Dogs which are growing old need special care for their physical and mental health. A balanced nutrition is very important for aging dogs. You should also consult a vet on a regular basis to keep a tab on the dog’s health. Contrary to popular belief, an aging dog can live for many years if proper care is taken.
Do not administer poor quality protein to old dogs as it can seriously hamper the health of the dog. Aging dogs need more proteins than normal adult dogs; so always give him/her good quality proteins. The diet should consist of high quality lean animal proteins like chicken and lamb. The digestive system of an old dog gets stressed out due to excessive intake of glutens and carbohydrates. The diet should be free from corn, wheat, soy and white rice.
The diet of an aging dog should consist of foods that will support and improve the health of the joints. You can use oral supplements like glucosamine for this purpose. Sea cucumber is also very helpful. The best natural source of glucosamine is the raw meaty bones.
The aging dogs need more care from the vets than the puppies and the young adult dogs. The old dogs needs a check-up thrice a year and a blood work should be done half-yearly. This will help the vet to monitor the health of the dog very carefully. You should be on the look-out for any changes in the behavior of the dogs. The teeth of the dog should be brushed daily to prevent the formation of plaque and tartar.
If you notice any change in the behavior of the dog then you should report that to the vet immediately. The dog may exhibit signs of incontinence which can be due to severe kidney problems. If the dog is becoming a little bit aggressive then it can be due to thyroid disease, brain tumor or may be due to other severe neurological issues. Dementia is also not very uncommon among dogs. A regular visit to the vet from time to time will ensure that your dog is in the pink of health at all times.
You should never keep an aging dog alone at home. She is now not that athletic and agile as before. Mental exercise is necessary to keep away deteriorating health and this hold true even for dogs that are ill or arthritic.
It may happen that your loving dog is no longer capable of walking to the park. In that case put her in the car and take her to the park. Allow her to listen to the familiar sounds and soak in the atmosphere and the smells. You can consider taking her to new places so that she gets exposed to new stimuli. When you are at home you must play those games that will allow the dog to use her mind. Hide her favorite food under one of the three caps and let her sniff out the food. You can even encourage her to play hide and seek in the house. Always allow the dog to sleep near the window so that she can observe the neighborhood. Make comfortable bedding for her beside the window.
Guest article written by: Alia Haley who is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on environment and technology. Beside this she is fond of books. She recently bought a book on Alternative medicine. These days she is busy in writing an article on Takagi Tankless Water Heater.