Have you ever noticed that older dogs often have the sweetest dispositions? Your senior pooch may be more full of love than ever, but chances are your canine best friend is also experiencing some challenges that come with age. If your senior dog could talk, he might tell you the following five things:
1. I get chilly more easily.
As dogs age, it gets harder for them to regulate their body temperature. You may need to invest in a sweater for cold weather walks and an extra plush bed for your canine companion to get a good night’s rest on.
2. My joints are sore.
Arthritis and joint pain is very common in older dogs, especially in larger breeds. You may notice your sweet pooch having a tougher time walking or jumping up on furniture. Speak with your dog’s vet about a joint supplement regimen and the possibility of prescription medication to control pain. You may also need to tone your daily walks down to shorter, slower strolls.
3. I may get a little confused and forget the rules sometimes.
Cognitive ability can decline during a dog’s golden years. It may become more difficult for your dog to navigate in an unfamiliar area or recognize people he’s met before. Accidents in the house may also occur. As an owner, it’s imperative to practice patience and know that your sweet pooch isn’t misbehaving on purpose. Something more serious than old age could be to blame, so be sure to discuss any behavior changes you notice with a veterinarian. If canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome is diagnosed, it can be addressed with medication.
4. I need a little extra grooming attention.
Even dogs that needed very little grooming in their younger years might require some extra TLC during their golden years. Older canines often experience dryer skin and a more course coat, which might be helped with a fatty acid supplement. Brittle nails are also common for senior pups, so you may need to schedule nail trimmings more frequently.
5. I can’t burn off calories like I used to.
Obesity is a major problem for aging canines, contributing to heart disease, arthritis, and other health issues. Your senior dog may have the same appetite as his younger days, but not the ability to burn off calories as easily. Speak to a veterinarian about switching to a senior dog food specially formulated to help keep the pounds off.