Dogs are social animals which have worked with humans for thousands of years. They have played an essential role in various different cultures. Dogs are highly valued for their intelligence and loyalty, and it is crucial to train and care for them properly.
Despite the importance of dogs, owners may find that there are many challenges in training and caring for them. And, in particular, you need to know how to care for an elderly dog. While many people want to own a dog, few know how to train them properly. A dog which is not disciplined will not bring happiness to its owners. Too many people allow their dogs to develop bad habits.
You want to make sure you purchase quality food for your dog, even if it is a bit expensive. Cheap food will not give your pet the healthy look it should have. You want your dog to have a shiny coat and bright eyes. Dogs are much like their owners and will behave in many of the same ways. How to care for an elderly dog is an important aspect of pet ownership.
Caring for Your Dog
Dogs are like small children and should be treated as such. They should not be left alone for long periods, as they are prone to getting into trouble. When dogs are left alone at home, they need to have a designated area with boundaries. Leave chew toys and other things which will keep them occupied.
When your dog behaves correctly, you should always praise and reward him. This teaches him that good behaviour leads to rewards, while bad behaviour does not. When you do this, you will find that your dog behaves appropriately. When he does not behave properly, you should also discipline him, so that he understands the difference between right and wrong behaviour.
There is a difference between discipline and abuse. Some owners do not understand this and hit or kick their dogs to train them. This is abuse, and is not an effective way to train your dog, and may even cause your pet to attack you. You want your dog to respect you, not fear you.
An excellent way to discipline your dog without hitting him is to spray water on him and give him a verbal warning. This will get the message across in a non-abusive way. How you train your dog is vital. You want a pet which you can take out for a walk without worrying about him bothering others. You want a dog that will listen to your commands.
Caring for Your Senior Dog
Your senior dog has given you many wonderful years of companionship. You owe it to him to make sure his later years are relaxed and comfortable.
How do you know if your dog is approaching his golden years? Different breeds mature at different rates, but a good rule of thumb is the more substantial the dog, the faster they mature. Based on this, if your dog is seven, he is probably experiencing, or at least approaching his senior years. When your dog hits this stage in his life, he must receive the right amount of exercise, nutrition, and veterinary care.
Signs of an Ageing Dog
How does your pet show signs of age? A healthy senior dog will most likely have a decrease in energy level. He may nap more or become tired more easily. Your older dog may also be stiff after play or upon getting up after a rest. How do you know the difference between normal wear and tear and arthritis or an injury? If your dog loosens up after mild activity, he is probably just showing some signs of age. Dogs who seem to feel worse as the day goes on should be seen by a vet to rule out other possibilities.
A senior dog can benefit from comfortable sleeping quarters. There are several companies out there which make bedding designed to take the pressure from ageing and aching joints. These are often made of memory foam or eggshell foam and have removable covers which can be machine washed in case your senior dog has an accident.
A good exercise regime can help your pet avoid problems prevalent in the senior dog, such as weight gain and arthritis. Exercise also improves digestion and circulation. Just make sure you do not overdo it! A leisurely walk or two every day plus some low-key playing should do the trick. And always make sure that your dog stays well-hydrated.
As your dog ages, his dietary needs will change. Be sure to choose food which is appropriate for his needs and his conditions! As a general rule of thumb, good senior dog food will have fewer calories. It should still have enough protein, and vitamins and minerals which help the coat and teeth of your dog stay strong and healthy.
Weight gain due to slowing metabolism is a common problem with senior dogs. How do you know if your pet is overweight? Try this simple test. Put your hands on his backbone and feel for his ribcage. If you cannot feel it, chances are your dog needs to shed a few pounds. Since this is a common problem among older dogs, there are several foods on the market with lower fat and calories.
Your dog will be experiencing lots of emotional and physical changes as he ages. Because of this, it is essential to keep up on his health! In addition to his regular check-ups and shots, ask your vet about twice-annual geriatric screenings. This is an essential aspect of how to care for an elderly dog.
Give your senior dog the right care, and he will really enjoy his golden years!
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Backseat Extender for Dogs
Of course, travel is a major concern for those who own elderly dogs, as your beloved pet may no longer be able to walk as far. You may find it necessary to take him in the car more often, That in itself may be a problem, as the back seat of your vehicle could be quite narrow. Your elderly dog won’t be comfortable, and could even fall off the seat. Some people use a restrictive harness or put their pet in a crate, which is not ideal. Luckily, there is an innovative idea to solve this problem. Let me introduce you to the backseat extender for dogs! There are several versions available, but this particular one is quite affordable and gets excellent reviews.
As you can see from the photograph, it actually covers the entire back seat and has a universal fitting for all cars. It’s really sturdy, constructed with a quarter-inch hardwood interior, covered with half an inch of soft foam and microfibre padding for a comfortable ride. The covering is anti-slip for extra safety. The four headrest anchors are firmly attached, to securely fit your car, and it takes less than a minute to install, by snapping them around your headrests. Two additional seat anchors add that extra protection. There are also velcro openings to add the two included dog seat belts if you wish to secure your pet even further.
