As a dog owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure that your dog is cared for properly and all of their needs are met. As they start to get older, those needs will begin to change and the way that you care for them will also change. A lot of people struggle as their dog ages because they don’t know what they should be doing differently and they sometimes get it wrong. If your dog is starting to get older, these are some of the things that you should start changing.
Be More Vigilant
Before you think about specific care needs, it’s important that you are more vigilant about their health in general. Older dogs will naturally have a higher risk of a lot of different health problems, so you need to watch out for any changes in their behaviour or their habits. It’s a good idea to speak to your vet and ask about any particular symptoms you need to worry about. If you can catch health problems early on and take your dog to the vet, they have a much better chance of recovery. Now that your dog is older, any changes are a cause for concern so even if it seems like it’s nothing, it’s better to play it safe and get them checked out by the vet.
Give Them New Food
Older dogs have different dietary needs to younger ones, so you can’t keep giving them the same food that they usually have. Older dogs are not as active as they used to be and they don’t burn as many calories. That means that if you feed them the same food as before, they will quickly gain weight. You need to feed them specialist food like Rat Terrier food for older dogs instead of standard dog food if you want to avoid this. This food for older dogs will also contain nutrients that can help to prevent common health problems that older dogs experience. Before you make any big changes to your dog’s diet, you should consult with the vet and see what they recommend. But it’s vital that you do change their diet because you put them at risk if you continue feeding them the same food.
Dogs nails tend to get longer as they get older because they are not as active. That means you should groom them more regularly and trim their nails to stop them from getting too long. Their coat will change and they will start to grow more gray hairs. It’s common for their coat to get thinner as well, but if you notice any drastic changes, you should get them checked by the vet. Regular grooming also gives you the chance to check them for any lumps and bumps. Most dogs develop more lumps as they get older, but most of the time, they are just harmless fatty deposits. However, there is an increased risk of cancer so you should get the vet to take a look at any new lumps you discover.
As long as you change these 3 things, you can keep your dog healthy as they get older and avoid any serious health problems.