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Tags:How to Take Care of an Old Dog,bed,dog,dogs,mattress,old,pets,protein
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Tearting and old Dog
Speaker: Now the first thing to think about is keeping them comfortable. So for this, I would recommend that you think about upgrading where they sleep, upgrade their bed so that they are somewhere warm, they are somewhere dry, out of draft, and why not go down the pet shop and find yourself a really good top quality dog bed, so they can sleep those old bones in a bit of comfort.
Or if you want to save a bit of money, I mean here is a good top tip for making sure they are comfortable. Get yourself one of those EggCrate Foam Mattresses, cut it in half down the middle, fold it over so that the two halves are together, cover in something machine washable; that makes a really good comfortable cheap bed for an older dog.
Or if you have got a really big dog, why not think about dragging out that old inflatable mattress from the garage, pump it up, cover it with a towel or something nice and warm, like that, and as long as he doesn't chew a hole in it and it deflates, that makes a really good mattress for an older dog.
One other thing to think about is exercise. Old dogs need exercise just as same as when they were young; they still love getting out there, running around and chasing rabbits, but the key is to make it short and regular, rather than big, long walks in the country. So short 10, 20 minute exercises a few times a day is much better for them than big long hikes.
Cut down on that stick throwing and bull throw, and just concentrate on ambling around, making them have a bit of a sniff and wander around.
If you want to keep their brains nice and sharp as well as their bodies, how about taking them to a dog training class. Nothing too adventurous, just get them to learn a few tricks; and you can teach an old dog new tricks, so get them to do something like covering their eyes with their paws, or begging, if they don't that, that just keeps the brain sharp, as well as keep them physically fit.
As well as exercise. Making sure you feed the correct diet to an older dog is vital as well. If you a feed diet that's too rich and its too high in things like protein, you can cause problems such as obesity, and also more serious problems, diseases like kidney disease and even diabetes, so getting the right diet is vital.
Now, I would recommend you feed a really good quality natural food without any artificial ingredients or additives, and one that isn't too high in protein, just a well-balanced diet. Then mix that out with a few home-cooked healthy things such as a bit of chicken and rice, just to add them a few tasty morsels, because an older dog really needs a good tasty food, because their sense of smell and taste won't be as acute as when they were younger.
Now, whatever you can do with exercise and comfort and feeding them correctly, things can go wrong with older dogs, unfortunately. The body starts to deteriorate as they get older, and you can find that the diseases, internal diseases are a risk. So to combat against this, the thing to do is to take your dog, when they reach late or middle age, perhaps seven years, go to your vet and ask for a general blood test.
Now all vets will do this. It just checks the dog through. It checks their liver, their kidneys, their immune system, all of this, that's checked by a blood test, and they can hopefully give your dog the all clear, or if they pick up a disease; perhaps diabetes or another disease or kidney disease, action can be taken quickly and early, and that can prevent the disease becoming life threatening.
So these are going to be my top tips for looking after dog with arthritis.
Number one on my list is early diagnosis. So if you have got any suspicion your dog is suffering from arthritis; so you might see things like he is having trouble getting in and out of the car, can't make it up stairs as easily as he used to, or perhaps after a good long walk, he is just really stiff when he gets out to his bed, then go straight down to your vet, get him checked over, because early diagnosis means early treatment, and less pain and discomfort for your dog.
Next on my list is short walks are better than long walks. So regular short periods of exercise are much better. They put less strain on your dog's joint, much better if they are arthritic.
Number three, weight control. This is really almost one of the most important. For every extra kilo of weight your dog is carrying, it adds an extra strain on the joint and will make arthritic pain an awful lot worse. So keep a real eye on what you are feeding them, and make sure they are not overweight.
The next tip is to get your vet to prescribe some anti-inflammatory medication. There's lots of these around, they are very safe, they are very effective, and they dampen down the pain and the inflammation of the joint, and they can really put a spring back in the step of an older dog with arthritis.
Next, things about joint supplements, so things like glucosamine or chondroitin sulfate. These actively help the joints repair themselves, help the cartilage in the joints and the fluid in the joints repair themselves, so they are much healthy and there is less pain there. So think about those as well. They are available from your vets, but also from pharmacists as well.
Finally, supplement called cod liver oil; that can really help. It has got essential fatty acids in there, and that can help as well with joints; keeping them fit and healthy.
So put all those tips together, and an arthritic dog can still live a full and active and happy life.