It is important to be aware of older dog health issues, with good care and if your dog does not suffer any major illness or accident, they should live happily into middle to old age.
How long your dog lives also depends on the breed. Large and medium sized breeds live to about 11 to 14 years, small breeds like the Dachshund can live to 15 years or older.
My friend’s dachshund has just turned 16 yrs and is very much full of life, but mostly in short bursts with a sleep in between.
Signs of aging
Some older dog health issues to be aware of :
This issue is most important in an aging dog, remember, a slimmer dog usually lives longer. It is also easier to manage such diseases as arthritis, heart and respiratory conditions, diabetes if your dog is not over weight.
Give your dog a low fat diet with good protein levels, limited snacks, some owners find a quality older dog food helps to maintain the correct balanced diet. Older dogs only need 60% to 70 % of the calories that younger dog needs.
Exercise helps to control weight but with older dogs you will need to monitor the type and duration of the exercise you provide.
Walk your dog around 20 minutes a day and other activities, play fetch and if you can let him swim, keep in mind your dog’s energy level and physical capability. Exercising also helps to maintain your dog’s muscle mass and keeps him mentally stimulated.
Hearing and sight problems
These are very common older dog health conditions. Most dogs cope quite well with the problem of failing sight and hearing loss if they are in familiar surroundings, but you will need to take extra care when visiting other areas.
Changes to skin and coat
When skin becomes dry and less elastic with aging, also the natural oils are not produced so well, so your dog is prone to skin problems.
A homeopathic remedy that helps with these problems and restores your dogs skin and coat to a more healthy condition, is skin & coat tonic Many dog owners have had success with this natural remedy.
Use suitable shampoo to soothe dry
skin and brush often to stimulate oil production, and check regularly
for skin irritations. For more ideas on this see our grooming tips.
Changes in Season
When the season
changes this can affect older dogs more so, ensure you provide a warm bed and
bedding away from drafts, and in hot weather a cool area, cool beds are
available for dogs who have problems with heat. Dogs normal temperature is around 100° to 102.5° F (38° to 39.2° C).
Clean your dog’s teeth regularly, I know it’s not always easy to remember but just do your best, you can also provide crunchy food, chew toys or bones as these will help keep teeth and gums healthy.
Poor dental care can lead to infection, smelly breathe is often a sign of gum disease, which can lead to pain and discomfort for your dog.
Some problems can’t be seen with your eyes, as often it is below the gum line. Probably once a year get your dog’s teeth professional cleaned and checked by your vet, this will involve your dog going under general anesthesia.
This disease affects dogs just like people, older dog health can be seriously affected by this disease. Usually shows with stiffness and loss of movement especially after resting.
Have your vet check your dog, there are a number of suitable drugs available, also don’t forget about alternatives such as acupuncture and physical therapy which can help make your dog’s life more comfortable.
Ramps can help with accessing vehicles etc for badly affected dogs.
To help keep your dachshund active and improve his mobility use a natural remedy like Muscle & Joint Support Formula this remedy contains Glucosamine and a number of herbal ingredients which help to reduce,relieve stiffness and pain from Arthritis and other joint diseases. Many dog owners have found this product gave their dog a new lease of life.
Heart,lungs and kidneys
These organs often become less efficient as your dog ages, so ensure you have regular vet checks for your dog, especially if your dog gets breathless easily or shows any other symptoms.
Bladder control may be an issue as muscles become less efficient. Many older dogs have a problem with little accidents which upsets both owner and dog.
A natural remedy to assist this problem is Better-Bladder Control Formula. This homeopathic formula has worked wonders for many dogs in this situation. The remedy helps restore bladder control and improves muscle strength in bladder and urethra.
One of the main problems with anal glands (scent glands) is they don't empty fully and over time this builds up, which gives the dog discomfort.To learn more about this issue, visit our dachshund health problems page.
These changes can be similar to Alzheimer’s in people some dogs develop a canine version, showing loss of interest and becoming confused in familiar situations.
Some older dogs may show some aggression when teased or annoyed, which is out of character, so ensure these situations do not occur, consult your vet if you are concerned.
Extra Vet Visits
Older dog health care does require extra vet visits, ideally twice a year for a complete health check, including blood tests, this is a good idea to let you know what is going on the inside.
These vet checks can often pick up problems early, that you may not have noticed, dogs are very good at hiding symptoms of pain and discomfort, until the issue becomes more serious.
This information given regarding older dog health is to assist owners of all dogs but especially those entering their golden years to ensure their dog enjoys as full and happy life giving pleasure to their family and providing a loving companion for many years.
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