A dog begins his older years about the age of seven. Growing old is a process in dogs as well as people. However, the changes are not always as obvious in a dog. It is important for a dog owner to learn the signs of old age; even though each dog grow
A dog begins his older years about the age of seven. Growing old is a process in dogs as well as people. However, the changes are not always as obvious in a dog. It is important for a dog owner to learn the signs of old age; even though each dog grows old differently, there are one or more common signs which can be observed in your dog.
One sign you might notice will be that your dog is not as active as before. He will not have the stamina but rather tire more quickly with a change in his sleeping habit such as longer naps during the day or not getting up so early in the morning. He will also show less interest in his surroundings or watch at the sidelines rather than eagerly participating as before. As your dog advances in age, there will be lack of attentiveness, which is a critical stage in aging. The dog either ignores you or seems to disobey, but your dog might be in the process of becoming deaf. Make sure your dog hears your call and give him time to respond.
Some dogsâ sense of smell and taste will diminish and this might cause finiteness in eating. Also, an aging dog becomes more sensitive to temperature change. He is not as capable of keeping warm in cold weather as when he was young. Therefore, he should be protected from extremes of cold such as possible to consider letting the outside dog live in the house or at least a well-insulated doghouse in the very cold weather. Adequate shade and ventilation in the hot summer months is also important. All dogs are creatures of habit but top all older dogs a regular routine becomes especially important since the dog is less adaptable to changes. Any change in his environment can produce emotional and physical stress.
At this time, dogs require diets to meet their levels of activity which is reduced along with the physical changes occurring with age. A completely balanced diet during your dogâs formative years is an excellent way to assure good health in later years. Poor nutrition, whether it be a deficiency or excess, can severely affect the dogâs ability to maintain health. Due to the decrease in activity, couple with the changes in metabolism, the older dog needs fewer calories to provide energy than the younger dog. The total amount of food intake should be reduced, if not, your dog will eventually become overweight. The consistency of diet need not be changed, only the amount per day.
The most common problem with the older dog is overfeeding. The overweight dog is in poor health and becomes a risk in surgery. Most dogs cannot overeat so it is your responsibility to feed your dog the appropriate amount and type of food for a longer life for your dog. To help on overweight dog, you must reduce the amount of food; cut out snacks, donât let him beg for food. Dog biscuits must be included when you count the total food intake. Reduce the amount of food in the dish by one third. Should the dog continue to be fat, cut back again until the dog begins to lose weight, then you can increase the food by a tablespoon full after he is at the right weight until you hit upon the amount were the correct weight maintained. Nevertheless, fat is necessary in the dogs diet, and a small amount of corn oil should be added to his food.
Along with diet, exercise is still an important part of your dogâs health in later years. The amount of exercise depends on the dogâs age and the state of health. However, limiting the exercise to the dogâs capabilities, will retain a healthy attitude along with keeping an interest in life for your dog.
Your dogâs mental healthÂ is important as well as his physical health. Grooming, regardless of age, is essential but in older dogs, his skin becomes dry and scaly due to reduced oil from the glands of the skin. Grooming can give a special meaning to the older dog for it provides extra attention.
Finally, the importance of a veterinary checkup cannot be over emphasized. Vaccination and boosters are always a must. The doctor can detect and treat health problems associated with increasing age such as kidney disease, cancer in the forms of tumors, and cataracts to name a few. Another common difficulties in older dogâs is theÂ digestive system involving the mouth, teeth and the food digestive process.