As the owner of three adorable Chihuahuas, I cannot imagine life without them. We all wish our beloved pets would live forever . . . in fact, I tell them that! But just like with us, it doesn’t quite work that way. We age and all of the sudden we start feeling little aches and pains everywhere. As our dog ages, they go through changes as well and you may notice some common signs and symptoms of “maturity”.
One of the first signs of an aging dog is a change in sight and cataracts as the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. Most often it is not a problem and looks worse than it is. Cataracts do not impair vision. Natural changes result in lenticular sclerosis, which typically does not cause significant vision loss either.
Loss of hearing is another sign of aging. The nerve cells and hearing apparatus of your dog degenerates slowly over time, causing a gradual but not always complete loss of hearing.
As your dog gets older, the metabolic rate slows down and as a result the activity level decreases.
Senior dogs are more susceptible to obesity. With the activity level going down and your dog more sedentary, may be necessary to change the food to a senior food, lower in calories or cut down on the portions.
With age the immune system is not quite working as efficiently as it should, making your dog more susceptible to infection.
With dogs young and old, it is imperative to keep up with proper teeth brushings. Your dog may suffer from tooth decay, bleeding gums and tooth loss. To make matters worse, the bacterium that causes all these problems can travel through the bloodstream and eventually damage your dog’s major organs. Especially as your dog is aging, be sure to brush the teeth about three times a week for healthy teeth and gums. Use a small soft bristle brush, and work from back to front, making small circles along the gum lines. It should take you less than 30 seconds to brush your pet’s teeth.
Enjoy your senior pet and provide the best care, cherishing all the moments, days, weeks, months and years ahead.
For Vet assistance in the Rockford area, you can check out – http://www.rockfordvetclinics.com/, http://bellwoodvets.com/, http://www.petswelcome.com/illinois/rockford/veterinarians.html
For all your pets needs in Rockford, go to your local PETCO – 6305 East State Street, Rockford, IL 61108, (815) 229-0184 – http://www.petco.com/ or your local PETSMART – 6320 East State Street, Rockford, IL 61108, (815) 397-7880 – http://stores.petsmart.com/result-details.php?store=493 – PETLAND, (815) 332-4200 – www.petland.com/
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