July 12, 2024

At some point, it must have happened slowly. If you rattle the leash, your dog will want to stay on the blanket. When you go for a walk, your four-legged friend can only walk slowly while sticking out his tongue. He used to not get enough time to chase the ball or play with his friends, but now he appreciates every break. He will no longer wake up and pay attention to your calls or the rustling of his bag of treats. He just can’t hear it. And were the gray hairs actually always there?

As your best friend ages, it brings changes to you too. Signs of aging, such as decreased hearing and vision, possible poor hygiene, and the onset of dementia, can severely limit a pet’s quality of life, so owners are called upon to do a special job. Everyday habits, from walks to going up and down stairs, can be problematic for older dogs.

DeineTierwelt explains the current needs of senior dogs and offers tips to make your daily life together more comfortable.

dog and human sitting together in the field
Photo: freepik.com/6m Asset (symbol image)

senior dog walk

Even if your senior dog is still good at using his legs, at some point his movements will slow down and his stamina will decrease. Therefore, adjust the length and pace of your walk to suit your four-legged friend. Don’t overwhelm him, even if he tries to follow you for as long as possible. Take frequent breaks and enjoy sitting on the grass or on a bench with your long-term companion. This is really a quality time and also allows you to relax. Also, just like us humans, it would be a good idea to go for walks with your four-legged friend more often. This is because it’s good for his bladder, which gets weaker and weaker as he gets older.

Keep your pet from freezing and protect them from cold temperatures with appropriate dog clothing. Older dogs often become anxious due to diminished senses. Therefore, cultivate your dog’s eyes and ears, set the path more purposefully and avoid obstacles in a timely manner. This also applies to contact with younger partners. Make it clear to owners with free-roaming dogs that their dog should be on a leash if you think it’s putting too much stress on your four-legged dog. Attach a yellow ribbon to the leash. Many dog ​​owners recognize this sign as a signal that their dog prefers peace and distance.

Things that older dogs need for daily life

When vision deteriorates or osteoarthritis progresses, stairs can become an insurmountable obstacle for older dogs. It’s better to carry him up and down the stairs before your elderly person gets hurt or seriously injured. If you live on multiple floors, the senior dog’s space should be on his first floor. Non-slip floors make daily life easier for seniors and protect them from injury.

If you are making changes to your apartment, introduce these changes to your seniors slowly and in a calm voice on all fours. If his eyes actually stop cooperating, even a chair that wasn’t there before can cause a collision and a big mess. Also, remove anything that could be a trip hazard, such as shoes or toys, from your canine grandpa’s living area.

As dogs get older, their metabolism also slows down. Therefore, adjust the amount of food at the right time to suit your new requirements. Specialty retailers offer special senior foods for dogs that contain enough vitamins for the immune system and fiber necessary for a healthy gut flora. To make the right choice, it is best to seek advice from your veterinarian or a qualified person.

Even if there were no problems before, senior dogs have a fear of loss and don’t like to be alone. So consider whether you can bring your four-legged friend along. If not, arrange for someone to check on your roommate regularly. Preferably someone your four-legged friend knows.

A trusted dog enjoys interaction.
Photo: AdobeStock/rodimovpavel (Symbolfoto)

General tips for living with an older dog

Keep your senior dog mentally healthy and alert. Perhaps he still prefers to sniff things out with his great nose, so hide his favorite toy or treat or let him look for something else. Special intelligence toys for dogs bring changes to the daily life of older dogs and allow their gray cells to continue working. But remember: Your dog is older and needs time to adapt to certain situations.

In addition to regular dental checkups, veterinary check-ups are more important than ever for older dogs. Many age-related diseases, such as heart, joint, and thyroid problems and osteoarthritis, can be treated with drugs. Tumors found early are often operable. Let your veterinarian know about any changes you notice in your four-legged pet.

In addition to regular visits to the veterinarian, massage and physical therapy can also improve your four-legged friend’s quality of life and mobility. Your veterinarian will definitely be able to recommend a good animal physical therapist. No matter what illness your four-legged friend is currently suffering from, dog health insurance that you get early will pay you now.

Older dogs become more cuddly and seek more and more intimacy with people. Therefore, when a long-term spouse comes to you, take your time. Your dog needs you now. Enjoy his love, trust, and every day with him for as long as possible. Because your time is limited – and you’ll have to let him cross the rainbow bridge someday.

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