Even though your dog will always be as cute as a puppy, your best friend will also get a year older. Read below how to give your golden oldie a comfortable old age so that you can enjoy each other for a long time to come. At Pet essentials, you can read helpful tips & Information for dog parents, and see more ideas about dogs.
Old Age in Dogs: When Is My Dog a Senior?
Whether your dog is a senior mainly depends on his breed. Smaller breeds tend to live longer and are therefore not considered old dogs until later in life.
- Smaller dogs (such as a Chihuahua or Jack Russell Terrier): senior from 11 to 12 years old.
- Medium-sized dogs (such as the labrador retriever or border collie): senior from 8 to 10 years old.
- Large dogs (such as a Great Dane or a Bernese Mountain Dog): senior from 6 to 7 years old
Especially keep an eye out for signs of aging in your dog. Are there not yet, and is your Great Dane still frolicking around like a happy foal? Fine. It’s not just the breed that determines when your dog begins its golden years. Genes, environment, diet, and so on also play a role.
Ailments in old dogs
Older dogs become less mobile over time and sometimes see or hear less well. Their joints can also often become a bit stiffer, and some old rascals suffer from aging ailments such as osteoarthritis.
Therefore, take your four-legged friends to the vet at least twice a year, and use the tips below to make your golden oldie’s life easier.
Tips to pamper your old dog
1. Make your home and car more accessible
When your dog is getting older, it makes sense that he is no longer helplessly down the stairs. Even if he sees less well, it is a great idea to make your house senior-proof:
- Place anti-slip mats on smooth surfaces so that your bum doesn’t have to worry about slipping.
- Use a portable ramp to make stair climbing easier for your buddy. You can also use such a slope to get it in and out of your car more quickly.
Tip: Include some measurements first to avoid making your aid too steep for your wagging buddy.
2. Provide your senior with plenty of exercises
You don’t have to run a marathon with an old dog. Still, that doesn’t mean your senior doesn’t need any exercise at all. The right portion keeps his muscles supple, stimulates his appetite, prevents boredom, and counteracts obesity.
So go out regularly, but keep in mind what your dog can do:
- Build up slowly.
- Allow plenty of rest breaks.
- Watch for signs of discomfort or fatigue.
3. Protect old dogs from heat and cold
Your Alaskan Malamute may not have cringed in the past when frolicking through the snow, but very cold or hot weather can have an impact on older dogs.
- Protect your sweetheart’s paws from cold winter weather with special dog shoes and pamper them with a soft paw balm.
- Take precautions in warm weather: cool your woof with a cooling mat, cooling vest, or dog pool. You can find other tips to keep your four-legged friend cool here.
4. Consider dog diapers for incontinence.
Is your old rascal unable to hold back his pee, or does your dog urinate more often? Give him plenty of opportunities to relieve himself outside and consider training mats to absorb unforeseen pee indoors. Sometimes dog diapers – unique pants to collect urine – can be a help.
5. Make your senior dog extra comfortable
Old dogs are more likely to suffer from stiff joints and other aches and pains. Give your loyal friend some extra comfort with an extra-thick, supportive pillow for peaceful sleep and nap. Just make sure the cushion is firm enough – otherwise, getting up will be a chore.
An orthopedic dog cushion with memory foam is ideal for your oldie: the material adapts seamlessly to your slober’s body.
6. Treat your old dog regularly
Older dogs’ coats are often less shiny and brittle. Therefore, pay extra attention to a good brushing to avoid painful tangles, and use a soft, neutral dog shampoo.
Tip: While combing, feel with your hands all over your sweetheart’s body so that you quickly notice new lumps and bumps.
Also, don’t lose sight of your oldie’s claws. In the past, you may not have had to trim your dog’s nails. But if your slobber moves less, sometimes his nails don’t wear off quickly enough. Keep an eye on it because painful dog nails are an additional obstacle to getting moving.
7. Choose the right food for your senior dog
As dogs get older, they need more or less certain nutrients, digest less efficiently, and are more likely to be overweight.
Adapted food for senior dogs is easier to digest, contains fewer calories, and at the same time ensures that your sweetheart can eat everything he needs.