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Caring for older dogs

Your dog becomes a little slower as it sits, but that doesn’t mean that the older the animal gets, the less fun it is. Finally, as the years go by, the dog becomes more intelligent. Thanks to regular vet care, daily attention and proper feeding, your ageing dog can still enjoy a happy and healthy life.

However, you will definitely notice that your dog’s condition changes as the years go by. Important bodily functions that would normally not have been a problem will begin to slow down or even stop working altogether. Just like in humans, dogs’ senses start to change, so their vision, hearing and sense of smell may become impaired. Appetite may also be reduced – very old dogs often lose a lot of weight and have more spine and ribs.

Dogs are often older than we think, because we remember them as small and full of energy.Predicting a dog’s age is difficult because the signs of ageing often vary greatly between breeds. Small dogs live the longest, while large dogs live relatively . In addition to breed, and specific lifestyle traits determine how long a dog will live. Feeding, exercise and general health play a special role in the life expectancy of dogs.

Signs of ageing

If you want to see if your dog is getting older, observe its behaviour and appearance. Simply assess how your pet looks, feels or behaves. The main signs of an ageing dog are:

Decreased energy

Weakness in the joints, difficulty getting up after lying down or after long walks.
The skin becomes thicker and less elastic. The coat becomes coarser, with bald patches and grey hairs.
Deafness. You will notice it immediately as the dog will not respond to commands or answer when called by name.

Teeth and gums – food falls out of the mouth, drooling may occur, and the dog’s paw may start digging at the teeth. Swollen underarms can be a sign of dental root disease, so it is advisable to contact your vet.
Growths, large lumps or even tumours may appear. Ask your vet to check for such growths, as it may be clean diagnosis can save your dog’s life.

Excessive thirst and copious or uncontrolled urination;

Impairment or inability to recognise their surroundings;

Decreased appetite;

Depression, disobedience, often even aggressive behaviour.

A whitish, bluish film on the eyes is usually normal and does not interfere with vision. But a whitish-white formation can be a harbinger of blindness. Your vet can help you identify this.

Desire to sleep more during the day and less at night. Some dogs wander around the house at night because of aching joints, old age or loneliness.

Weight gain is a very common problem in old dogs

There will come a day when the signs of old age will become obvious, but this does not mean that you have to tuck your dog into a blanket and start worrying. You simply need to change his routine and take a few precautions.

Proper medical care – old dogs need regular check-ups. In addition to annual check-ups and vaccinations, make an appointment with your veta diver for special examinations as the animal ages. Record any other unusual signs and report them to your vet.

Good exercise – obesity and arthritis are two of the most common problems in old dogs, so regular exercise is very important. However, if your dog has arthritis, consult your vet before starting an exercise programme.
Daily routine – a consistent daily routine is a very important factor in your dog’s physical, mental and emotional health. This makes it easier for you to supervise and gives the animal a sense of security.
Healthy coat and skin – include a special brushing treatment (at least once a week) in the daily routine. It is also very important to bathe an old dog regularly. This is another great opportunity to show your dog the love it needs.

Healthy teeth and gums – regular dental care by a vet is very important as older dogs are more likely to suffer from gum disease and tartar formation.

Emotional supporta – try to be sensitive to what is happening in your dog’s life and try to understand that he needs to come to terms with many psychological changes. The daily care of an old dog requires a little more effort from you. Your love, care and dedication help to create an atmosphere of quality of life that your dog can enjoy in his old age.

Feeding older dogs

One of the most important things to do, apart from regular vet care, is to be aware of changes in your dog’s feeding needs. As the pace of life slows down for dogs aged seven years and older, so do their feeding needs. Older dogs are less active, have a slower metabolism and therefore require fewer calories. High quality, easily digestible protein is essential for ageing dogs and is more important than ever in maintaining good body condition.

Special diets for old dogs are formulated to ensure that the animal does not lack concentrated, high quality low-fat protein and easily digestible carbohydrates for energy. Essential minerals help ageing joints, and vitamins, together with protein, help fight infections that attack weakened immune systems. .
The food for ageing dogs is formulated to meet all the needs of the changing body. So your dog can continue to enjoy the food without experiencing health problems.

Your dog needs to be fed once or twice a day, but it is possible that your dog will start to eat more often but in smaller portions. Do not worry, this is normal as smaller portions are easier to digest.
Above all, take care of him with the same love you have shown him all the time he has been with you. The most important thing for a pet is to know that its owner loves it and will never abandon it.

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