Caring For Your Older Dog

10 year old Shih Tzu, Carla

Once your dog becomes older it is time to take some preventative steps in order for them remain healthy, happy and active. Have your vet examine your pet annually or more often, if necessary.

As in humans, keep your dogs weight within the proper or optimum range. An overweight dog has far more health problems such as joint problems, arthritis, diabetes and liver or kidney malfunctions. Cut down on the amount of treats given to your pet. It is hard to resist their soulful eyes but always remember that it is for their own good. You do not want to kill your pet by thinking you are being kind to them. Feed your pet once a day or smaller amounts twice a day but remove the food if there is any left. If you have children, explain to them why they should not sneak food to the family pet. 
 
As with dogs of any age, make sure there is always fresh, cool water available. Some older dogs have problems getting to the water bowl so either take the water to them or place bowls of water in several different places so they do not have to go far for a drink. 

If possible take your dog for a short walk daily. This helps the dog's blood circulation and provides some new sights and smells to stimulate them and it gives you quality time to spend with your pet. He may be older but still curious.

You may need to switch from dry food to a moist or canned food as your dog ages.  His teeth may not be able to handle the hardness of dry kibbles. Looking after your older dog and taking him to the vet regularly helps keep your dog healthy and happy longer. 

Making Nail Clipping Less Stressful


While a vet can and will clip your dog’s nails for you, many times you will want to save the cost and trip by doing it yourself.  Below are a couple of suggestions to make this session less stressful for both you and your dog.

To clip your dog’s nails you will need some basic equipment that you can pick up at any good pet supply store. Special dog nail clippers have a different shape and are specially designed to make the clipping as fast and painless as possible. There are other items you can buy to make it easier to trim your dog's nails too - various products that encourage the blood clotting process are very useful in case of messy clipping accidents. . 

When clipping your dogs nails for the first time its important to ask someone who knows how to do it to show you. If your dog has dark nails (as many do) you will want to watch to get an idea of where your dogs "quick" is located. Most veterinarians will clip your dogs nails for you and this is the best way to learn. Don't clip your dogs nails until you are completely sure what you are doing. Not only will your dog pick up on your anxiousness but he will most probably make things difficult for you. 

Many people find that one of the best ways to ensure a calm and easy nail clipping session is by walking the dog before you start with the clipping. Tire your dog out well and he might not be able to make as much of a fuss as he'd like. Even the simple act of massaging your dogs paws for a few minutes every day to desensitize your dog to being touched there. 


Chitika