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Let's focus on our elderly dogs' health. As with humans, pets aging can bring about changes in their health and what is required. Taking care of them doesn't dwindle, so continue to have regular check-ups with your vet.
Since our dogs can't verbally tell us something is wrong and it's their natural way of communicating, behavioral changes are often a clue that there may be a medical issue. Watch for changes in their appetite, water consumption, urinary/bowel habits, sleep routines and general demeanor.
If your dog suddenly becomes irritable for no reason, it may be because he is in pain, having difficulty seeing, or having a hard time hearing properly.
Diet needs to be adjusted as well. A puppy often needs a higher calorie diet as they are more active and growing. An elderly dog may not need that, but this can vary depending on what illnesses or diseases they are suffering from. What worked before may not be suitable now, so choose a diet that is appropriate for your dog's age and health needs.
Like diet, your elderly dog's lifestyle – and your own – may need changing as well.
As your dog grows older, there may be certain things they cannot do as well anymore. You may have to shorten walk times because they have less energy. If your dog is going blind, you can create ‘scent trails’ with things like lavender oil to help her find her way around, and use swimming pool noodles to pad sharp edges on furniture. Dogs are incredibly adaptable but humans are incredibly clever — combine the two to make life easier for both of you.