The first thing that you need to know is that each breed of dog is different in its determination of senior years. A lot of your smaller breeds tend to be around 10 years old or so when they are considered seniors. This changes up a lot so do your research on the breed of dog you currently own so that you can know roughly when to expect these changes to take place. Bigger dogs are usually considered seniors at five years of age.
If you can't find any information concerning the aging of your particular dog's breed you should call up your local vet and ask him or her if they can tell you that information. If the vet tells you your dog falls into this category you need to make sure you pay close attention to how your dog behaves and how he moves. Older dogs like this get sick a lot more often than younger dogs so don't be surprised if your trips to the vet seem to increase. You may start to see your dog start moving a lot slower than he used to, which is a definite indication he is officially a senior dog.
One important aspect of caring for an older dog is his diet. As your dog ages you will need to change up the type of food he eats in order to make sure he is getting all the vitamins, nutrients, and protein he needs to be strong and healthy. Buying food that is specifically designed for older dog is a must. This food will not only give your dog nutrients but will also help your dog to maintain the correct weight.
Something most people tend to neglect is taking their senior dog out for some good healthy exercise. Just because your dog is getting older doesn't mean he's dead! Your dog still wants to play and have fun with you so feel free to take your dog out for a walk and play with him or her. They will enjoy it and it will help keep them healthy and in shape.
A lot of older dogs are prone to getting arthritis in their joints, which makes it very difficult for them to move around. You may start to notice that your dog has a hard time keeping up with you when you take him out, or that he is looking a little stiff at times. There are two things you can do to help reduce his pain during this time. One of them is to help your pooch slim down and lose a few pounds. You can also take him to the vet to checked out and get some medicine that will help with the pain.
An older dog needs even more attention, love, and special care than a young dog or puppy needs. This means that you will have to sacrifice a bit more of your time to try and watch your dog's health so that you can make sure he or she is getting properly cared for. Remember to keep a close eye on your senior dog's diet as well.