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Caring for a Senior Dog: 5 Healthy Habits

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Dog licking face of her owner

The wear-and-tear on the body shows and ailments turn up such as diabetes, heart disease, movements, vision problems, and behavior changes. The simple task becomes difficult; fetching a stick turns out to be strenuous, failure to jump up to their favored seat, or missing meals.

Just like you and me, puppies grow to adults and become senior dogs. Along with aging comes challenges and age-related conditions.

As pet parents, it burdens us to see our best friends for years in this way.

Although the years cannot be stopped from advancing, you can do something for senior Fido to enjoy the golden years. If you are wondering how to care and make him happy, here are some inspirations to help you.

Canine Rehabilitation

Just like humans, Fido will experience a decrease in mobility as he ages. His joints harden, body tissues start to malfunction, the muscles and nerves have less reaction. Physical therapy or canine rehabilitation will help senior dogs to regain their mobility and be active.

If your dog is young, old, post-operative, or arthritic, it might be time to consider canine rehabilitation. Canine rehabilitation is a process for dogs to reinforce normal neurological pathways, to gain strength and to increase joint range of motion. Any dog can benefit from rehab.

Animals are very similar to humans. Despite the fact that animals can not express their emotions, they feel the same as the human. Pain, physical disabilities, mobility difficulties can have their bad influence on pets' mood and neurological behaviour. The most effective way to fight this problem is to visit a veterinarian for your pet rehabilitation.

A canine rehabilitation specialist can create and apply therapy plans to improve Fido’s mobility and reduce the pain that he is suffering due to an injury or chronic condition. The specialist may use an array of treatments such as administration of heat or cold on disturbed areas, massage, exercise programs, and electrode stimulation.

Woman does massage to a dog

Canine Rehabilitation can change a lot in your and your pet's lives. Healthy pets can benefit from the rehabilitation process and for those who have some health issues, canine rehabilitation can be a recovery for them.

However, there are also things we could do to facilitate Fido’s rehabilitation like…

  • Adding supplements to their diet can help older dogs with cognitive dysfunction.

  • If your canine has vision issues, you can communicate with him by applying gentle pressure on his butt to sit or the shoulders to roll over.

Consider a Special Diet

As Fido reaches his golden years, there will be some changes, but he will still be your loyal friend. His food intake won’t be the same and you need to consult with the vet before any adjustment.

Watch the calorie intake

The regular routine of the dog may not be the same, a 1-kilometer run will be replaced with a crawl. It’s not because he is lazy, but age caught up with Fido. The metabolic rate suffers and few calories are burned, more are stored as fat. Fido will benefit from food with less fat and calories to control his weight.

Monitor the protein

Older dogs need protein, activities like exercise tend to lose muscle mass, which implies a deficit in protein reserves. The body will lack enough amino acids for tissue repair and energy metabolism.

Giving Tea to Your Dog

Green tea has many health benefits because it is rich in antioxidants and nutrients. But what is good for the pet parent doesn’t mean it’s good for Fido, and vice versa.

You drink green tea because you want to burn the fat in your body, but Fido is trim.

Green tea has caffeine, and this is not good for dogs. But it’s worth a shot if Fido is suffering from an ailment which the tea can treat like symptoms of arthritis. Green tea, in particular, can also inhibit several cancers, including lung and gall bladder cancer. If you must try it go for the all-natural decaffeinated green tea just to be safe. Caffeine-free herbal teas, such as chamomile and peppermint, are beneficial for digestion. As said, you can also give him green or black tea, but make sure that it’s caffeine-free.

Never give green tea to your dog in large quantities or on an empty stomach. Have you read about the study on 32 Beagles given concentrated catechins on empty stomachs? The study ended early because of 16 deaths within weeks. In any case, talk to your veterinarian prior to administering tea as a part of his treatment protocol.

Senior Labrador lays on the floor

Provide Toys for Teeth

Not just because senior Fido loves to play means he reached his second childhood. Every dog, whatever the age, has that puppy in them and always enjoys a fun time, throws a stick and he’ll retrieve it many times.

Aside from the fun and games; toys will keep the gums and teeth healthy, and physically and mentally fit.

Senior dogs suffer from weak sight, hearing, and smell senses and go for soft toys that produce sounds, with bright colors, scented, and flavored. Chewing is a stress reliever for dogs, enticing them to chomp on safe toys.

Schedule Regular Visits with Your Veterinarian

A regular visit to your vet should be on top of your list in caring for senior Fido. Prevention is better than cure, a visit of at least twice a year will detect health issues at an early stage. Treatment can be applied before it becomes full-blown.

Fido reached his senior years a routine test is vital to establish benchmarks to ensure that there won’t be any surprises in his well-being. Further, your vet can give you advice on the proper care for your senior dog to be active and healthy.

Author

Mike Martin

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