Dogs don’t have a longer life span like that of humans, and that’s heartbreaking for dog parents. It’s so painful to lose our old pet, and we all want to do all we can to give our senior dog the healthiest and longest lives possible.
Although every caring senior dog parent has the best motives at heart, certain options that appear safe and simple can actually lead to fewer years with your senior dog. Here are some ways in which people unintentionally shorten their dogs’ lives
- Use of chemicals and cleansers on the floor
It’s good to have a sparkling floor, but scented and chemically colored floor cleansers, floor waxes, and several other floor polishers can be hazardous to your senior pets. Dogs walk on cleaned floors, where there could be chemical residue, and then lick their paws, which with time can result in different types of illnesses, like cancer. If you have to use a floor cleaner, do a second cleaning with plain water.
- Forgetting to check your dog’s teeth
Just like humans, your senior dog can suffer from gum disease which is prevalent than most of us think. When food accumulates around and in between a dog’s teeth, it can result in bacteria building which in turn forms plaque. Any kind of oral bacteria accumulation in your dog’s mouth can be a trigger for all forms of other health conditions which includes issues with their kidneys and hearts.
However, all is not lost because by frequently cleaning senior dog’s teeth you can actually avoid this from occurring. If senior pet is not used to getting their teeth washed, you need to take them with you to the vet regularly to have this done properly.
- Feeding the Wrong Life Stage Diet
Dog diets are prepared for different life stage that the dog is in. Vitamins, minerals, calories, and other nutrients are balanced for each life stage. A puppy that is given adult food may have joint issues that can deeply affect his old age. Senior dogs given puppy food may develop kidney problems earlier than those fed a high-quality senior dog formula and they may increase drastically in weight. Check with your veterinarian to know what life stage your pet is in and feed him an appropriate food for his age.
- Skipping Yearly Vet Visits
Most people think that it’s meaningless to take their senior dogs to the vet when they appear perfectly healthy. As in humans, there are several signs of illness that cannot be observed with the naked eye. Dogs have the problem of not knowing how to communicate how they are feeling internally.
- Exposing Them to Secondhand Smoke
Just like humans, secondhand smoke can be harmful for senior dogs. They thrive on getting close to their humans always and continuous exposure to harmful toxins from cigarette smoke can lead to allergies, respiratory issues, heart problems and certain types of cancer.
Tobacco is likewise toxic to your aging dog if consumed, so even having unlit cigarettes within the house puts senior pet at a greater risk.
- Allowing Them to Move Around Freely
There are too many possible dangers out there to let your dog run loose – coyotes, cars, poisonous snakes, other dogs, unsavory humans with bad intentions…the list goes on and on. Even an Identity tag and a microchip are no guarantee that your pet will come back home unhurt. It’s wise to keep your old dog safely leashed at your side when outdoor.
- Not Bothering with Heartworm Preventative
Heartworm is a parasite that gets into your dog’s system through the bite from an infected mosquito. Over time, adult worms spread and take up residence in your dog’s heart, and the infection is usually very fatal. Even when heartworm disease is detected and cured, your dog’s heart may be irreversibly damaged. Heartworm preventative is a great way to prevent this deadly infection, but most people do not give it to their dogs because they believe that it is highly-priced, and they don’t see the value in it. Heartworm preventative is ideal for our dogs, and makes it easy to forget how dreadful the disease is. Consult your veterinarian to understand the type of heartworm preventative suitable for your dog.
- Poor diet
A diet of dry dog food formula which contains an excessive preservatives and chemicals will eventually lead to kidney and liver problems in your dog, which can eventually lead to death. These chemicals accumulate in your dog’s system, especially when you’re serving your dog the same flavor and brand for several years.
Rather than going cheap on the kibble, or even buying “premium” brands of dog food formula, it’s advisable to buy “super premium”.
- Neglecting Dog Training
As a way to maintain his safety, your senior pet ought to know and continually follow the “come” command. If he is at risk, your dog has to respond to your call immediately. Many dogs are seriously injured or even killed because they just don’t respond to being called. This is a thing that you don’t just teach your pet once; you have to practice it regularly all through your dog’s life to ensure that it stays fresh in his mind and to make sure he understands that the benefits for responding to your calls are always more than the benefits of any mischief he’s considering causing.
- Lack of supervision or dog-proofing
Your home and garden needs to be 100% dog proofed. This implies no food, chemicals, garbage or drugs within your dog’s reach. No holes in the wall/fence. No electrical wires for your senior pet to chew. Take away anything your old pet could eat and choke on, such as socks, remotes and phones.
Sharing a home with a senior dog is quite rewarding. Dogs give owners so much happiness and in return, it’s left to people to ensure their four-legged friends are cared for in a safe environment and given high quality and well-balanced diet. However, it’s very easy to get some aspects wrong which could end up limiting your senior pet life drastically which explains why it’s essential to make sure our senior dog gets sufficient daily exercise to suit their breed and ages.