All dogs go through various life stages. Just like humans do, they are born and then raised. They start out as newborns, then become puppies. Over time, this toddler-like stage will lead into an adult, grown-up dog. Eventually, they will grow old as well. Let’s say that your dog is over ten years old – at this point, they would be considered seniors. Let’s look at how to take good care of senior dogs!
When Does a Dog Become a Senior?
As we touched on above, your dog will age much the same way you do. However, larger and smaller dogs develop differently. Smaller pups are seniors once they reach 10-11 years; medium and large breeds do so at around 8-10 years; giant breeds are considered seniors at 5-6. Figuring out whether your dog is still an adult or has become elderly is an important distinction to make. After all, their daily diet, exercise regimen, and playtime activities will all change accordingly.
How Should You Feed Them?
Slow metabolism and lower activity levels impact your dog the same way they affect you. That’s why changing up the diet your doggy has is essential. Senior-formula dog food brands are formulated according to how their lives and caloric intake needs change. For example, there won’t be as many calories or fats. At the same time, fiber content increases so that their digestive systems tick along as usual.
What About an Exercise Routine?
Pain, fatigue, and boredom can also cause your aging dog to slow down. Even so, you’ll have to encourage them to do it – promise them extra treats every so often! Without continuous exercise, they’ll struggle with weight gain, retaining muscle, help with arthritis and keep themselves in a sweet, happy mood. Thus, walking, swimming, and stretching are some good ideas for how to keep your elderly dog fit without overtaxing them.
We Would Love the Opportunity to Care for Your Furry Friends!
Alexander Animal Hospital is a full-service animal hospital located in Severna Park, Maryland, serving the Severna Park, Pasadena, and Arnold areas. Our goal is to educate clients on their pets’ needs and understand the importance of individualized veterinary care to strengthen the human-animal bond between owners and their pets.
We understand you have a choice when deciding on the care for your pets. We strive to provide you with unparalleled services, including wellness exams, vaccines, lost pet microchip ID, dental care, surgical services, digital radiography, and in-hospital laboratory services and diagnostics. Other highlights of Alexander Animal Hospital are the separate cat and dog waiting and exam rooms and after-hours on-call emergency services.