24 Apr

How to Keep a Senior Pet Youthful at Heart

Senior dogs are wonderful. While their pace slows down and their snouts grow tiny patches of grey, the love and affection they have for us simply grows and grows. Time stops for nobody though, and while age can bring a certain grace, it can also bring about a host of issues. Aging brings with it a vulnerability to diseases and illnesses, so it is important to be able to identify the same. 

The term ‘senior’ dog is variable; whether your dog is senior or not depends on their size. Smaller dogs are considered seniors at 7 years or above. On the other hand, larger dogs can be considered senior soon after crossing 5 years of age. Ageing itself is hardly a concern, since every living organism ages; however, age can bring with it an increased risk of physiological problems. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take as an owner. 

Here Are A Few Things to Look Out for To Keep Your Senior Pet Fresh and Youthful in Dubai 

  • Weight: Ageing means a body gradually loses the spring in its step, as energy conservation becomes the priority. For elderly dogs, the type of food does not require a change, but the quantity or serving size does. Senior dogs will not have a high metabolism like puppies, requiring fewer calories to function as a result. Your elderly dog needs to be at a healthy weight since the combination of slower metabolism, lower energy levels, and higher calorie intake is the one which leads to senior dogs being overweight or obese.
  • Dental Hygiene: Dental health is one of the first indicators of a deep-lying condition. If left unchecked, periodontal disease can lead to tooth damage and even more serious conditions. As such, it is important to maintain your senior dog’s dental health by regular brushing and deep cleaning. Make sure there isn’t any plaque buildup or swollen gums and pay special attention if you smell bad breath. You can use a finger brush to clean your dog's teeth and gums, and you can also use dental chews as a treat to promote good dental health. Vets in Dubai can help clean deeper buildups. 
  • Arthritis: In joint conditions like Arthritis, dogs develop joint stiffness which can reduce motion and make moving about difficult in general. A dog suffering from such a condition will usually want to be left alone and not handled too much, which could cause distress. If you notice your pet struggling while standing up or walking, they may be suffering from arthritis. A well-balanced diet and regular massages during brushing and grooming can help improve the blood flow to the joints and alleviate the pain your friend is in.  
  • Cognitive Dysfunction: Dogs who are close to or over the age of 9 oftentimes display signs of cognitive dysfunction. This includes behaviours such as disorientation and confusion. An example is when a senior pet goes to the toilet inside the house; they are not misbehaving in this scenario, they just don’t remember certain things as vividly anymore. Supplementing your dog’s diet with antioxidants can be helpful, and you can always consult your vet in Dubai for a diagnosis for better and more efficient treatment. 
  • Grooming & Pain: While ageing doesn't make a dog any less loving, caring, or loyal, it does make them less agile and active, and they will require a few things to make sure they stay comfortable. Their daily life is one such area where an elderly dog will require extra consideration, as ageing brings with it the soreness, aches, and pain that an owner will have to account for. Ageing may lead to dry skin, irritation, rashes, and matting, all of which are a natural part of growing old but must be tended to. Make sure to brush and bathe your pet regularly, and to use products that will soothe their ageing skin instead of scratching it. Pet groomers in Dubai will be well-versed with the requrements for an older pet. 
  • Vet Visits: Frequent vet visits in Dubai are crucial for an older pet. Since their body slowly ages and bring about different issues and ailments, regular visits are necessary to make sure your pet is healthy and to observe the development of any new issues. Periodic visits will also help your vet keep track of your dog's health since they can compare how your pet is doing on the current visit compared to the last. It is recommended you visit your vet twice a year/every six months so they can examine your pet and confirm that they are still in good health. Do remember to maintain your pet's vaccinations and treatments to prevent issues in their old age.

To conclude, senior dogs are wonderful and only require some extra care. The best thing you can do as a pet parent is stay vigilant, schedule regular checkups, and gradually implement lifestyle changes. Provided you are patient with your senior dog, mindful of their needs, and vigilant in spotting any inconsistent behaviour, you should have no issues whatsoever.






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