Is your dog growing old? Do you want to make sure he remains happy and healthy in his aging years? Guest author, Jordan Walker, the lead content curator of Coops and Cages, shares how you can make this possible. All dogs shown in this post are up for adoption from Best Friends.
Dogs can live as long as 10 to 16 human years. However, when they grow old, they are at risk of suffering health issues, which affect their mobility, seeing, and hearing. It may even lead to the loss of appetite. The worst that could happen is that they might be vulnerable to chronic illnesses, such as dog tumors and cancers.
Because dogs are known to be loyal, owners become saddened when their canine pals grow old. So, they would definitely want to make their remaining days as comfortable as possible.
Here are some ways to accomplish this:
Do Not Expose Them to Extreme Weather Conditions
Like humans, older dogs tend to be very sensitive to extreme conditions. Their bodies aren’t able to regulate their internal temperature as efficiently as they could when they were young. As such, it helps to always provide them with blankets to help keep them warm. Also, they shouldn’t be left outside the house if the weather is too hot or too cold.
Prevent Them from Doing Heavy Activities
The heart and lungs of your dogs function poorly as they grow old. Hence, they shouldn’t be exposed to excessive activities. Otherwise, their internal organs might give up while trying to cope. However, this doesn’t mean it is healthy to keep them idle. Although dogs are a little less energetic in their senior years, they still need to get those joints moving. Short walks help keep them physically and mentally healthy.
Make Sure They Keep a Healthy Diet
Older dogs need to avoid less fatty foods in their diets. But still, you have to make sure they keep a decent amount of protein in it. If possible, have several meals of smaller servings than 1-2 huge meals in a day. This is preferred because their body can no longer digest food the way it can before.
Give Them Sufficient Vitamins and Supplements
Since older dogs aren’t able to digest nutrients as they used to, you will need to use supplements to compensate. There are tons available in malls, but if you want to be sure, you can contact your vet.
Make Sure They Get Enough Amounts of Sleep
Sometimes, aging affects the sleep cycle of dogs. This can leave them restless at night and asleep during the day. If you are concerned about your pet’s sleep cycle, consult your vet so that he can give you advice on how to introduce medication or therapy to your dog the safe way. Remember, dogs still need enough sleep to remain healthy.
Helping a dog through their aging years is a great way to show your affection for your pet. They may live shorter lives than you, but they sure know how to appreciate your every action and each second you spend with them.
Author: Jordan Walker
Jordan is the lead content curator for Coops and Cages as well as other pet-related blogs. His passion for animals is paired with his love for “attempting” to play the guitar. If you would like to catch more of him, you can visit his Google+ or Twitter accounts.
If you are interested in adopting any of these senior dogs, apply soon! Best Friends is celebrating Adopt a Senior Month by generously waiving adoption fees on all senior dogs and cats. Additionally, the first 25 pets adopted are going to be flown to their new home free!