It’s never easy realizing that your beloved family dog is no longer is spry as he or she used to be. It may feel as though it was just yesterday that they were an energetic pup, running around the house, causing chaos and getting in trouble. Now, it feels like they barely have energy to do anything.
It’s important to understand that a dog’s behavior and needs will change as it begins to age. If you’re caring for a senior dog, there are some things you should know. Here are a few things to consider:
Understand Their Limitations
When a dog ages, they will no longer hear or see as well as they used to. They may not hear you calling or them or notice that you are approaching them. They might start to have trouble locating their food and water bowls. Most importantly, they may not hear your commands. It’s also common for senior dogs to become cold more easily and to have joint issues. It’s important to look out for signs of any of these so that the issue can be properly diagnosed.
Take Shorter Walks
When your dog was a puppy, you likely took it on multiple walks per day, as long a distance as possible to wear them out so they wouldn’t have so much energy. Things are different now. Your dog likely doesn’t have the energy it once did and there’s a good chance they’re dealing with some kind of joint pain. In light of this, it’s a good idea to shorten up your walks.
Adjust Eating Habits
When dogs get older, they tend to exercise less and thus don’t need to consume as many calories. Still, owners tend to feed them the same amount and dogs will happily eat what’s put in front of them. This can lead to weight issues, which can lead to a whole host of other problems. When your dog begins to age, consider buying food specially made for seniors. This formula will be lower in calories, making it healthier for an older dog.
Silver Streak Kennels knows that it can be difficult to care for a senior dog. That’s why we offer short and long-term boarding as well as a retirement home for dogs. Our facility is perfect for a senior dog as we offer more than 150 acres of outdoor space for them to explore. Call 607-263-2007 to learn more about our services today!