3 Tips To Help You Care For Your Elderly Dog

Posted on: 7 December 2018

Pets are like part of the family. Unfortunately, as time goes by, your pet will continue to age. This new stage of life may bring many additional complications, and your beloved dog may need more help than they used to. Here are three tips to help you care for your elderly dog:

1. Feed your dog specially formulated food.

Just like in humans, nutrition is an important component of your dog's overall health and well-being. As your dog ages, their dietary needs may change. You can keep your dog fit and hardy by feeding them a dog food specifically developed for senior dogs. If you need recommendations on the best brand to feed your dog, ask your veterinarian for their trusted brands. According to NPR, pet food labels aren't well-regulated, which is why it's critical that you get your vet's input.

2. Make sure your dog doesn't exercise too hard.

Older dogs might still feel like puppies at heart, and they may want to play and run just like they used to when they were younger. However, as your dog ages, they can develop heart, lung, and joint problems that can make exercise potentially hazardous. Exercise is healthy for pets at every age, but you should try to moderate the amount and quality of exercise that your dog gets. If your dog has cardiovascular or hip issues, try to limit them to gentle walks.

3. Have an emergency plan.

You do your best to preserve your pet's health and guard against illness, but sometimes health problems can come on very suddenly in older dogs. It's important that you're prepared with an emergency plan in case your dog's health suddenly takes a turn for the worst. Look up veterinarian hospitals nearby, and choose one as your dog's emergency care provider. It's a good idea to keep the phone number and address of your vet hospital in an easily accessible place, such as on your refrigerator. In an emergency, you don't want to be scrambling to look up the necessary information; you want to be able to get your dog to the vet hospital as quickly as possible.

Experts say that old age begins around 6-7 years old for dogs, so you should be on the lookout for signs of age-related health problems when your dog reaches that milestone. With the proper care and adequate nutrition, your dog can stay healthy well into their senior years. Contact a vet, like those at Sylvan Corner Pet Hospital, to learn more.