How to Care for an Elderly Dog – Complete Guide

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but old

Just as it happens to us, our dear puppies also age, although they do it at a much higher speed than ours. And when your old age arrives, we must begin to apply a series of specific cares.

Not all dogs age equally quickly, depending on size and breed, some will reach old age at nine or ten and others at thirteen or fifteen. And each one requires their own care, therefore, knowing how to care for an elderly dog ​​is essential.

From Dogsis we are going to show you the most practical and recommended tips for caring for an adult, old or old dog, whatever you prefer to call it. Take care of him as he deserves.

You may also like: Signs of aging in dogs

Index of contents

  • 1 How do I know when a dog is old or old?
  • 2 Food for elderly dogs
  • 3 Increase your petting in older dogs
  • 4 Regulates the exercise of an elderly dog
  • 5 Increase veterinary checks
  • 6 Adapt your home for an elderly dog

How do I know when a dog is old or old?

There are many details that we can appreciate in our dog to determine when it has become an older dog. Although one of the most notorious characteristics is the appearance of gray hair on its muzzle.

When the gray hairs begin to cover our dog’s muzzle, it is a sign that he is older and will soon become an old dog. The old man state arrives when his muzzle is practically covered with gray hair and they also begin to appear on his head.

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The reduction of energy is also a clear sign of old age in dogs, they will stop being so active and will become calmer. Although that does not mean that they do not want to go for a walk and greet other puppies.

Behavioral changes at home are also typical in older dogs, they become more affectionate, more familiar and sometimes even begin to fear being left alone, unprotected.

Large breed dogs have an average life expectancy of about twelve years, while small breed dogs have a life estimate of fifteen to twenty years. Depending on how your dog is, its old age will start at eight or nine years old, or from twelve or fifteen.

older dog with gray hair

Food for elderly dogs

Many dogs reach adulthood with dental problems, due to wear of them during all previous years. So choosing a feed that is soft and chews easily is the best option for them.

In addition, the diet of an elderly dog ​​must contain about twenty-five percent less metabolizable calories, since it will also considerably reduce its physical activity and we do not want it to gain weight.

Fattening will pose a serious problem for your joints and circulation, which is why it is so important to choose a good feed for “Senior” or “Older” dogs. Although you will already know that the best diet is always natural, known as BARF supply.

If you opt for feed, remember that it is low in calories, that it contains a good amount of chondroprotectors (for your joints) and antioxidants, without forgetting that the croquettes are soft.

Increase your petting in older dogs

Elderly dogs tend to acquire more fears and feel somewhat unprotected, so we should increase our affection towards them even more if possible.

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Fondling them daily and showing them how happy we are with them is essential to make them feel loved and accepted, but above all, in their adulthood.

We even recommend that you start to massage your elderly dog, to relax his muscles and also strengthen your emotional ties. You can learn from: How to massage a dog.

On the other hand, it is normal for some elderly dogs to lose control of their bladder and inadvertently urinate at home or in places where they have never done so before. Remember that we should never scold them, we will only use positive reinforcement.

Regulates the exercise of an elderly dog

We must treat an elderly dog ​​like a puppy, we must never force him to run or exercise, nor to take long walks / walks, much less to play when he does not want to.

We simply must maintain our routine of walks with him, but letting him set the pace. If he gets tired and wants to sit down to smell things, we will sit down with him, if he wants to walk slowly, we will go slowly, etc….

The best way to take care of an older dog during walks is to let him tell us how he wants to take walks, when he wants to play, etc… respect your older dog, let him be the one in charge.

Increase veterinary checks

Unfortunately, older dogs do not have the same vitality as young dogs, and a small infection or disease can become very serious for them, since their defenses are not what they were.

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To prevent any kind of problem, we should pay a little more attention to your health and schedule a series of routine visits to the vet. Even if he is not sick, just to check and make sure everything is fine.

Some of the most common diseases in elderly dogs are:

  • Cataracts / Blindness
  • Dysplasia elbow or hip
  • Tartar problems on your teeth
  • Appearance of canine osteoarthritis
  • Cardiovascular / circulation problems

It does not mean that all elderly dogs suffer from them, but rather that they are common in dogs of a certain age.

old dog in bed

Adapt your home for an elderly dog

Older dogs are not as resistant to seasonal changes, or cold, or heat…. So we must adapt a good place inside the house for him, where we can have a comfortable and soft bed for him.

If it is summer and it is very hot, we must try to put your resting place in a cool area (always close to us) so that you feel good. If we are in winter, we will do the same but looking for a warmer place, where you can sleep warm.

It is even a good idea to put two beds, one in our room so that you can sleep with us at night and the other in the living room, so that you can be with us when we are at home.

Always leave fresh water at your disposal and some toys to entertain you when he wants to nibble on them. remember that older dogs, although less, also like to play.

And when his time comes, don’t let him see you sad, just share his last days with love. Do not stop reading: How to cope with the death of a dog.