I have brought up my Rottweiler since she was eight weeks. She has become so much part of the family that I just can’t imagine life without her, or how it used to be before she came to us. She is now four years old and I know in another six years she will turn ten and will be firmly in the senior dog category. I know six years are a long way off, but I still want to be ready when that time comes. Here are things I have learned about taking care of her in her old age, putting in mind old age is not a disease but a stage in life.
A senior dog needs to be taken to the vet often for checkups. As dogs age, they experience specific diseases such as arthritis, especially in large dog breeds who might have had hip dysplasia since their younger days.
They might also experience Alzeimers’s just like humans. To be sure, you should monitor your dog for symptoms, such as forgetting to follow orders she has been following since she was a puppy. If the symptoms get worse instead of better, it’s time to visit the vet.
With time, the treats your dog has been gobbling up starts to catch up with him, especially in the seventh year onwards. This means you have to watch what you feed your dog since being overweight puts more pressure on joints, resulting in pain if the dog is arthritic. There are senior dog foods in the market that have lesser calories to keep your dog in ideal weight. However, ensure you consult your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet.
Older dogs are not able to thermoregulate as well as younger dogs do. This means they are affected more by extreme cold and heat. During cold weather, keep your dog warm with a blanket. When you take her outdoors do not leave her out in the cold for too long. During warm weather, keep her well supplied with water, and don’t leave her outdoors for long periods of time.
To keep your dog fit, ensure you exercise her daily. The exercises should not be too strenuous, and they should last between 20 and 30 minutes. Exercising her means she will stay fit and prevent diseases that are a result of being overweight such as cardiac arrest, which older dogs are more prone to.
How to Care for a Senior Dog