Time passes for all of us, but it passes even faster for our pets. Even though the life expectancy of pet pets has increased by about 20% in the past ten years, the animals still become elderly at around 11 or 12 years of age, varying for each breed, size and living conditions.
The great question of the guardians is how old the animals are considered to be elderly. Dr. Luana Sartori, a specialist from Nutrire, explains that from the age of seven onwards pets need special attention. “The variables are great as to the symptoms of old age for pets, however, we can already see some signs that indicate their arrival, such as changes in food, mobility, sleep, among others,” he says.
To guide pet owners, Luana separated some important tips to keep old dogs healthy and well taken care of.
What should my pet eat?
Elderly dogs have more difficulty in absorbing nutrients and, mainly, in the rate of digestion. Therefore, it is essential that they have quality feed, specific for animals over seven years old. The specific foods for this phase of the pet’s life must offer high digestibility and assist in the maintenance of the muscles.
Another key point is to control the animal’s weight and avoid overweight. A specific ration also combats the formation of tartar, essential in health and longevity “. Luana also recalls that to modify something in the animal’s diet, the accompaniment of a veterinarian is indicated, as the routine must be changed little by little, as instructed by the specialist.
Are the games the same?
“It depends on the condition and, of course, on the will of the animal”, answers the expert. The best thing is to have common sense, since the dog does not have the same flexibility as when it was a puppy. “The routine the older pet is naturally more calm and calm than in the day-to-day life of playful young people. We need to remember that he can feel pain in his joints if we push the bar “, he warns.
You can make shorter walks, always at cooler times. It is best to do more short-term hikes than a long and tiring drive. 10 or 15 minutes, two or three times a day, are satisfactory. “Never forgetting that all of this depends on the health of the pet, that is, each case is different and the guardian must always be attentive to the signs of tiredness of the pet.
” Watch out for important symptoms of what we call easy tiredness, like a very animal panting and stretching his neck to get a breath, for example. In addition, the purple tongue is also a sign that something is wrong. Take the pet to the vet if any of these situations occur “, he adds. Do
they feel colder?
The specialist says yes, they are more sensitive to changes in temperature. “It can be for cold or heat, so keeping the pet’s bed in a ventilated place is important in the summer, but avoiding drafts is essential on the coldest days”, says the veterinarian.
To know if your pet is cold, some signs can be detected. “They look for the sun, and they usually lie on warmer floors,” he says. The animal with excess cold can shrink and even shiver depending on the intensity of the cold air. “Blankets always available are indispensable”, he reveals.
In cases of intense heat, keeping several pots of water around the house helps the animal to drink more fluids, which helps a lot in this phase of the pet’s life. Never leave it out in the sun, with no possibility of shade. Hiking should not take place at very high temperatures. “It is better that the elderly pet stays at home and does not exercise on hot days,” he says.
Puppy dogs make a mess, bark and run around the house all the time. Elderly dogs no longer have the same peak, but they also need more attention. Generally, and this occurs in the vast majority of cases, older pets become more needy and loving. “Cuddle your pet even more, talk to him, hug him whenever possible and never forget that the energy may be less, but the love he feels for you will only increase”, advises Luana.
Details make all the difference
Making big changes in the house, moving the furniture around can cause confusion in the animal. So, if possible, always keep it in a comfortable place that awakens your affective memory. Do not forget that the pet no longer has the same strength on its legs and adapting access to the sofa, for example, may be necessary. The same occurs in beds, stairs and other furniture that are difficult for an elderly dog to access. To avoid skin problems, it is recommended to brush the pet every week, in addition to talking with the veterinarian about the frequency and conditions of the bath in the animal, if they are given at home. “Speaking of which, after seven years the visits to the offices should become more frequent”, he concludes.