How to Cope with an Aged Dog
When it comes to having a dog, one of the hardest things you will ever do is deal with a dog as it ages. The
threat of a dog becoming ill and possibly dying can be hard for many people to handle - especially after so
many years spend together.
And while an elderly dog may be a lot more work, they still deserve your utmost attention in their waning
Here are some tips to help you maintain the health and spirits of an aging dog, both for the animal and
yourself. You can also learn how to keep your dog healthy
A dog needs additional care as it gets older. What's more, if you take very good care of your dog as it ages,
you'll be able to way lay many of the signs of aging, ensuring that your dog doesn't get ill earlier than
Visiting the vet every year can help reduce the chances of things like distemper or hepatitis, along with the
diseases that ticks, fleas and mosquitos can carry with them. You should also have them checked for parasites
each year to make sure their digestive health is maintained.
Exercise is vital for a dog as it ages. Many times, a dog will lose energy with age and start to gain weight.
Owners see a dog not wanting to exercise and will all too often oblige. But, even if the dog has no desire to
walk, you should take them out on a regular schedule until they can no longer do it.
As a dog ages, you'll start to notice certain signs. For example, an aged dog will grow more lethargic and
start sleeping much more, and will generally lose enthusiasm for some of the things it used to get so happy
An older dog will also respond more severely to weather conditions, avoiding cold or heat. They might also be
stiff after sleeping and show signs of dehydration when the weather gets warm.
Additionally, hearing loss is a very common problem, along with blindness - something that is hard to notice in
The coat and skin will alter as well as they age - with less oil in their coats and stiffer, drier skin in
general. They may also have trouble healing from wounds and may get sick as they age due to weaker immune
Special Care with Age
It is important to realize that an aging dog cannot be kept alive indefinitely, but you can make them more
comfortable and give your family time to come to terms with your pet's fate. Start avoiding things like stairs
and reduce their calorie intake to keep them healthy as they get older.
You may want to take your pet to the vet more often as well to check for diseases and make sure the dog is not
in pain in any way that you might have missed. Learning how
to keep your dog's mouth healthy will
also help reduce infections. Exercise is very important, even
when the dog would rather not walk.
The only time you should not walk the dog is if they are in obvious pain or simply will not go. If you start
treating your dog like an invalid when they are otherwise rather healthy, you'll likely only accelerate their
Dogs, no matter what their ages, want to have fun and enjoy their families. Give them that joy and reduce
sources of potential stress and pain and life will be much easier for everyone. You'll be able to have a much
better time as you approach the inevitable and your dog will be comfortable.