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Caring for Your Aging Dog


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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.

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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

A small aging dog in a basket.
 

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 226 Feedbacks
January 7, 20121 found this helpful

Wow! Excellent advice!

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March 28, 20180 found this helpful

Thank you for the valuable tips!

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 128 Feedbacks
March 28, 20182 found this helpful

Take care with older dogs that have hip & back problems. I had mats down on my floors to help my dog have more secure footing . But even then, as my wee girl ran to me to get some nibbles, her back legs slipped out from under her & she dislocated both her hips.

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She needed to be put to sleep as she was too old at 18 years to have a successful op. One of the saddest days of my life. Heartbreaking.........

 
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January 3, 20191 found this helpful

Thank you for your advice.My Pom looks just like yours and I am very worried that at age 14,she might break something! I take precautions,but as in your case,anything could happen.My heart goes out to you in the loss of your fur baby.

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January 3, 20210 found this helpful

I had a toy poodle named Minnie that I had for 18 years. She crossed the Rainbow Bridge in my arms just this past June 1st. I miss her terribly. Anyhoo, small dogs are known for having bad teeth, and Minnie was no exception. I knew that her teeth were probably very sensitive.

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Rather than giving her water cold straight from the tap, I got 2 2 liter bottles, filled them with water and let them sit until they got to room temperature. I would fill Minnie's water dish with the room-temperature water and she was fine!

 
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January 3, 20211 found this helpful

I had a toy poodle named Minnie that I had for 18 years. She crossed the Rainbow Bridge in my arms just this past June 1st. I miss her terribly. Anyhoo, small dogs are known for having bad teeth, and Minnie was no exception. I knew that her teeth were probably very sensitive.

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Rather than giving her water cold straight from the tap, I got 2 2 liter bottles, filled them with water and let them sit until they got to room temperature. I would fill Minnie's water dish with the room-temperature water and she was fine!

 
Reply Was this helpful? 1
January 19, 20220 found this helpful

Thank you for your suggestions, I very much appreciated it. One other thought, the same problems arise with cats. The ramps, diets, changing food are very important, as well as the vet visits are all necessary for a longer, happier life. Thanks!

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