Thanks to modern veterinary care and scientifically formulated, natural dog food for senior dogs, it's not uncommon for small or toy breed dogs to live to be 15 years or older. A breeder, vet or pet shop manager can tell you the typical lifespan of your particular breed, but in general, smaller breeds live longer than larger breeds. With good medical attention, a sound, nutritious diet and plenty of TLC, your dog can expect many great years with your family.
Dogs and People Age Remarkably Alike
As we age, we all become less active and lose muscle strength and bone mass. Our digestive function becomes less efficient, taste buds become less sensitive, skin becomes dry and flaky and feelings of stiffness might creep into the joints. Give your older dog a little extra attention and loving care.
Watch Your Senior Dog's Weight
It's important that you monitor your older dog's weight. Excessive weight puts undue stress on a dog's heart, skeleton and other vital organs. If your dog is being fed according to the feeding guidelines and still exceeds the recommended weight, switch to a NATURAL CHOICE® Lite Dog Food to reduce calorie intake until your dog reaches the ideal body condition. Then, switch back to a senior dog food. And remember: No table scraps!
Visit the Vet at Least Once a Year
Dogs are considered seniors around 8 years old for small and toy breeds, 7 years old for medium breeds and 6 years old for large breeds. As your dog enters this life stage, make sure to schedule regular vet checkups. The slightest health issue can become a major one if your dog is older. An annual vet visit might turn up something that could have gone unnoticed otherwise.
Make Their Activities Less Strenuous
Senior dogs still love to play, but their hips and joints might be affected by arthritis (especially in certain breeds). They also might tire more easily. Keep an eye on your dog's activity level; dogs will usually stop playing when they're tired.
Adjust Food to Fit Your Dog's Life Stage
Once your dog becomes a senior, even if they still look young, it's important to adjust your dog's diet to a natural senior dog food, such as a NATURAL CHOICE® Senior Dog Food, to maximize overall health and well-being. If your dog ever has trouble chewing, report it to your vet. It could be an abscessed tooth or diseased gums. Regardless of the cause, you can mix dry food with a bit of warm water to make it softer and easier to chew, or feed a wet dog food. As dogs become seniors, oftentimes their desire to eat declines. By mixing wet dog food with dry kibble you can help encourage your senior dog to eat.