As with every living thing, aging, physical deterioration and, finally, death, are inevitable. So, your beloved canine friend will suffer the same fate too, sad as it is.
As they age, you may notice many physical changes such as when their muzzles begin to gray.
Your pet's lifespan depends on its size and breed. But, on average, a dog that's 9 years old is already a senior while an 11 year old cat is considered elderly. And, you have to take extra care with their health to help them live out their remaining years as well as they can.
Like human beings, pets change as they get older. Here are some important things to know about having older pets:
They need more exercise
At their age, it's crucial that they keep exercising frequently, so that their muscles don't waste away.
When dogs lose muscle mass, it affects the rate of metabolism. And, they can acquire frailty syndrome, which in turn speeds up their aging.
Nevertheless, you should note that their hearts and lungs aren't as strong as they used to be. So, while exercising is important, you have to be careful not to push them to the extreme, as there's only so much that their bodies can handle.
They are prone to obesity
It's common to see dogs become obese as they grow older. This is because they don't have the energy to burn the calories that they acquire through eating.
Note that their appetites never change throughout their lifetime. So, to keep them from being obese, you have to find a conduit for the excess calories they're taking in, and prevent them from getting arthritis.
They're vulnerable to blood diseases
As your pets get older, they may develop certain blood ailments that affect their organs. You should ensure to do regular checkups with the vet and get annual blood work done for them.
By checking their vitals, red and white blood cells, you can discover the onset of disease long before it becomes a serious issue.
They may develop mobility issues
As they age, it can be hard for your older pet to get around.
Once you discover issues with mobility, it's time to lend them some support.
There are dog ramps, harnesses and slings that are specially crafted to ease locomotion like climbing stairs, walking and getting into the bathroom.
In addition, you can consider installing more carpets in your house to reduce the risk of injury from accidental slips. Another alternative is to use rubberised dog socks.
Their night vision worsens
One of the major signs you can observe of an older pet is that their night vision becomes poor.
It doesn't happen overnight. Rather, it occurs over time. So, you can help them to see better by installing nightlights in the house, or use dog gates to block stairways.
They get cold more easily
You will notice that your older pet likes cozy, warm beds. This is because they can't regulate their body temperature as efficiently as they used to.
To help them, you can have their beds situated in close proximity to the heater. By doing so, you'll help reduce their muscles and joint sickness and reduce the risk of illness.
We know how difficult it is to live with an aging pet in the knowledge that you'll lose them someday. You don’t have to do it alone. Contact us today.