Dogs have a shorter lifespan than us and they grow old before we do. One day they will be off to the rainbow bridge. Your beloved dog has been there with you all his life and you have had some great time together. Therefore you should give great care to your dog and spend more time with him when he gets old.
It is true that once becoming older, your dog will be facing a lot of challenges. Just like humans, your dogs may suffer from conditions that are related with aging, such as cataracts or arthritis. This is why a dog owner should learn how to take the best care for their beloved pet.
Here are some of my suggestions:
- Maintain the same life quality for your dog even when he is old and inactive. Do not ignore or leave your dog alone simply because he is old or sick. Your dog may not be as active and playful as before, but he is still your little puppy and he loves your company and attention. So make sure that you always have him around with the family.
- Never give up on the routine that you and your dog used to have before, such as walking in the park, even if this time he feels more insecure on his legs. Avoid slopes or stairs as those obstacles can be difficult for your dog. Also allow him to take rests from time to time. You can still play ‘fetch the ball’ with him but let him choose his own pace.
- Arthritis is a common problem among old dogs and it is more common in certain dog breeds which have genetic hip problems e.g. Golden retrievers, German shepherd. If you notice your dogs are having difficulty standing up or jumping up to the car, you should take your dog to the veterinarian and get checked out because it is very likely that they have arthritis problem.Tips: Keeping your dog slim and fit can reduce the stress on the joints and help reduce the pain.
- Hearing deterioration.
Despite the advanced hearing ability, their hearing deteriorates when they get older. I noticed that my dog Vicky who is about 13 years old doesn’t always respond when I call his name.
When dogs grow old, they could lose the ability to hear low pitch sounds e.g. my MANLY voice. However, their ability to hear high pitch sound usually remains intact. In this case, try using a dog whistle to get their attention. Or try speaking in a squeaky voice…
If your dog has major hearing loss, expect him to be less active and harder to be woken from sleep.
I hope you find these tips helpful and I hope your dog has a happy retire life.