Your older dog will need some extra special love and care in its later years of life. Though this age is different for each breed and type of dog, here are some basic care tips you can follow to ensure your dog has a healthy, happy life in his old age.
Dietary changes are a must
If you’ve been feeding your dog the same amount of food you did when he was a puppy, you might notice your dog packing on the extra pounds. Feed your dog a healthier diet with food geared toward the older dog with plenty of nutrition and fewer calories. Your local veterinarian will be able to give you a basic diet plan if you’re unsure where to start.
Take care of their teeth
Older dogs are more prone to dental problems, especially if you have a breed like a pug or a Japanese chin who often have underbites that expose teeth to the air. Try giving them dental-helping treats and feeding them a nutritional diet. Some toys and bones can also help dental health. If all else fails, you can always take a toothbrush to your dog’s pearly whites.
Consider modifying your house
If your dog prefers to sleep upstairs, certain joint issues might make this difficult for them. Block off the stairs to prevent injury and focus your energy on making the downstairs a cozy place for your dog. Create a padded, comfortable zone for your dog to sleep on or try laying down more carpet over your hardwood floors. This will make it easier on their joints and feet when they lie down.
Notice signs of poor health
If you catch your dog slowing down, you likely don’t need to take him to an emergency animal hospital in Tucson right away. Of course, if you’re worried, don’t hesitate to visit a 24 hour veterinarian. But, recognize that like humans, dogs will move a little more slowly than they used to. Their hips might sag a little lower, and a walk around the block might make them tired. These are typically normal for older breeds.
However, signs of failing health should trigger you to visit an animal hospital sooner than later. If your dog isn’t eating, or it whimpers when doing everyday tasks, these are signs that your dog is in pain and might need medication. Visit an emergency animal hospital in Tucson if you fear your dog might be in pain before more serious symptoms arise.
Exercise is often one of the best ways to keep your dog healthy. It prevents arthritis and stretches out their muscles. Recognize that your pup might not be able to do all the high-impact activities they used to do. Keep your walks shorter and then build up a steady, regular routine.
Visit the Veterinarian
It’s recommended that older dogs visit the veterinarian twice a year to ensure they’re in good health. While you might not need to visit an emergency animal hospital in Tucson, your veterinarian is a vital resource for taking care of your older dog. Dogs age just like the rest of us and taking care of them in their older years can seem like a challenge. Consider these tips and consult veterinary services to get more advice on your specific breed today.
You don’t need to wait for an emergency to become familiar with our veterinary services. Get the best care you can find for all of your pet’s health needs. We are more than just an animal hospital. Call 520-888-3177 for more information about our specialty services on site, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.