Taking Care Of Your Aging Dog

When your pet is getting old things change

It’s a proven fact that pets are good for us. As well as being great and loyal companions they are very therapeutic and help release stress in their owners.

Whether a pup, a rescue dog, a gift whatever way your dog comes into your life they instantly become a member of your family. For some they may become their favorite member.

Whether you have one or more pets when it comes to them getting old, things change. To cope with this we usually have to make some changes too.

Getting old is no fun for us or for our animal friends and family

Getting old is no fun for us or for our furry friend especially when it involved pain and discomfort. We know our pets are not going to be with us forever and the time will come that they are going to leave us.

There’s a good chance if you’re a an animal lover that you’ve already experienced the loss of a beloved pet. The older you get the more chances of this happening, maybe even several times.

As a family we have gone through losing dogs and other pets a number of times. My daughter just said goodbye to her 17 year old Pomeranian that she had as a tiny pup. She was the last of 4 dogs that she had gotten quite close together a long time ago.

When its time for your an old dog to leave

Not too long ago my daughter still had 3 dogs but now all have gone. They all had a good life and lived to a good old age for their specific breeds. But it’s always hard to say goodbye and it leaves a void in your life

This is the first time in over 20 years that she doesn’t have a dog. Whether she will get another one remains to be seen. I think she will, but right now I also think that she needs a bit of a break. She’s continuously cared for old and sometimes sick dogs pretty consistently for about the past 7 years.  

You don’t want your pets to suffer

As much as you love your pets and want to keep them as long as its possible you don’t want to see them to suffering.  When they get old and sick it can still be hard to know when it’s time to let them go.

Just like many other pets my daughters dogs reached old age but not without some health issues. Some got to be quite serious and that’s hard. Animals try to hide their pain from us, so often you have to guess what’s going on with them.

You sometimes have to go with your gut feelings.  Good indicators there’s something not right with them are their eating habits. Noticing the way they eat and how much they eat can change. Teeth can be an issue for them and cause a lot of pain and discomfort.

It’s difficult to see them struggle, it can get that they need constant care and attention. You may become afraid to leave them alone. Also it can get very costly with vet bills, specialized foods and medications.

It’s really unfortunate that so many people, especially seniors or those on low incomes get into big debt because they want to care for their animals. They don’t have the money and going into debt is the only way they can take care of their pet.

Joint pain can affect many dogs

Many dogs especially the bigger breeds seem to end up with hip and other joint issues. The main things you want to do for these pets is to make them as comfortable as possible.

Dogs with arthritis, hip dysplasia and other joint pain need a good dog bed to protect their painful joints. Also keep them off the hard floors and out of drafts when sleeping.

Orthopedic beds with memory foam are a good option. Also many pet owners let their pet sleep on their bed or couch. However as the dog gets older and their health deteriorates it becomes too difficult for them to get up on to them. They need a place of their own they can go to.

Is your dogs diet healthy?

If you’re not already doing it, another thing you may need to do is change your dogs diet. Start feeding your dog more healthy and nutritious meals rather than the shop bought processed dog foods It’s especially important for aging dogs.

As dogs get older they can lose teeth or have tooth pain making dog kibbles difficult for them eat. When a pet gets really old or has serious health issues, it can become too risky for them to be put under to have teeth extracted. These pets often remain in pain so need very soft foods or they just won’t eat.  

Just as with our own health prevention is the best medicine. In this instance it’s up to us the pet owners to take that responsibility for the health of our four legged friends.

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