Mental routine and Physical Therapy
You can help slow down your dog’s natural aging process by providing him with a mental routine and physical therapy.
Massaging your dog will help with joint stiffness and improve its blood circulation… Not to mention that he will love it!
Blindness and Deafness
A bluish, hazy film on his eyes is normal and he can see through it. However, a whitish, heavy growth of cataracts can lead to blindness. You should learn the difference.
Because sight is not a dog’s primary sense (smell is), most dogs who become blind will learn the land’s layout and will be just fine. Just remember not to move things around the house and yard.
Your dog’s hearing might diminish as he ages. He will start not responding to his name, verbal commands and will even bark for no reason.
Most are usually benign fatty tumors which are round, soft with well define edges. Any change in size or shape should be checked by your veterinarian.
Stiffness and Arthritis
These two conditions are very common in older dogs. Although there is no cure for them, treatments are widely available. Supplements and anti-inflammatory medications will help considerably.
Make sure that your dog gets daily light exercise, but moderate his play dates, as he could get painfully stiff the next morning if he plays too rough with other dogs.
Do not let your dog get overweight as extra weight will add extreme stress on his joints. Feed him a well balanced diet, low-fat and that contains vitamins and anti oxidants.
If he shows difficulties bending to reach his food or water, get him an elevated dog feeder which will help him tremendously. Such a feeder will relieve strain on his neck, shoulders and joints.
On the other hand, sudden weight loss could be a sign of internal problems. Make sure to check with your veterinarian.
Skin and Coat
Your older dog might get a duller coat and dryer skin. A daily dose of Omega 3 fish oil will keep his coat shiny and his skin healthy. Grooming and bathing him on a regular basis is also a good idea.
Dog can develop these conditions just like Humans (Alzheimer’s). 70% of dogs 15 and over become more disoriented, getting stuck in corners, starring into space. You can help your dog by guiding him and talking to him.
It is sometimes difficult to see our best friend going through all this, but we will also grow old. Knowledge and love are always the best!