Watching a dog grow old can be one of the hardest things a pet owner has to face. Making sure your dog is happy is a key concern. It is the one true downside of dog ownership; their lives are so much shorter than ours. Perhaps this is why we form such strong emotional bonds with our pets, a lifetime of memories needs to be condensed down into little more than a decade.
As your furry friend grows old, keeping them happy and healthy is absolutely imperative to ensure they are enjoying the best quality of life. There are a number of things you need to do and steps you need to take to properly care for your aging dog. We’ve outlined some of them below.
Get Your Dog Insured
Despite what you might think, it’s never too late to insure your dog. Vet bills can be incredibly expensive, with the price of some treatments and medicines simply too much for the average person. Pet insurance is absolutely critical, it will ensure you have the financial cover required should your dog get injured or fall ill.
Check out some of the options from Petsure, they offer comprehensive dog insurance coverage packages with cover for up to £15,000 in vet fees and pre-existing medial conditions. What’s more, there is no upper age limit, making it perfect for your elderly friend.
Make Adaptations In The Home
Much like ourselves, our dogs will get less mobile and less agile as they get older. This means that previously simple tasks that they could do at breakneck speed, such as getting down the stairs or up on the sofa, become arduous tasks that can even result in injury.
To avoid this, you will need to start making adjustments and adaptations in your home to suit the changing needs of your canine companion. A gentle ramp can be used to allow them to easily get on and off the couch, while a small gate or obstacle can stop them hurting themselves by trying to attempt the stairs. If your dog can’t manage stairs in their old age, make sure they can access everything they need on the ground level of your home.
If you keep your dog’s food and water bowls on the floor, consider using a frame or platform to raise them up. Bending down to floor level can put strain on an old dog’s neck, raising their bowls can allow them to access food and water more easily and more comfortably.
Keep An Eye On Their Diet
As dogs age, their particular dietary requirements might change as well. They could become less able to properly digest certain foods and if they have lost any teeth, they may find chewing more difficult as well.
Keep a close eye on your dog’s eating habits and watch out for any changes or unusual behaviour. You can get special dog food that is specifically made for older dogs, so consider using this if your dog seems to be having trouble eating their regular food.
If you notice any changes in your dog’s eating habits or their overall behaviour, book them in to see a vet. Regular vet visits are essential for older dogs, they can help you spot problems quickly and take action to rectify them.
Watching our dogs grow old is tough, but there’s no need to make it any more difficult than it needs to be. The most important thing is to make sure they are happy, healthy, and comfortable. Get them insured, make adaptations to your home, and report any dietary or behavioural changes to your vet.