Tag Archives: puppy

Senior Moments: Signs Your Dog is Aging

Signs of Aging in Dogs

Your dog is exhibiting behaviors that are a little “off” from his normal routine. Sometimes these behaviors are a sign of a health issue, other times they are simply normal signs of aging. If your dog is getting up in years and showing signs of slowing down, the following information can help you discern whether you need to rush to the vet, or if it’s a sign of nature taking its course.

Reduced Appetite

As dogs age, they need less in the way of calories. If your dog’s appetite has decreased slightly, this could be a sign of advanced age. However, if your dog stops eating completely and even treats and table scraps don’t entice him to chow down, you should consider scheduling an appointment with your veterinarian to see if something else is going on.

Reduced Energy

Reduced energy levels are also a sign of aging. Your dog will slow down as he ages. Shorter walks and shorter play times at the dog park are normal, as is letting the neighbor cat walk by the front window of your home unmolested. However, if your dog is lethargic and reluctant to move from his favorite pillow, this is another instance when you might want to call the vet.

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Other Health Concerns

As your dog ages, his coat will become less bright and fluffy, and his fur will thin out some. He may also turn gray or white around his muzzle. His hearing may not be as sharp, nor his sense of smell. Just like humans, dogs will also lose muscle mass as they age, especially in the hindquarters. Your dog may have a difficult time climbing up on your favorite chair with you, or take a little longer to get out of bed in the morning. These are all natural signs of aging for dogs. As a dog parent, you know better than anyone when your dog is sick. If something feels “not quite right,” it probably isn’t, and you should visit your vet to get a professional opinion.

How to Assist Your Furry Friend as He Ages

Routine Vet Visits

It is important to obtain routine vet care for your dog, no matter his age. Not only does this help you keep up your dog’s routine medications, it can also help your vet identify any issues right away. Like humans, as a dog ages, there are many medical issues that can come into play. The sooner these are identified, the easier it is to keep your dog in good health.

Diet and Exercise

One way you can reduce the signs of aging in your dog is to ensure that he is getting the proper nutrition. A diet comprised of a high-quality dog food is helpful; a grain-free food that is high in protein is best. Some experts believe that dogs that eat a grain-free diet have healthier skin and coat, as well as healthier bones and joints. It may take some trial and error with different foods to find one that suits your dog’s individual nutritional needs as he ages. You should also provide your dog with the right amount and type of exercise that fits his needs and abilities.

 

Choosing the Right Puppy for Your Family

In the movies, bringing a new puppy home often seems like a spontaneous and idyllic moment that families share together. But in reality, adding a puppy to your family is like deciding to have another child. You will want to take the necessary time and steps to decide if this is truly the right time for a furry addition to your family. If you know that now is the perfect time to bring a puppy home, the next step is finding the right puppy for your family dynamic. These tips will help you as you make this exciting and important decision.

Tips for Choosing the Right Puppy for Your Family

  • Consider your current living situation and the space that you call home. If you and your family are city dwellers who live in a small apartment, consider the size of your home and the outdoor space you have available before you decide on a puppy. Perhaps a smaller breed is the best choice for your family. Families who have larger homes with ample room to run around may find that a large breed dog is best.
  • Think about the things that you like to do together as a family. If your children love to practice their favorite sports activity in the yard, an active dog may be a great choice. However, if you and your family would rather spend your days inside reading a good book, a docile dog that prefers to snuggle would be better suited.
  • Evaluate the personality types of each family member and try to identify the type of temperament you would like in a new puppy. If you have kids that are shy and reserved, it would not be wise to get an outgoing dog. Instead, find a breed with an equally cautious temperament so that it will match the family dynamic.

Once you have decided what type of puppy is right for your family, you should begin your search as soon as possible. You will be thrilled to have a new addition playing around the yard. At that point, it will be time to make more equally important decisions, such as those regarding the health and welfare of your new pup.