A dog’s breed determines when they are considered a senior. As a dog grows, their pet care needs change, regardless of their age; they don’t require as much exercise as they once did, and their diet adapts to foods that are easier for them to digest. If your dog is getting older, here is a closer look at the best tips to keep them healthy and happy.

What are the Top Pet Care Tips for Older Dogs?

1. Prevent Dental Disease 
Veterinarians can find dental disease in pets as young as three and estimate that 85% of dogs over four have gum disease. The condition is painful and causes pets to lose teeth and have difficulty eating. It can result in fur and weight loss, as well.

Start maintaining their teeth when they are a puppy since the issue worsens as they age. Preserve the health of your dog’s mouth by brushing their teeth or giving them dental chews and toys. If left untreated, dental disease can cause heart disease and kidney failure.

2. Maintain Your Dog’s Ideal Body Weight
Ask a veterinarian how much food a pup should be receiving for their age, or read about it on the back of their food to ensure your dog does not gain weight. These instructions also show how often they should be fed daily.

Obesity puts pets at risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, skin disease, and cancer. If your dog is overweight, alter their diet with caution to maintain all the important nutrients they need while lowering calories. Keep overweight senior canines healthy by giving them food with a carbohydrate blend or L-carnitine, which helps treat heart issues.

3. Exercise Your Dog
A dog’s weight impacts the health of their joints and muscles and may make it harder for them to exercise. Older dogs commonly become couch potatoes and no longer enjoy frequent walks. Find a workout routine that fits your pet’s needs. Begin working out with your pup in simple ways, such as taking a stroll down the street; work them up to larger treks over time.

Pushing a senior dog to do too much can stress out them and their bodies. For example, a quick walk around the block for a senior dachshund can be taxing. Listen to the signal a dog gives when they are tired, such as turning around or lying down. Extreme heat increases the risk of over-exhausting them. Avoid peak sun hours, and walk them early in the morning and in the evenings. A veterinarian can determine how active your pet should be, based on its weight and breed.

When your pet needs medical attention in your home or a veterinarian’s office, Wards Corner Animal Hospital will ensure they receive the top care. Our practice is located in Loveland, OH. It is led by veterinarian Dr. Henehan, who has over 35 years of pet care experience serving residents throughout Cincinnati. The professionals at this office offer emergency work, routine checkups, surgical care, spay and neuters, and dermatological care. Call (513) 683-2883 to schedule an appointment.