May 19, 2010

How to Care for Aging Dogs

Filed under: age of dogs,dog age,Dog health — Dr. Amber Reed @ 6:25 pm

Age advances whether you are talking about humans, birds, cats or dogs.  As we get older, we become more susceptible to illness and we endure the natural degeneration of various body systems.  Proper care for an aging dog ensures that your beloved pet can enjoy the last years of his life comfortably.  Moreover, certain behaviors can even extend the life of your pet; for example, it is important that your dog is fed a healthy diet and gets lots of exercise.

As dogs age, they often develop special health needs.  Decreased activity level, increased sleep, and less excitement are all signs that your dog is starting to age. In addition, older dogs tend to be more sensitive to extreme temperatures; they may suffer hearing loss; and their skin and coat may change color.  In fact, many of the signs of aging in humans are quite similar to the signs of aging in dogs.  As your dog’s age advances, you can help ease the transition while also stressing the importance of regular exercise.

Still, you will need to consider the fitness of your dog as age advances.  Walks or runs will become shorter and your dog is likely to suffer from some muscle stiffness in his senior years.  Early in the morning you’ll want to give your dog plenty of time to stretch out and work out any stiffness.  Also, as your dog gets older, he will probably have more difficulty climbing stairs or getting in and out of cars so you will have to provide assistance.  Try to give your dog a comfortable bed to prevent unnecessary muscle pain.

As dogs get older, their skin and coat tends to dry out as well.  You can find some great moisturizing shampoos at the local pet store to help stimulate the production of oils.  Regular brushing can also help keep your dog’s coat healthy.  Generally speaking, you want to make your dog as comfortable as possible so he can enjoy his final years.

About Dr. Amber Reed

has written 281 posts in this blog.

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