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Caring for an older and senior dog

7 minutes


Your puppy dog is entering the period of being a senior dog? So you will face new challenges in caring for your pet. Canine seniors need more of our attention and help in everyday life. You have to be aware that your pooch's mobility will not be as good as it used to be. In many situations, he won't be able to cope without you.
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Caring for an older dog

There comes a moment in every pooch’s life that his energy and strength levels slowly begin to weaken. Along with reaching late age, the dog enters the stage of being a dog’s senior. Caring for an older dog requires more commitment than for young dogs.

The senior canine needs more attention, understanding that not all activities that have not been difficult for him so far have now become almost a challenge. The range of movements of the older dog is smaller. He will not be able to do everything on his own for longer.

You realize that as a loving caregiver you certainly want the best for your pet. This is especially true when your pooch becomes the senior dog. You need to be patient and empathetic. There are many ways that will help you in your daily life with your older dog. I will tell you about a few of them. I hope they will be useful to you.

When the dog starts getting old

The ageing process in dogs is very different from that in humans. First of all, adulthood itself lasts much longer than with us. Your dog spends most of his life in the period of being an adult dog. Puppy period only lasts a few months.

Therefore, we cannot correlate a dog’s age with the stage at which the dog becomes old. Of course, in the end, the late years of a dog’s life will be the moment when he becomes a senior dog.

Nevertheless, some dogs, even until very late in their lives, are still full of vigour, and their physical fitness is impressive.

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When your pooch becomes a senior

Let’s focus on how you can recognize that your pet’s life is slowly approaching the moment he becomes the senior dog. You can see grey strands of hair appearing mostly around his face.

If you want to learn more about greying hair in our four-legged friends, please refer to the entry HERE where I explain when our pooch’s hair starts to turn grey due to the passage of time, and how this process takes place. In addition, I also mention situations where a dog’s coat is grey despite his young age.

One of the next signs of old age in your pet is decreased appetite. Admittedly, it will not be a drastic change. Your pet will not suddenly stop eating completely. However, I think as a good guardian you will surely notice if your little dog is not getting as enthusiastic about food as he used to be.

An older dog begins to experience a decrease in energy and willingness to spend free time actively. After exercise, he likes to take a nap to regenerate his strength. Resting in a senior canine is very important.

Older dogs are less interested in playing with toys. Of course, that doesn’t mean they stop paying attention to them altogether. Nevertheless, it can be noticed that this type of spending free time is much less often chosen by canine seniors.

It’s also worth mentioning that older dogs need more hours of sleep. Taking naps during the day becomes longer and more frequent.

Unfortunately, I also have to mention that when our dog becomes an old canine senior, his mobility becomes very limited. The doggie may need our help to stand up or stay on his paws. This applies primarily to those dog breeds which are characterized by suffering from all kinds of joint or bone degeneration.

How caring for an older dog should look like

When your pet enters the senior canine age, first of all, you need to pay more attention to regular monitoring of his health. It is very important to perform all necessary health tests systematically.

If you are not sure what tests are worth doing for your older dog, ask your vet for a consultation. It will certainly tell you what you should pay attention to in the first place.

– taking care of the dog’s mobility

The pooch’s health is not only about monitoring his health from the inside. Older dogs, just like humans, begin to have problems with their joints and spine. In such a situation, it is much more difficult for them to move efficiently.

Then you can go to the dog rehabilitator. In the early stages of doggy ageing, such a person can significantly improve the condition of the dog. Well-chosen rehabilitation can effectively delay the process of weakening your dog’s mobility.

Try to encourage your older dog to a daily dose of exercise, tailored to his abilities. A doggy not encouraged to make any effort will not decide on it on his own. He will choose what is more pleasant and less tiring for him, i.e. a nap.

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– properly selected diet for an older dog

The diet of an older dog is of great importance. It is super important for his health. The senior canine will need many vitamins and micronutrients for his body to function more efficiently.

What’s more, in the case of older dogs, you must pay special attention to what exactly your dog eats. With age, the pooch will not be able to eat all the products he has eaten so far. Some vegetables or fruits will be too hard to digest for him.

It is also worth mentioning that canine senior has more sensitive teeth, so you should not give him hard food. Therefore, when choosing dry food for your older dog, make sure it is soft enough that the pooch has no problem chewing on it.

This also applies to harder fruits and vegetables. Of course, you cannot overdo it and give the dog only food in the form of a soft pulp. If your senior canine’s teeth and gums are in good condition, then this is by no means necessary.

– regular examinations of the senior canine

As I mentioned before, in the case of canine seniors, it is very important to monitor their health. This is especially important when the dog suffers from all kinds of chronic diseases or degenerations.

Unfortunately, poor health will aggravate the signs of ageing in your senior canine. Therefore, if your pet reaches the age of an old dog, you must remember about regular examinations and consultations with a veterinarian.

Provide your senior dog comfortable conditions at home and on a walk

Senior canine will need exceptionally comfortable living conditions in your home. The lair should be comfortable and be low enough for a pooch to enter it, especially with sick joints. All kinds of bedding in the form of a comfortable mat, such as the CHILL line from Bowl&Bone Republic, are perfect.

Older dogs may need a harness designed specifically for senior dogs. They are equipped with special support, for which the guardian can support the pet when he has problems with walking.

Caring for an older dog requires a lot of patience and love

It cannot be denied that caring for a canine senior requires more commitment from us than in the case of a young dog. Nevertheless, I think that every dog guardian will do everything for his pet to make him feel good and safe, also in the later years of his life.

Do have a senior dog under your care? If so, what is the most problematic issue for you in everyday life with an older dog? Tell me about it in the comment.

Zdjęcie Klaudii

Author: Klaudia, author and a great dog lover
The doggy by my side teaches me to enjoy every moment and see each new day as a chance for a new, wonderful adventure. Searching for my soul mate, I found her in dogs' wise eyes.

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2 Responses to “Caring for an older and senior dog”

  1. Caroline says:

    Unfortunately, I have recently noticed a drop in energy in my Daisy. The range of her movements is smaller. Daisy needs more breaks while walking. Now I need to be more patient and empathetic for her.

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