Pet owners find it difficult to get used to the fact that their furry friend of only ten years requires a completely different treatment. The dog is always treated as if it were a baby, and it is hard to accept that that baby is actually very much past its prime.
Dog’s Years Don’t Determine Its Personality
It is difficult to determine exactly how long the dogs live since it is very individual, but the general rules are that small dogs live longer than large ones, and that cats generally live longer than dogs. It can be said that somewhere after the eighth or ninth year of life most pets enter their old age. Of course, there are exceptions, some 12-year-old dogs can be a lot livelier than others of 7, but it is the same with people, is it not?
Owners often seek veterinary help when they notice that their dog has trouble getting up, it is not keen on walks as usual, requires more sleep and the like. It can happen that a part of the meal remains in the food bowl and that the pet chews the food slowly and carefully. These changes occur relatively rapidly, so pet owners often have the feeling that their animal companion aged overnight. Still, this is pretty normal in a canine world and it’s not a reason to worry too much. There’s plenty of time to enjoy the dog’s devotion and its funny gray ‘beard’.
See The Signs
Signs of aging are different, depending on the breed, temperament, and, of course, the environment. Canines are usually dealing with moving difficulties and limping, finding it harder to jump on the sofa or the car seat. Some terriers, cocker spaniels and poodles inevitably get a cataract in their eyes when they get older. Dental tartar is more common in small dogs, but bigger dogs and cats are not immune to it either. It can happen that all the teeth fall out, but it is not a big problem because very few dogs actually chew and can still eat pretty well. They will always love their food.
Take Proper Care Of Your Old Pet
The most important thing for your little friend is a quality of life with regular check-ups at the vet and the use of all the necessary drugs in a timely manner, so that you can provide your pet with a dignified aging. In any case, always keep in mind that, if you have an older dog, the time has come to treat it as such. Keep in mind that it needs softer food, lighter walks, jacket in the cold days, and more frequent visits to the vet than when it was young. This definitely does not mean that it should be left alone. On the contrary, spend time with your friend as always, but instead of running outside, you can curl up together in a sofa.
Be Nice To Your Dog
Dog, although old, is always looking forward to the food, its owner and walks. Old dogs are a little slow, do not jump as much as before, but the only thing they care about is that they spend as much time as possible with you. Older canine gents still need attention and love to pay it, too. They are fun to be around in their own goofy way and the way they look at you will always be able to make you smile, no matter how old they are.
Provide The Necessary Help
When it comes to practical things, ‘climbers’ for sofa and bed are advisable. You can even set up a small table to help your dog climb with less effort. Smaller breeds should be provided with something large enough where they could comfortably stand before jumping next to their human friend. The same goes for when the pet needs to get off the bed or sofa. Moreover, older canines need additional support when they walk, so it is a good idea to get a quality harness to secure the dog’s movements and, therefore, its safety.
Finally, it should be noted that with all the care you should never forget to increase the tenderness and love that you show to your dog, even though it seems that old dogs seek peace, withdraw into themselves and are only interested in sleeping. This is the time when the dog needs its master the most and the time to gather the best possible memories. Just because your puppy is now a senior doesn’t mean that anything in your relationship has to change. As a matter of fact, you will probably spend more time together, bond even more and enjoy each other’s company to the fullest. As Sydney Jeanne Seward once said, “Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog”.