If you are like me once you get a pet; you give it a forever home. That dog becomes part of the family. In my case I have five dogs; three chihuahuas, one mixed breed, and the youngest member is a chi weenie. As they are growing older I am having to learn how to care for my senior dogs.
My senior dogs are now between the ages of 10 & 12. Fore the most part they all seem to be healthy. I have started seeing signs of old age and some of them are starting to need more care.
I Never Thought About Health Problems
I never really thought about my dogs having health problems as they grew older. I guess common sense should have told me that. The thought just never really entered my mind. In the past three months I have lost two of my senior dogs to health issues.
One of my chihuahuas started having heart problems a couple years ago. He gave up that battle in October last year. He was on medication for a couple of years before his heart gave out.
One of my mixed breed dogs started having a problem with her bladder. She had become incontinent. They do have medication that can help this problem. But her kidneys failed in December of last year and I had her put down. She was a very sick dog when I took her to the vet.
More Freuqent Vet Visits
As your dog gets older, you most likely having to start making more trips to the vet. I would recommend a check up every year to six months. I have found out that health issues can stay hidden for a long time. Regular check ups may help discover these problems before they decide to pop up all of a sudden out of no where and you have a sick dog.
Also, as some problems start you will notice a change in your dog. It may be a cough, getting up slower, a runny nose, or problems eating. All of these can be warning signs that there is something going on with your dog.
I just recently found out that frequent sneezing can be a sign of infection in a bad tooth. Dental problems can lead to other serious health conditions. One of the conditions is heart problems. I would recommend you take your dog in for routine teeth cleaning and try brushing or wiping down their teeth if you dog will let you.
Be Prepared For Medication
When the two dogs I mentioned before passed away. I was giving both of them two different medications a day to help with the symptoms they had developed. Just like humans as pets get old some need to be put on medications to help with illnesses or health problems due to their old age.
Medication and vet visit can get expensive when you have more than one dog. I love my dogs, but having so many can get expensive, so when the ones I have pass away I will most likely only have one; two at the most.
Expense is another thing I did not think about as accumulated so many dogs. I have a big heart for dog, especially chihuahuas. But now that they are all senior dog, but one; I am always trying to be more aware how each one of them is behaving.
Enjoy Your Senior Dog
As our dogs get older they will need more help from us. Pay attention to your dog’s behavior and show them love as they grow older. Make sure they do not have any new behavior that could be a concern. But most of all enjoy your dog.
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