This blog will talk about caring for senior dogs. As they get older, dogs start to have behavioral, physical, and even health changes. Therefore, elderly dogs need care and a lot of attention from tutors to prolong the animal’s life with comfort and well-being.
How to cope with an old dog
Dealing with an old dog may not be an easy task. But you must be patient and very careful with elderly dogs. Dogs can be a bit of work, but it is rewarding to see the comfort and well-being at the end of life of the dear elderly dogs.
To deal with an elderly dog, the first step is to have the patience to adapt to a new routine and tasks, below we will talk about the main points to help deal with elderly dogs.
Key points for dealing with elderly dogs:
- Increase the frequency of checkups;
- Physical activities;
- Room temperature;
- Supervise interaction with more agitated pets.
Elderly dogs tend to have several degenerative diseases, the one that most affects dogs is kidney disease, where the kidneys start to show loss of function. Thus, proper diets are needed to prevent and reduce kidney damage.
In addition, older dogs tend to reduce physical activity, preferring to be quieter, lying down in a comfortable environment, so traditional diets can lead to increased weight gain in these animals.
That’s why commercial formulations of dog food have made a specific food for this stage of life. These foods are balanced and sometimes some supplements are added to meet all the needs of the elderly dog.
Some elderly dogs may no longer want to eat commercial diets, so you should consult a veterinary nutritionist so that they establish balanced natural diets that will be good for the elderly dog.
Increase the frequency of checkups
Elderly dogs tend to have several diseases, including:
- Kidney disease;
Many other diseases can happen, and they are linked to the genetics and routine of each dog.
Elderly dogs should periodically consult with the veterinarian, as the animal’s health status must be monitored through examinations. Some supplements and medications can be prescribed for the rest of the animal’s life.
In addition, you should take care of the dog’s dental health. Cleaning should happen with some frequency. The presence of tartar and gingivitis can influence the appearance of other diseases that can lead to the animal’s death.
Elderly dogs tend to reduce energy thus preferring to lie down and be still. However, the stimulation of physical activities, such as games and low-intensity walks, should happen. So, the dogs expend energy and do stretching and expend the accumulated energy, preventing weight gain.
Toys and play can lead to mental stimulation in dogs, which can help prevent cognitive deficits that are common for some dogs in this age. In addition, games can increase contact with tutors.
Care must be taken with the floor. Elderly dogs should not walk on slippery floors, as with age some dogs may have bone diseases such as osteoporosis. And slippery floors can lead to some foot injuries, causing pain and lameness.
Elderly dogs have thinner skin, thus losing more heat to the environment and making it difficult to control temperature on colder days. In addition, lower temperatures are also associated with increased bone and joint pain.
To alleviate the problem, ensure that the animal is in warm places, in addition, a bed with blankets can help the animal to protect itself.
Supervise interaction with more agitated pets
Elderly dogs prefer to be quiet rather than play, very agitated dogs can stress elderly dogs a lot. Restlessness and excess energy are common in young dogs and puppies. So, it is not advisable to adopt a younger dog when your dog is already old.
Another important factor is that older dogs can end up getting injured in some games with younger dogs. So, it is important to keep them separate, and only keep the dogs together when there is supervision by the tutors.
Elderly dogs are more susceptible to various diseases requiring special care. Patience of tutors is essential in addition to routine adaptations that may be necessary. Elderly dogs need constant contact with veterinarians for evaluations and necessary care for the dogs.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How to cope with an old dog
How to improve the quality of life of an elderly dog?
To improve the quality of life of elderly dogs, care must be taken with food, nutrition, hygiene and physical activity, in addition to constant visits to the veterinarian so that the elderly dog has a quality of life.
What does it mean when the old dog drinks a lot of water?
Excessive water consumption can be a sign of illness in dogs. And it is usually associated with imbalance in the animal’s body and organs. As also the dog drinking a lot of water can be the result of climate changes or even changes in the animal’s environment.
What can it be when the old dog drinks a lot of water and pees a lot?
Excessive water consumption with increased urination can indicate some diseases such as kidney disease, urinary infection and hormonal diseases such as:
If these symptoms are observed, the dog should be taken to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
Bartges, J. W. (2012). Chronic kidney disease in dogs and cats. Veterinary Clinics: Small Animal Practice, 42(4), 669-692
Emanuelli, M. P., Lopes, S. T. D. A., Schmidt, C., Maciel, R. M., & Godoy, C. L. B. D. (2007). Hipoadrenocorticismo primário em um cão. Ciência Rural, 37, 1484-1487.
Lins, J. H. A., Gomes, R. R., Bogdanov, G., Nhan, R., Ferreira, N. M., Carvalho, F. F., & Pinto, C. F. (2013). Carcinoma de tireóide em cão–relato de caso. Revista de Educação Continuada em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia do CRMV-SP, 11(2), 70-71.
Noakes, D. E., Dhaliwal, G. K., & England, G. C. (2001). Cystic endometrial hyperplasia/pyometra in dogs: a review of the causes and pathogenesis. Journal of reproduction and fertility. Supplement, 57, 395-406.
Pictures from pixabay.com