As your dog grows older, it is important that he receives proper care. Pooches age, similar to humans and experience many of the same ailments. There are preventative measures you can take and specific illnesses to look out for. An old dog still has a lot of life left.

In order to properly care for your dog, you need to understand what problems he is most likely to experience. This can be easily figured out by researching the breed of your pooch. For instance, Chihuahuas are susceptible to develop secondary cataracts, while the Great Pyrenees is more likely to develop hip dysplasia. Knowing what ailments your dog is predisposed to can help you take preventative measures. If you have a Chihuahua then you need to pay close attention to her eyes and have them checked out by your veterinarian regularly. If you have a Great Pyrenees, then you need to pay attention to the way your dog walks. He will also need to visit the vet often to take hip dysplasia x-rays.

Just because your pooch is more vulnerable for one health problem, does not mean that he will develop that problem. The reverse is true also; a breed that normally doesn’t have eye problems can develop cataracts. For these reasons, you always need to pay close attention to your aging dog. If he seems to be uncomfortable in anyway while performing normal movements, his eyes become cloudy, or he becomes less responsive, then you should take him to your veterinarian immediately.

Other preventative measures include diet and exercise. As your pet slows, you will need to feed him a lower calorie diet. Extra weight and pounds can cause more pain and more health risks for the aging dog. Talk to your vet about how to put your pooch on a safe diet. Your vet may recommend supplements that will also help his aging bones. Exercise is also important, but it needs to be undertaken responsibly. Instead of taking a jog, take a walk. If your pet has trouble moving, then he may be experiencing arthritis pain. Some pets can warm up their joints and continue to play, while others cannot overcome the stiffness. Just because your pet is moving more slowly does not mean that you have to stop an exercise program. However, do not force your pet to exercise if he is in pain

A common misconception is that old dogs are miserable. Many people feel the need to euthanasias their companions at the first sign of a health problem. This concept is wrong. An older dog may have more aches and pains, but there are things you can do to help him. It all starts with your veterinarian. Older dogs are at a higher risk for getting sick, because of their weakened immune systems. Because of this, you need to take trips to your vet often.

Your vet will be able to help your pet with any pain and discomfort he may be experiencing. Often, arthritis can be combated with an anti-inflammatory and pain medication. Incontinent problems can often be controlled with medication, surgery or diapers. You should check your dog’s gums and teeth often. If you notice discoloration or missing teeth, then you also need to see the vet. Many dogs will lose their teeth as they age, but there are still preventative steps that can be taken.

Outside of the vet’s office, you can make your dog’s aging more comfortable. Add extra padding to his bed. The additional softness will feel better on his joints. Provide him similar resting places throughout the house; he may not have the energy to make it across the house to rest. If he has trouble moving, then you may want to block off the stairway. Just because he is having trouble does not mean he won’t try to climb; unfortunately, your dog could seriously injure himself on the stairway. If your dog is losing his sight or hearing, then your vet can instruct you on special things you can do around the house. It’s a good idea to train your dog on hand-movement commands in case he does lose hearing.

An aging pooch will experience health problems, just like aging adults. If you know what problems your dog is more likely to develop, then you can start taking preventative measures early. Making regular visits to your vet is also a preventative measure; and your vet can help you treat many problems. The best thing you can do is make your home comfortable for you dog, and continue to provide him with the love and care you always have.

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