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How Does Pet Care Change As My Dog Grows Older?

Pets are fun when they are young and just as amusing as they grow old. Aging is a natural process that comes with many changes for everyone, including pets. Muscles get weaker, the level of activity goes down, and vision problems occur. Also, your pet may fail to answer your call as they gradually lose hearing.

So as your pet becomes old, there are some things you will need to change about how you care for them. The good news is you can work with your vet to help your aging furry friend as changes take place. Here are some of the changes you can expect to make when caring for your old pet.


Frequent Visits to the Vet

While you expect your pet to change as they get older, it does not mean that all the changes that will occur are typical. Several things could be happening, including deep-seated health problems that need medical attention.

Older pets tend to be more prone to dental disease, eye problems, heart, liver, and kidney problems. Regular visits to the vet can help catch these health issues early and help them live healthier and perhaps even longer.

Even if your pet’s health may appear terrific, consult your vet about early diagnoses and regular checkups when your dog or cat turns five or six years old.


Diet Changes

You will need to change your pet’s diet as they age, particularly because their teeth may have trouble chewing their usual food. That, and the fact that your pet’s tummy may not be able to digest the usual meals.

If you do not know what to feed your pet, ask your vet for guidance. Also, while young pets are active and require calories to burn, this is not the case with older pets who will not be active as much and need to keep a healthy weight.


Changes With Physical Training and Exercise 

Aging pets cannot keep up with lots of physical training and exercises as they could when they were younger. As such, your pet may not be able to go on the steep treks and long walks they previously enjoyed. Likewise, you may have to change how you train your pet for a more toned-down version.


Easing Access to Food and Water

Ensure that your pet can still reach their food and water without straining or having to stroll too far. This may mean placing several water bowls around your house, for instance, to shorten your pet’s trips to get water.


Changes With Grooming Needs

Older pets are more difficult to groom, so you need a different set of skills when it comes to that. This is because your pet's skin may become thinner, and the nails may become more fragile or breakable. If that happens, talk to your pet groomer about the type of grooming that can help. 

For more on how pet care changes as your dog grows older, visit South Willamette Veterinary Clinic at our office in Creswell, Oregon. You can call (541) 313-3352 today to schedule an appointment.

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