How to care for an old dog

As much as we want to ignore it, nothing will stop our beloved dachshunds from aging. At some point in time, all dogs become seniors. Although we can’t stop their aging process, we can help our senior hounds by providing them with the utmost level of comfort. As dogs grow older, they have different needs and requirements as compared to young ones. 

Senior Sausage Dog

Age-appropriate diet

When dogs grow old, they become less energetic and less functional. Due to this reason choosing a well-balanced diet is crucial to maintain your dog’s health and to make sure your dog is not a target of obesity. As dachshunds grow older, they become prone to gain weight. Research shows that 53% of dogs are overweight and obese. 

Obesity is dangerous as it can lead to more serious diseases and also shortens the lifespan of your dog. Foods for senior dogs have low-fat levels and contain fewer calories so that your dog remains healthy without getting obese. If your dog is overweight, then your veterinarian can assist you in choosing a diet for your dog that supplies all the necessary nutrients while also allowing room for weight loss. 

If your dog has heart disease, you need to choose a diet that has lower levels of sodium. If your dog is subject to kidney disease, then a diet that helps manage phosphorus, and calcium is the best option for your dog’s health. Even if your dog is not the subject of any disease, you still need to feed senior dog foods and supplements to your senior dog.

Senior Dogs need high-quality food to stay healthy. If you want the absolute best food for your old friend, you can try feeding him/her natural fresh-cooked food. Some great dog food companies make personalized, vet-formulated food for dogs. These are especially beneficial for dogs with certain ailments like joint problems, weight problems, and allergies which are very common in senior dachshunds.

Click Here To Find The Best Food For Senior Dachshunds

Regular exercise

To keep your dog’s joints and muscles healthy, regular exercise is essential. This will also be advantageous for your dog’s overall health and will help your dog maintain an ideal weight. If your senior dachshund is not used to exercise, then you need to start slow and slowly intensify the exercise. You need to build up your senior’s stamina by starting with small walks and light jogs. Every dog will have different energy and stamina levels, so you need to alter your exercise routine to fit your dog’s ability. Consulting your veterinarian will be beneficial as they will know what sort of exercises will suit your dog and the duration of regular exercise. Your vet will be able to devise a safe exercise program for your senior dog.

Dapple Dachshund

Vet visits and medical care

Regular vet checkups are essential for your senior dachshunds. This will ensure that your dog is not at risk of many dangerous diseases. As our furry friend ages, their immune systems become weaker, and they become more at risk of ailments.  

Your Senior Dachshund may seem healthy, but many diseases can remain hidden for a long time, and vet checkups will help you discover them. Research shows that only 14% of dogs receive regular checkups. You should get your senior dog checked every six months at least. This will enable early detection of any disease your dog may suffer from. 

Early detection is important as this will enable a better chance of curing the disease as compared to late detection. Your vet will also evaluate your dog’s health and devise safe diet plans and exercise programs in line with your senior dog’s requirements. 

You also need to take care of your senior dog’s dental and oral health. Dental care is not only for senior dogs but also for young ones. If young dogs are not given proper dental care, then they may lose teeth in their old age or develop dental diseases. 

Dental diseases in dachshunds are painful, and your dog may lose their appetite. This will lead to weight loss and a disheveled coat of hair. You need to clean your dog’s teeth every day. If your dog doesn’t allow you to clean his teeth, then you should give him dental treats. You should also take your dog to the vet yearly for oral checkups and professional cleanups. Your vet will be able to detect signs of dental disease and can also indicate areas of possible problems and advise you on better cleaning and care.

All dogs, whether young or old, need to get vaccinations to protect themselves against parasites, fleas, worms, etc. However, senior dogs do not need as many vaccinations as young ones. This doesn’t mean that your senior dog won’t need vaccines ever. It means that you and your vet need to discuss how often your dog needs vaccines and what sort of vaccines your dog requires. 

