As your dog gets older, its care needs and requirements will change. The care needs of an older dog are very different than those of a puppy, and it is important that as an owner, you are prepared for that.

While it isn’t surprising that as a dog ages its care requirements change, you may be unsure at what age your dog will become a senior. Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer for this, the age a dog becomes a senior depends on the individual dog.

Factors that affect how quickly your dog will age are things like breed and size, as well as genetics, environment, and nutrition. Larger dogs like Great Danes, are seen as seniors by five years old. Whereas smaller breed dogs, like Jack Russells, aren’t considered seniors until 12 or 13 years of age.

Regardless of when your dog becomes senior, when he or she does, what is the best way to care for them? As your dog gets older, it can be hard to know the best ways to care for them.

Caring For Your Older Dog

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To help you take good care of your senior dog, we have put together some handy tips below:

1.  Visit the vet regularly

As your dog ages, just like us, he or she will become more prone to certain illnesses and diseases. So it is important that you take your dog for regular checkups with your vet.

Ideally, you should take your dog for at least one vet check each year. This will allow any hidden diseases or illnesses to be picked up early, making them more treatable.

2.  Feed your dog a nutritious diet

As your dog ages, good nutrition becomes even more important. To ensure that your dog is getting all the vitamins and minerals he needs, it is important to feed him a high-quality diet.

If you are unsure about the best brand of dog food to feed your dog, ask your vet for some advice. Your vet should be able to suggest the best type of food for your dog’s weight and lifestyle.

3.  Consider putting your dog on a specialized diet

If your senior dog suffers from a certain illness or condition, such as kidney disease or arthritis, think about putting him on a specialized diet. There are some diets that can help reduce the symptoms of canine illnesses, giving your pet a better lifestyle.

4.  Exercise your dog

Even as your dog ages, he will still require regular exercise. Regularly exercising your senior dog can not only help to keep them at a stable weight, it can also help to keep muscles and joints as healthy as possible.

If your dog gets to a stage where they struggle to walk very far, due to joint or muscle problems, you could look into the various pet strollers available. They are fantastic for transporting an older pet around.

5.  Make sure your dog has somewhere comfortable to sleep

As your dog gets older, having a comfortable bed to rest in becomes even more important. For example, if your dog suffers from arthritis, they could benefit from a soft, comfortable bed to sleep in.

It is important that your senior dog doesn’t get cold, so it is vital that you think about investing in some form of dog bed for your pet.

Senior dogs make just as wonderful pets as younger dogs, they just require a little extra care, that’s all.

Filed under: Dog Care

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