Senior Dog Care: Nourishment & Lifestyle Tips

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What age is considered a senior dog

How to nourish a senior dog

Improve your senior dog’s quality of life

How can Brunswick Fur Food help

What age is considered a senior dog

Typically, when a dog’s age reaches age 7 or above, they are considered a senior dog. Smaller dog breeds tend to live longer and may not be classified as senior until they reach 11-12 years of age. Larger canine breeds are classified as senior between 7-10 years old. Here are some common health problems that you will need to be aware of as your pup ages.

How to nourish a senior dog

Taking care of a senior dog is all about good nutrition and love for their quality of life.

We all desire longevity, contentment, and good health for our canine companions; however, similar to human aging, dogs exhibit signs of maturing, such as a reduction in agility and go through a similar process of ageing through their later years. It is our responsibility to take measures that contribute to their comfort as they gracefully navigate through their senior years.

Starts with a nourishing meal

Senior dogs may need lighter, lower fat content food as their gut flora becomes more sensitive. A high omega-3 ratio can be good to support ageing joints. Senior dogs also have an increased risk of disease and illnesses such as cancer.  Be sure to feed them meals free of cancer causing toxins and foods rich in carbs that put additional stress on their gastro intestinal system. Check the label on your preferred dog food, and anymore than 10-15% carbs is a sign that food is not suitable for your ageing dog.

Be mindful, that an overweight senior dog can experience inflammation and undue pressure on its organs due to their slower metabolism. Consider talking with your vet about introducing supplements to ensure all your pup’s nutritional needs are met as they age.

Importance of hydration for your senior dog

It is really important that all dogs have access to fresh drinking water at all times more so for senior dogs. Wet food tends to have higher moisture content so it provides some hydration, however make sure they are drinking fresh water.

Adjust the feeding routine for your senior dog

As your dog ages, their stomach may be a bit more sensitive and easily filled. If you find them to be a bit picky about food, try to fed smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day.

Improve your senior dog’s quality of life

How much walking is enough

Walks are an important part of their mental stimulation and very good for their wellbeing and happiness. So make sure to take them out for a gentle stroll and let them enjoy the surroundings at a pace they now prefer.

Keep their joint and muscle health up to scratch with short walks around the neighbourhood. 

Does your senior dog need to climb stairs at home?

Some breeds begin to lose mobility as they age. This can be upsetting for older dogs if they’ve always enjoyed unrestricted access to everything from cuddling on the couch to climbing stairs. 

Just as we need ramps and rails as we grow older, you might want to consider assisting your ageing dogs with their movements around the house. Including giving their meals in an easy to access bowl.

Mental stimulation is as important

Mental exercise is always as important as physical for your dog, but even more so when they begin to age. 

As your dog ages, keep them mentally stimulated to ensure their brain is staying healthy. You should also watch for any stress or cognitive challenges and dysfunction with your pupper, and raise with your vet immediately.

Give additional attentional to their dental care

As dogs age, they are at a higher risk of issues such as gum disease and cracked teeth, which can be incredibly painful and uncomfortable. 

Keep your older dogs’ teeth clean by brushing them well with a finger brush and dog-friendly toothpaste, and offer canine dental treats. 

Common health issues as dogs age 

As dogs age, they are susceptible to various health issues, much like humans. It's important for dog owners to be aware of these potential problems and to provide appropriate veterinary care. Common health issues in aging dogs include:

  1. Arthritis and Joint Issues: Older dogs often experience arthritis, which can cause stiffness, pain, and decreased mobility. Joint supplements, medications, and appropriate exercise can help manage these conditions.

  2. Dental Problems: Dental issues, such as gum disease and tooth loss, can become more common in aging dogs. Regular dental care, including brushing and professional cleanings, is essential.

  3. Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (Canine Cognitive Dysfunction): Similar to dementia in humans, cognitive dysfunction syndrome can affect older dogs, leading to changes in behavior, disorientation, and memory loss.

  4. Vision and Hearing Loss: Aging dogs may experience a decline in vision and hearing. Regular check-ups can help detect and manage these issues early on.

  5. Cancer: Cancer becomes more prevalent in older dogs. Routine veterinary check-ups and awareness of any unusual lumps or bumps can aid in early detection and treatment.

  6. Heart Disease: Older dogs may develop heart conditions, such as congestive heart failure. Symptoms can include coughing, difficulty breathing, and lethargy.

  7. Kidney Disease: Kidney function tends to decline with age, and older dogs may develop kidney disease. Symptoms include increased thirst, changes in appetite, and changes in urination.

  8. Liver Disease: Liver function can also be compromised in older dogs. Symptoms may include jaundice, vomiting, and changes in appetite.

  9. Weight Management Issues: Maintaining an appropriate weight becomes crucial as dogs age. Obesity can exacerbate other health issues, such as arthritis and heart disease.

  10. Diabetes: Diabetes mellitus can develop in older dogs, leading to increased thirst, urination, and changes in appetite. It requires careful management, including insulin therapy.

  11. Urinary Incontinence: Older dogs, particularly females, may experience urinary incontinence. This can be due to weakened pelvic muscles or underlying health issues.

  12. Thyroid Issues: Hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism can affect older dogs, leading to changes in weight, energy levels, and coat condition.

Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, appropriate exercise, and attention to changes in behavior or health can help manage and address these issues. It's crucial to work closely with a veterinarian to develop a healthcare plan tailored to the individual needs of your aging dog.

How can Brunswick Fur Food help with your senior dog? 

At Brunswick Fur Food we make human-grade meals, that are packed with nutrients that help with the ageing process, including the right balance of omegas, therapeutic levels of turmeric etc.. Our customers have reported greater satisfaction levels in their pets lives as they navigate through their later years. We are very proud of it, and see this as our mission for existence. We believe your pup deserves nothing but the best. Our recipes provide plenty of options for your ageing pup.

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