Aging is inevitable. Our furry friends transition from puppyhood to old age in what seems like a blink of an eye. Although we can’t slow the aging process, we can do a lot to help our aging canines navigate the golden years.
- Vision loss can decrease your pet’s ability to function in the house. Add night lights around the house to help pets with low vision see at night. Place battery-operated tea lights on stairs and near the food bowl and water dish. If you have a pool, pond
or other water feature, make sure the area is protected.
- Old dogs with hearing loss may be startled when you come near or reach out to pet them. Make sure your dog can see or feel you coming and approach with caution. If the dog also has arthritis or another painful condition, startling them may scare or hurt them enough to make them snap, even if they’ve never bitten anyone, she says.
Mobility and fragility.
- Many dogs, especially larger breeds, struggle with mobility issues. You’ll see them circle several times before they lie down and struggle to get up. There can be many causes (arthritis,vertebral disease, muscle wasting) but older dogs need pain management and practical modifications to their environments to keep them steadier and safer.
Add barriers and baby gates to make sure dogs are protected from unsafe areas where they may have trouble. Hardwood, tile and other bare floors are like an ice rink to an old dog. For outdoor steps, decks, tile and concrete, try non-slip sealers and paints to give dogs better traction.
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