After spending so many wonderful years with your faithful companion, most pet owners feel they owe it to their dog to make life comfortable for him during his golden years.
But how can you tell when the golden years have arrived? Depending on the breed of your dog, he will grow and mature at different speeds. As a general rule to follow, the larger the dog, the faster the maturing process will be. Some prefer to follow the times seven rule, in which you will multiply the real age of the dog and multiply it by seven to get the human equivalent. Based on this information a dog that is seven years old, would be considered to be forty nine in human terms, and entering his golden years. When a dog turns eight, extra care for his eating habits and hygiene is necessary.
As a responsible pet owner you should be able to read the signs of an aging dog. The most apparent sign of aging is the lack of enthusiasm and energy. Your dog will appear to be tired more often, and spend more time taking a nap than anything else. Older dogs will become stiff after playing dog games or waking up. It is important to tell the difference between the results and consequences of old age and being affected by a disease or health condition, such as arthritis. If your dog only seems shaken soon after waking up, or standing, it would be part of his normal activity. However, if he howls or appears to be in pain for no reason at all, it may be a sign for an ailment out of the ordinary.
One of the best things you can give your senior dog is comfortable bedding. Nowadays, there are more and more products available that improve on the living conditions of aging dogs. The materials used in the production of these beds include memory foam, eggshell foam and often have washable covers in case your pet has an accident.
Periodic exercise and outdoor activity, such as playing mellow dog games, become an important part of a senior dog's life. Regular exercise will improve your dog's blood circulation, prevent weight issues and fight arthritis problems. Just remember to pace yourself and keep the rhythm. A walk in the park may be all your senior companion needs to be in shape.
As your pet friend becomes older, his nutritional needs will change. Make sure you select appropriate food to dogs in his particular age range. Generally speaking, dog food made for older dogs will contain fewer calories. Most dog food manufacturers produce special dog food branded for aging dogs.
A common issue with aging dogs is an increase in weight, due to slower metabolism levels. A quick test to determine if your dog has a weight problem is rubbing your fingers against his ribs, if you can't feel them, it means your dog could use a diet.
Perhaps the most important measure to be taken with your senior companion is the regular visit to the veterinarian. With all measures in place, there is no reason why you and your dog cannot enjoy his final years in peace and joy.