Just like humans, as dog’s age, they become more prone to illnesses and certain conditions. Genetics, nutrition, and environmental factors all play a role in how fast your dog ages. So it’s not ‘one size fits all’ care when it comes to senior dogs. Here are a few signs and symptoms to watch out for with your older dog, to keep their tail wagging right through the winter of their life.
Arthritis in older dogs is common, however, it can still be a difficult condition to manage. Inflammation and degeneration of the joints can make walking and standing painful, and cause dogs to slow down. They might start to struggle with things like jumping up or climbing the stairs. Because animals are programed to hide their outward pain, the signs may be difficult to recognize especially at first. Keep an eye out for weight gain (as a result of reduced mobility) sleeping more or changes in the way they move such as jumping up to greet you. Thankfully supplements are effective in managing arthritis in older dogs and can keep pain down and improve their mobility. Cod liver oil is safe to give to dogs, or you could try something like a daily yunnan baiyao capsule. This can slow the onset of the disease and provide relief from painful swollen joints.
No dog’s breath is going to smell like roses; that’s a given. But there’s a difference between regular doggy breath and something indicating that there’s a problem. Plaque and tartar can build up over a dog’s life, but it’s also due to their weaker immune systems why older dogs suffer more with this. Keep an eye on the way your dog eats, make sure they’re not refusing food or favoring one side of their mouth. Tooth issues can present pain in animals just like it can with us so carefully monitor your senior dog to make sure they’re not in any unnecessary pain. You can keep your dog’s teeth healthy by regular brushing- even once a week can make a dramatic difference. Dog’s don’t tend to like this much, starting them while they’re young is ideal but if not try to keep the experience as stress-free as possible. You could give them dental chews to enjoy, and also feed them dry instead of wet food. This is better for tooth health.
Are you killing your dog with kindness? As much as they might enjoy those table scraps, extra treats and everything else they can get their paws on, it’s important to moderate what your dog eats. Classic symptoms include excessive thirst and urination, and losing weight despite the fact they’re eating the same amount. Basically the same kind of symptoms you’d see in humans with type two diabetes. It’s dangerous since it can lead to blindness, liver disease, kidney disease and a whole host of other adverse side effects that could lead to an untimely death. Have your dog weighed to ensure they’re at their correct weight. If not, ask your vet for feeding advice. Treats should be fully moderated, and you should make sure they’re not able to scavenge in bins or snag treats from other family members. You can make your own healthy dog treats that are low in fat and provide lots of useful vitamins and minerals for your pooch. There are loads of recipes and ideas online.