When not required, you can easily remove it, or if you just need seating for one passenger in the rear, you can simply fold the extender to create that space. You will be pleased to know it is water-resistant, should there be any little accidents and can easily be cleaned with a damp cloth. It is only available in black which is a very practical colour.
Its generous size and strong construction mean that it can hold a dog weighing up to 100 pounds, which is more than enough for most households. Your furry friend can even stand up on the extender and safely walk about, without being in danger of falling to the floor. If your dog is nervous about car travel, then being able to see out of the windows can help to calm him. It is manufactured by the reputable brand of Amochien, who offers a lifetime warranty and a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. You can’t say fairer than that! The actual width of the backseat extender is 26.5 inches, and when fully opened, it measures 54 inches x 66.5 inches. It comes in its own carry bag for easy transportation. Overall, I really recommend this product, and you can click on the image to see the best price!
Folding Dog Ramp
Of course, it could be the case that your elderly dog can’t even get into your vehicle in the first place, particularly if they have joint problems. The solution to this is a dog ramp, designed to allow your furry friend access to your car. This particular model from PetSafe is a great choice, and folds in half, for easy storage. It has a safety release mechanism to stop it from coming undone accidentally. PetSafe is a renowned brand, having been in the industry for over 30 years. A great feature is how easy to clean it is, as you can simply hose it off using plain water, or a mild detergent. No more muddy paw prints!
The ramp actually only weighs 10 pounds, making it easy for you to lift in and out of your car. When fully open, it measures 62 inches in length x 16 inches wide x 4 inches in height. Do check it is not too narrow, if you have a larger animal. This generous size means that it is suitable for most breeds of dog, up to 150 pounds in weight. It may be made from plastic, but it’s very strong and has been independently tested for safety. The useful side rails add to its security, and it has a high traction surface to prevent slipping. It has four rubber feet which do a great job of keeping the ramp stable when in use. It is only for use with the boot of your car, but it is possible to buy adapters, allowing it to be used for your side doors.
You may have some concerns that your elderly dog may be scared of the ramp, to begin with. It is best to get him used to it, before planning any journeys. Try laying the ramp flat on the floor, and leading your dog across it, perhaps with some encouraging treats if necessary! Next secure the ramp to your car, and again lead him up and down, staying by his side for reassurance. Maybe even make a game out of it by throwing his favourite toy into the car, to persuade him to run up the ramp to find it. Eventually, your elderly dog will associate the sight of the ramp with going on an exciting adventure! This is a recommended model, and if you are interested in buying one, simply click on the photo for the best deal!
Celebrate the Birthday of Your Dog
It was recently reported that over 700,000 pets in the United Kingdom have had birthday parties thrown for them by their owners. This “pet party” trend has also taken off in other nations such as China, Japan, and the US. If you were thinking of throwing a party for your pet, (specifically your dog), here is a list of safety guidelines, when knowing how to care for an elderly dog.
This will ensure that all of the party animals in attendance have a fun and safe time. This list is by no means fully comprehensive, but it gives you a good starting point for your pet party safety. You should always use your best judgment to determine if something is appropriate for your dog and the other pets in attendance at the party. So, here are my dog party safety tips:
- All dogs attending the party should have at least one person present who they feel comfortable around. If a guardian for the dog is not able to attend your party, the dog should not attend either. Unless you feel comfortable enough with watching the animal yourself, you do not want to be held liable if something happens.
- In case any of the guardians do not bring waste bags for their dogs, make sure to have plenty on hand. This is especially true if the party is at a dog park or other public facility. Be sure to leave the location in the same condition that it was in before the party.
Birthday Party Tips
- To avoid any potential scuffles between the party animals, only invite dogs that your pet already knows and feels comfortable with. If your best friend’s dog is sweet, but just does not get along with your animal for some reason, it may be best to leave them off the guest list. If you want to invite a dog who your pet has never met, set up a meeting between them so that they can become acquainted before the party. Definitely leave canine bullies off the guest list.
- If you plan to have an outdoor party at a dog park or in your backyard, make sure that you have a contingency plan in the event of bad weather.
- In regards to the length of the party, you can plan it for as long as you see fit; just keep in mind that dogs can become restless very quickly. If you notice that many of the guests are getting cranky, do not be afraid to end the party early.
- Wherever you choose to have the party, make sure that it is safely enclosed and that there are no “cracks” that any of the party guests may be able to slip through. This is especially true for the smaller guests at the party. If your Rottweiler has started digging a hole under your fence in the garden, make sure that the gap isn’t big enough for your friend’s Shih Tzu to crawl through. If you think that any holes may become problematic, fill them in beforehand.
Pet Safety at the Party
- At treat time, make sure that every puppy has his or her own treat. Also, allow each dog’s guardian to give the treat to their respective pet.
- If you invite dogs that have not yet been spayed or neutered, make sure that you alert the parents of the other pets at the party. Also, if you think that it is necessary, make sure that the parents of these dogs keep an especially close eye on their pet.
- Make sure only to provide treats that are deemed safe for dogs. If you are unsure about the toxicity of any of the treats that you want to give out at your party, consult your veterinarian. Also, it is a good idea to talk with the owners of the party guests beforehand to check if their dog is allergic to a particular food or ingredient. All of this attention to safety is part of how to care for an elderly dog.