Every time you visit your vet, you should ask him for a body condition evaluation. A body condition evaluation will help you in determining if your dog is underweight, overweight, obese, or ideal body weight. This will help you in taking necessary measures for your underweight or overweight dog., and will also help you in getting your dachshund to an ideal body weight before your dog becomes the subject of any serious ailments regarding its weight. 

Old Dachshund

Grooming your senior dog

As your dogs grow older, their grooming needs require special needs, especially for longhaired and wirehaired dachshunds. Since old dogs have less activity and more idle time lying down, their hair may grow unruly and disheveled. You need to brush your senior dog’s hair every day to avoid the growth of mats and tangles. It is also recommended that only natural shampoos are used to heal and nourish the irritated skin and unkempt coat of hair.  Old dogs’ skin is more prone to irritation and traumatization. Your dog’s skin may also be a target of dry and flaky skin. This condition can be worsened by neglect and lack of proper care. Urine scalding can take place due to urinary incontinence. Facial folds may grow irritated due to more than usual drooling. Grooming will help your dog by maintaining healthier hair and better skin. Grooming will not only enable you to monitor your dog’s skin but will also allow you to monitor your dog’s overall health. 

Special accommodations

Older dogs have a greater risk of developing arthritis or other problems relating to bones and joints. These problems will negatively affect their movements. Your dog may lose its eyesight in old age, and this will result in difficulty for your dog to jump on sofas or beds. In such cases, it will be beneficial for you to provide your dog with soft bedding that is easily accessible that won’t require any sort of jumping. 

Your dog may find it problematic to go up and down the stairs and might find it exhausting. If your dog can not avoid climbing the stairs, then to ease its movements, you can buy or build a doggy ramp for it. You can also install doggy-proof doors to restrict your dog’s access to the stairs. But in doing so, you will have to move your dog’s bed, food, and water bowl downstairs where the dog can easily access it. If your dog is a victim of arthritis, then placing carpets and rugs is beneficial for your dog to gain its footing and make his actions easier.

Click here to see our pick of the best ramps for dachshunds

Keeping your dog entertained

To keep your senior dog entertained, you should provide it with plenty of toys. This will help keep your doxie occupied. Toys such as food puzzles are not only beneficial for entertainment but are also great for weight loss purposes as well. This is good for your senior dog’s mental health as well. If your doxie is lying down all day without any sort of mental activity, its brain will start to deteriorate, resulting in senility. To ensure that your senior dog is not becoming senile, provide it with toys to keep it entertained and occupied.

Quality time with your dog

Most importantly, your senior dog will require and crave your attention. Old dogs may not be able to see or hear well, but they are devoted to their owners. They treasure the time you spend with them.

They need your companionship and your attention. You should also display patience while dealing with your senior dog because dogs can sense if you are annoyed with them. Without attention and affection from you, they will pine away. An old dachshund can become anxious easily if they don’t feel their masters by their side. 

Even if your dog is unable to see or hear you, they want to feel your presence and your affection. Your affection and attention will keep them emotionally happy and mentally healthy. Don’t dwell on your dog’s old age. Spend time with your dachshund and cherish your time together. Play with them, take them for walks, and give them treats. Show them that you don’t love them any less because they are old. Your dog is your best friend, and you should treat them like anything less.

wirehaired dachshund

Check out this related post: How to Prevent Back Problems in Dachshunds

Can CBD Oil Help Senior dogs?

Cbd oil can improve the quality of life in senior dogs that suffer from mobility issues due to arthritis. It also alleviates pain caused by chronic conditions. Talk to your Veterinarian about giving Cbd to your senior Dachshund. Click here if want to know more about CBD oil for dogs. 

In conclusion, although every dog is special in its own right, all of them will age. As your dog grows older, it will have less energy and may develop ailments. You need to be attentive to signs and schedule regular veterinarian visits to determine the health of your beloved dog.

If you want to find the best pet insurance for your dachshund, click here

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How to care for an old dog