If your dog is walking a little slower than it once did, it might be showing signs of age. As your dog enters its senior years, it may experience some of the same health problems that affect humans. As your dogs' caregiver, it's up to you to make sure its changing needs are taken care of during it's advancing years. Here are some tips that will help you care for your dog as it enters the senior years.
Provide Daily Dental Care
You might not know this, but as your dog ages, it could begin experiencing dental problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. It may also begin to suffer from tooth loss. To help your dog avoid age-related dental problems, you should provide daily dental care. Begin by brushing your dogs' teeth at least once a day. While brushing its teeth, be sure to look for signs of infection, decay, or gum disease. Some signs you should be aware of include bleeding or swollen gums, loose teeth, or visible decay. If you see any of those problems, be sure to schedule a dental exam with your dogs' veterinarian.
Be Prepared for Occasional Accidents
As your dog ages, it may begin to have accidents in the house; moments when it won't quite make it outside. You should be prepared for the accidental urination or bowel movement inside the house. These increased accidents can be caused by a loss of bowel and bladder control or the onset of senility. To help your dog cope with the accidents, try to keep puppy pads on the floor, especially in areas where your dog has frequent accidents. It's also a good idea to increase the frequency of your outdoor visits. If the problem gets too far out of control, it might be time to talk to the veterinarian about medical interventions.
Talk to the Veterinarian About Dietary Changes
If your dog is still eating the same amount of food as it always has, but its activity level has decreased, you may start noticing some weight gain. Unfortunately, too much weight gain during the senior years can lead to mobility problems. It can also cause additional pressure and strain on your dogs aging joints, which can lead to pain. If your dog is putting on a bit too much weight, you'll need to discuss dietary changes with your veterinarian.
Schedule Routine Health Exams
As your dog enters its final years, health problems can pose a serious threat. Things like arthritis, heart disease, and even cancer can take their toll on your dog. To make sure your dog stays healthy, and that illnesses and diseases are caught quickly, be sure to schedule routine health exams at your local animal hospital.