Like all good things, your journey with pets is also time-bound. At some point, the animal will grow old and leave you for good. Even as it sounds painful, you cannot win the race against time. The healthiest dogs succumb to aging, so even the best care of your pet will not keep it with you forever. Life becomes harder on senior canines, and the pet can face one or more age-related issues over time.
But you can do your bit to comfort your aging dog and even enhance its longevity. Pet care is subjective and depends on the health condition and temperament of your dog. Yet, there are some common rules that all owners can rely on for taking care of gaining animals. Here is some tried and tested advice you can follow to keep your aging dog healthy and make it live longer.
Feed a balanced diet
Like humans, dogs thrive on a healthy diet, and you must ensure that it gets one throughout its lifespan. The diet that the animal eats today will influence its health down the years, so you must build a solid foundation from an early. Give it a nutritionally complete diet appropriate for its age. Even as you pick a high-quality diet from the market, seek recommendations from your vet to make sure that you are feeding the animal right. You may need to be extra conscious once your canine steps into the senior category. Opt for foods higher in fiber and lower in calories. Stick to multiple small meals rather than fewer larger ones to facilitate easy digestion.
Exercise with the dog
Your pet needs to be active throughout its lifetime, even as it ages. Most dogs are active when they are young and slow down as they grow older. As an owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that the animal does not miss physical activity during the later years. The best way to do it is by making exercise a team activity. It will help the pet stay fit and healthy, and the benefits will extend to you as well. Exercise is beneficial for senior dogs as it enhances circulation, strengthens muscles, and improves heart and brain function. Choose the ones apt for the level of strength and stamina of the aging canine. Regularity is the key, so no weekend warriors are allowed!
Prioritize a healthy weight
Another piece of advice you must take seriously for keeping your senior dog healthy and happy is to prioritize healthy weight. It should be a lifelong initiative but becomes a tad more important for aging pets. Obesity dramatically contributes to age-related conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease. Just paying a little attention to your pet’s weight can lower the risk of these problems and boost longevity. If you are careful enough about diet and exercise, managing weight wouldn’t be a big task. Go the extra mile by counting the pet’s calories because it requires 30 percent fewer calories at this age to maintain optimal body weight. Check with your vet for a diet plan if your canine companion is overweight.
Keep pain and anxiety at bay
The biggest challenge for pet owners is to deal with the pain and anxiety of the animal because they can only give signs and indications. You need to be extra watchful if you own a senior dog because aging aggravates these problems. Fortunately, natural therapies like CBD can help you resolve the issues before they affect the quality of life of the aging pet. Consider USDA Certified Organic Pet CBD Oils because you can rest assured about their purity, efficacy, and safety. Discuss the option with your vet because they can recommend the right dosage for a senior dog. You will definitely need to worry less about longevity.
Pay attention to the changes
Aging is likely to take a toll on your canine’s health sooner or later. It can experience a gradual loss of mobility, decline in hearing, poor vision, and insomnia. Like humans, it may also lose its memory over time. Symptoms get only worse with age, so you have to pay attention to the corresponding changes. The animal needs closer supervision at this stage because it can injure itself due to physical and cognitive deterioration. It may even walk out of the house on the road, elevating the risk of mishaps. Have someone around to keep an eye on it. Consider hiring a dog sitter if you have to leave the senior dog alone at home.
Get help fast for a sick pet
Early treatment for medical issues can be life-saving. So make sure that you get help fast for a sick pet if you want it to live longer. Never ignore the smallest of signs, even the ones you may overlook if the dog was younger. For example, loss of appetite in a young dog isn’t a big deal, but you cannot ignore the symptom in an aging canine. Lethargy, sleeplessness, and separation anxiety also warrant a vet visit. You need to be extra careful if the pet has diarrhea and vomiting because dehydration sets in quickly for seniors, and the danger mark may come sooner than you expect. Skip the wait and watch approach right away and get medical attention at the first signs of a problem.
Schedule more regular checkups
The once-a-year check-up routine works for young and middle-aged dogs but not for seniors. You must schedule them more often, even if the animal looks perfectly healthy and sound. Switch to twice a year, with a head-to-toe physical examination from an experienced vet. Discuss the signs and changes you notice in the animal’s body, eating habits, and behavior, no matter how insignificant they appear. An expert can pick early indications of aging issues and start treatment early. They can even devise a preventive health care plan that will help your pet live longer.
A little goes a long way when it comes to caring for an aging dog. Follow these tips and give the animal all the love and care you can. It will definitely live longer and give you company for many more years.