easy to digest protein gets to be more important than ever, to help maintain total body condition.

A good senior diet provides concentrated, top quality protein, low fat, and easy to digest carbohydrates for energy. Key minerals support ageing joints, and vitamins, together with protein, help support the aging immune system.

Healthy skin, coat and nails

As part of your regular routine, you may want to plan a special grooming session at least one time a week. Bathing your older dog regularly can also be very important, but ask a veterinarian about a good quality dog shampoo. This really is another great opportunity to give your dog that loving attention he needs. In case your dog has a long coat you may want to consult a dog groomer to for any trim to make your dog much more comfortable. Nails that previously were worn out by activity may overgrow; become uncomfortable or at worstt grow back around into the paw-pad. Inquire vet/nurse to trim your dog’s claws regularly.

Home comforts
A soft bed goes a long way when you're older with sore joints. Make sure the bed is in a quiet, draft free location, maybe alongside a radiator in winter. Arthritic joints aren't as good at jumping to need to lift a small dog interior and exterior the car, or for larger dogs give a ramp. Also make sure water and food are within easy reach and don’t require trips down and up stairs for example

Staying active
Avoiding obesity is very important for your older dog as it has serious medical implications. Weight loss program is important but so is physical exercise. Speak to your vet about an appropriate dieting and exercise plan for your dog that takes into consideration any underlying conditions for example osteoarthritis.

Daily routine

A regular daily routine is important for your older dog's physical, emotional and mental health, providing comfort along with a reassuring framework.

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