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Caring for Your Aging Dog

Aging dogs need some special considerations to keep them happy and comfortable. These are just a few tips that I have found helped improve the quality of life for my aging pets.

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As dogs get older, new health concerns may arise. Regular check ups at the vet are essential. Older dogs sometimes experience joint pain or other health issues that require medication to relieve pain. Keeping your dog comfortable as it ages should be a top priority.

Orthopedic beds and sherpa beds are ideal for aging dogs. If these beds exceed your budget, you can make your older dog comfortable with a thick, fleece lined bed or with the addition of warm, cozy blankets to its bed. A sweater is quite helpful in keeping small dog breeds warm.

Adjust your outdoor walks and adventures to accommodate your dog's physical health and limitations. Older dogs are more sensitive to temperature extremes. The appropriate amount of exercise is essential, but over extending their comfort level can be harmful to them.

Smaller breeds may benefit from having a ramp that leads up to your bed or their favorite chair. As a word of caution, older dogs can injure themselves when jumping from a bed or chair. This is a serious concern for dogs such as Dachshunds who frequently have hip and spine issues as they age.

Adjust your dog's diet according to its age, physical activity level, and health concerns. There are food choices available that are designed for senior dogs. Obesity often becomes an issue as a dog's physical activity decreases.

If you introduce younger dogs into the household, be sure not to neglect the dog that has been your faithful companion for many years. While you may enjoy a daily run with a younger dog, be sure to spend some quiet time with your older dog. Giving it a gentle massage is an ideal way to give it the one on one attention it deserves. It is also important to keep in mind that a playful new puppy can be annoying to an older dog especially if it tries to bounce on and around the older dog when it is resting.

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By VeronicaHB from Asheboro, NC

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January 7, 20120 found this helpful

Wow! Excellent advice!

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