Caring For Your Dog As They Get Older: Tips For You

When you are the pet parent to a dog who is officially getting to the point of being a senior dog, you may not know what, if anything, you can do to help them feel better and more comfortable in their old age. Your dog's needs will begin to change as they have more health issues as a senior. Get to know some of the ways that you can provide your dog with the best possible care in their senior years so that they can remain as happy and comfortable as possible.

Be Sure To Keep Them Well-Groomed To Prevent Health Issues

As dogs age, they become less able to keep themselves clean and well-maintained. This can mean that they get more matted fur that can get clumped and uncomfortable. It can also mean that the fur around their genitalia and anus can get quite dirty. All of these issues can lead to skin irritation and even infections.

Be sure that if you have not already set your dog up on a regular pet grooming schedule, you do so when they are seniors. Regular dog grooming services will keep your dog's hair brushed out and trimmed to prevent clumping, skin irritation and infections that could go along with it. Your dog will be happier and healthier with a clean and well-maintained coat.

Get Your Dog Regular Dental Care

As your dog ages, their teeth can lose some of their hardness and strength. This can make it more difficult for your dog to eat their food and can lead to food stuck in their gums and teeth. Of course, food that remains in their mouth will cause plaque build-up, gum inflammation, and other serious dental and health issues.

Make sure that you have your dog go to the veterinary clinic for a dental checkup and cleaning at least once or twice a year once they are seniors. If you begin to notice that they have food stuck in their gums more regularly than they did as a younger dog, talk to your vet about changing to a softer food or other ways to protect your dog's teeth from harm. Because dental infections can spread elsewhere in your dog's body, it is very important to protect their teeth if you want them to remain healthy for as long as possible as a senior dog.

Consider Getting Puppy Pads For Inside The House Just In Case

The older your dog gets, the more difficult it may be for them to wait until you are home or ready to take them outside to urinate or defecate. If you and the other members of your household work fulltime or are in school, this could mean your dog will need to be inside for 8 or more hours a day without a way to get outside and relieve themselves if they need.

Senior dogs who are having bladder and bowel control issues may benefit from having puppy training pads in the house in case of emergencies. These absorbent pads are made for young puppies that have frequent house training accidents. However, they can also be used for senior dogs.

The best way to use these for senior dogs is to place the puppy pads in areas closest to where your dog goes to go outside. Even if you are not home, your dog will likely go and wait by the door when they need to urinate or defecate. So, placing the pads there will give them a place nearby to relieve themselves if they get to the point where they cannot hold it. Of course, if your senior dog loses complete control of their bladder or bowels, there are also diapers designed for dogs that can prevent messes in the house.

Now that you know some of the ways that you can best care for your senior dog, you can be sure that you are doing everything you can to keep them as well cared for and loved as they always have been. Talk to a vet, like those at Canine Center, to learn more.