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Caring for an Older Dog

As your dog gets older in years it may need some specialized care in order to be as comfortable as possible.  Dogs give us a lifetime of enjoyment, but unfortunately their life span does not last as long as ours.  If your dog is facing its golden years then here are some things that you can do to ensure that it continues to live a full and comfortable life. 

Many of the ailments that we, as humans face are also faced by our dogs.  As our dogs age their bodies began to deteriorate to some degree or another.  Some breeds are prone to particular types of problems, such as hip or other joint and bone problems so understanding your own particular breed of dog can help you to look out for these things.  You will no doubt notice that, as your dog gets older, it will begin to slow down.  You might pick up on this because it does not play as hard as it used to or it may be that you notice that it takes longer to get up and to lie down.  Make sure that your aging dog has a very comfortable place to rest.  Many dogs like to have a beanbag of some sort to lie on because it cushions their joints from the hard floor and also helps to retain their body heat. 

Your dog may also develop some other problems that will need some attention.  As your dog will be more prone to sickness it will be necessary to make sure that it is getting a proper diet and adequate exercise for its age.  Some of the main problems that occur during dogs older years are failing eyesight (perhaps from cataracts), arthritis, and problems with its internal organs.  Regular visits to the veterinarian may be necessary in order to continue to care for our aging pet.  They will be able to give you advice as well as any medicine necessary to make sure that your pet is comfortable. 

You will probably want to supplement your dog's diet in one of several ways.  There are specialized dog foods that you can feed to your aging pet but it is always a good idea to supplement your dog's diet.  Either ask your veterinarian or search online for some of the necessary vitamins and minerals that your pet needs to stay healthy.  You can also supplement your aging dog's diet with some low-calorie vegetables.  It would not hurt to steam the vegetables lightly so that they are easier to chew and digest. 

Your dog has, no doubt, given you a lifetime of unconditional love.  You have cared for its needs where it is unable to care for itself.  As your dog is now approaching its older years you might need to step up to the plate even more to ensure its health and comfort.  By doing so you are not only taking care of your responsibility as a dog owner, you are giving yourself some precious extra time with your pet.


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