2017-12-27 / Front Page

Senior dog care

As your dog’s caregiver, there are many things you can do to make him/ her more comfortable. The typical life span of a dog is said to be 12-15 years. Smaller dogs tend to live longer on average, while large and giant dog breeds have shorter life spans. Some dogs appear to age faster than others. This may be due to genetics and overall health.

Signs of aging: You may notice an overall slowing down and less endurance, a lack of interest about toys, games and/or food.

Older dogs may have accidents in the house. Aging animals are at risk for chronic kidney disease, dementia/ cognitive dysfunction, incontinence, cancer growths and tumors.

Here are the things you can do to make his/ her life a little easier.

See your vet every six months instead of once a year, for wellness exams and health screenings.

Change to a senior dog food formula. These often have fewer calories to prevent weight gain, higher nutrient levels and lower protein (taking less of a toll on aging kidneys).

Take slower, shorter walks several times a day.

For dogs having trouble getting around: use ramps on stairs or for getting up to furniture. Place mats down with gripped bottoms on slick floors.

Get a high-quality orthopedic dog bed. It will bring more comfort for your dog’s old and achy body. Allow him/her more frequent potty breaks. Be patient and give lots of extra TLC.

Some helpful websites: helpinganimals.org, dogs.about.com and friendsofanimals.org.

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