A little TLC for your older dog
They say, the older a person gets, the more he becomes like a child, seeking attention, care, patience and love. The same or rather more applies to our pet dogs. Infact a dog is like a child throughout their lives. But as age catches on, you cannot afford to ignore even the slightest developments, which would otherwise have been ignored as doggy drama.
As your dog gets older, he will slow down and that’s when he needs and deserves more of your time. We as dog parents or any pet owners should never forget, that our pets maybe able to emote in their own special ways but they might not always be able to convey discomfort they experience.
Though changes will occur, no where is it said that the later years of your dog’s life should be any less memorable. So, as a dog parent I’ve learned a few simple things that can make life easier and comfortable for your dog as he gets older. There will be times that you cannot get rid of the problem but you can definitely ease the pain.
- REGULAR MEDICAL CHECK UPS: Regular medical check ups are the most important and also the simplest duty of a dog parent. Especially with so many illnesses that don’t have visible symptoms. Make sure that these checks include blood tests and also dental check ups, areas prone to ailments. With several caring veterinary practitioners, diseases can be identified and also cured in time.
- GOOD GROOMING: If you can give your dog a short massage once a week- nothing like it! Not only will he/she love you for it, but it will also give you a chance to check for abnormal swelling, lumps, or tenderness. In addition, good grooming with a nice brush will keep the coat healthy and stimulated.
- AVOID LEAVING THEM ALONE: Avoid leaving an old dog and especially an ailing one alone at home. There can be situations which are unavoidable but there are back-up options ranging from pet sitters to kennels who can lend a helping hand. Not only are older dogs lonelier, they also get frightened and may need immediate help when you are away.
- PROVIDE CUSHIONING: As dogs get old, their joints too get weak and they could suffer from arthritis or even hip dysplasia (which is a disorder from birth but gets worse with age and weight). In such situations support the dog by laying a carpet whenever he/she wants to get up or has a tendency to slip. Also cushioning the area where they sleep would be a good idea, it would definitely help to have a warm and cosy bed.
- PREVENT OBESITY: Another common and important aspect to be noted in older dogs is obesity. We pamper our dogs with food and doggy treats are our way of showering love. As dogs grow older, their digestive process becomes slower so they cannot consume just any food. And exercise becomes vital. But there could be a situation when your dog is unfit to walk, in that case you should consult the vet to alter his diet and maintain his weight. (There are several foods that aid weight control, but do not pick up random counter food, please consult the vet first).
- PROVIDE EMOTIONAL SUPPORT: Emotional support and love are an indispensable part of caring for your dog. It is going to get tough, but you need to hold on to that little thing that is your responsibility. A little sensitivity and commitment is all that it takes to get a rewarding lick and a happy, healthy dog.