When most people see a cute puppy, it’s hard to contain themselves and not just melt. But of course even the cutest puppies grow up at some point. After the puppy period comes the flail phase and then hopefully many wonderful years together with the adult dog. And at some point the day comes when you realize that the funny ball of fur from back then has become a senior who would rather lie comfortably on the carpet than chase the ball and whose joints groan when he gets up.
In fact, older dogs need more care than younger dogs in order to be able to live a healthy and happy life – but they deserve it! In this article we explain what changes you have to be prepared for as your dog gets older and how you can help him when the first signs of aging appear.
When are dogs old?
When we talk about “old dogs”, the first question that arises is when a dog is actually old. It is generally said that one dog year is equivalent to seven human years, but what does that actually mean? After all, there are also big differences between people: While some show the first signs of aging in their mid-40s, others are still in great shape at the age of 70!
In addition, the breed of dogs also plays an important role. Large breeds in particular, such as Great Danes, Newfoundlands or Irish Wolfhounds, usually have a significantly lower life expectancy and rarely live longer than 8-10 years, while the “old” breeds, such as medium-sized Poodles or Schnauzers, can also live 15-18 years . Depending on this, the first signs of aging will of course appear sooner or later. That’s why it’s important to observe closely so that your old companion can be helped when the signs of age appear.
Activity in old age – approach everything a little more relaxed
In general, one thing can be said: the activity level of senior dogs is lower than that of younger dogs. Although there are lazy, young dogs as well as active old dogs, as they get older it is unavoidable that a four-legged friend also becomes calmer. And if you’re honest, that’s understandable, after all, old dogs don’t fare much differently than old people here. They have already experienced a lot and approach new situations in a more relaxed manner – in general, one could easily say that older dogs are easier to care for.
This natural decrease in life energy also means that you as the owner have to be considerate of your dog friend in many ways. Because even if senior dogs need exercise and walks just as urgently as young dogs, the right amount should still be maintained. Jogging alongside your bike is often too stressful for your joints as you get older, and your stamina also decreases. A quiet, relaxed walk, on the other hand, is pleasant and not only provides the necessary exercise, but also offers interesting stimulation for the head by absorbing new smells and gives the senior the opportunity for social contact with other dogs.
If the old friend still wants to play, they should do that too. However, chasing a stick or a Frisbee is often no longer the right pastime. But something can be done for his head to further train brain activities and memory. For example, there are excellent memory and concentration games for dogs that can also prevent senile dementia in dogs.
Walks and wild games with an older dog should be avoided, especially on hot days or in the midday heat. Just like with older people, the circulation of older dogs is no longer as stable as that of their younger counterparts. It is therefore advisable for senior dogs to be discouraged from boldly jumping into the cold stream on hot summer days – it is better to lead them slowly into the shallow water so that the circulation does not suffer a shock. Always important: drink enough! A lot of the advice isn’t all that different from that which also applies to older people.
Swisshearing, cloudy eyes, dull fur and bad teeth
It is also typical for old dogs to have hearing loss, poor eyesight, dull fur and broken teeth. Dog owners often equate it with “stubbornness” when their dogs no longer come to call the first time – but often it is more because their ears are getting worse. Since there are no hearing aids for dogs, the only way to respond to the symptoms is appropriately.
It is best for the dog owner to approach the four-legged friend so that he can see who is coming; unexpected touches from behind can also scare him. Additionally, if your dog is becoming increasingly hard of hearing, it is often wiser to keep him on a leash during walks, as he may not hear a command in an emergency and be unable to respond accordingly. By the way: Dogs, even old furry friends, quickly learn to understand commands as gestures.
The tired old eyes. If your eyes begin to suffer from age, there is often not much you can do. However, you can prevent this if you support your eye health in advance, for example by taking certain vitamins (especially vitamins A, C and E) and ensure that you get enough of them as you get older.
The same applies to the teeth: Of course there are no braces or dentures for dogs. That’s why it’s important to make sure he has healthy teeth in advance. Regular checks for tartar, plaque and gum inflammation are important and, just like in humans, are a sign that something is wrong.
Many veterinarians carry out dental cleanings under general anesthesia, but whether this should be expected of an aging dog is very questionable, not to mention the costs. Especially since there are also very good, healthy and natural alternatives that are stress-free for the dog. There is an excellent natural product specifically designed to remove tartar and plaque from teeth that can save your furry friend anesthesia. In our article Easily remove tartar from dogs we go into the topic in detail.
A dull, lackluster coat: Since the metabolism changes with age and certain nutrients in dog food can no longer be adequately metabolized, this often affects the quality of the coat. The skin becomes flaky, itching often occurs, inflamed areas of the skin sometimes appear and the fur becomes dull and greasy.
An important request: Do not wash your dog with human shampoo! Dog skin has a different PH value and human shampoo is too aggressive for the dog. Not to mention that the dog will absolutely not put up with the “scent” of our shampoos. There is nothing wrong with a suitable dog shampoo, but the problem must be addressed holistically and one shampoo is not enough.
But here, too, our old friend can be given a helping hand and once again it is Mother Nature who gives us everything we need with the gift of high-quality Omega 3-6-9 fatty acids. The ideal composition consists of fish oil and vegetable oils from linseed, sunflower, pumpkin seed, wheat germ, evening primrose, rosemary, soy lecithin, rice bran and a little olive oil.
Old dogs often smell strong – not just from their mouths
Especially in old age, a bad smell often sets in and the fur or the entire dog begins to smell musty or even smell really unpleasant. Bad breath can have different causes: rotten teeth, tartar, bacteria in the mouth and throat, or problems with the gastrointestinal tract. However, the musty body odor of an old dog is mainly due to the changed metabolism, food that is not age-appropriate and the old animal’s declining willingness to care for it. But there are great natural remedies that stop bad breath and make the dog smell more pleasant overall.
From incontinence to tremors bis to a seizure
Incontinence is also an issue that affects many older furry friends. Sometimes it’s just a few drops, sometimes a whole lake, whatever the case, the dog can no longer hold urine and/or feces. Unconscious release, even while sleeping, is of course very annoying for the dog and the dog owner. The triggers for incontinence can have various causes. Be it age-related bladder weakness, urinary tract inflammation or a neurological problem, e.g. caused by a spinal disease (spondylosis, BSV), which can also trigger tremors or a seizure. There are good therapies and supportive feed additives for all cases.
In our experience, one of the most common causes of incontinence is calcification/ossification of the vertebral bodies, spondylosis. Depending on the severity, even old dogs can live quite well with it, but their nerve pathways often suffer greatly. Here, the affected nerve pathways, which can trigger incontinence and other symptoms due to disturbed signal transmission, can be well supported with a vitamin B complex that is dosed appropriately for dogs.
The vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B12 and folic acid (B 9) are very important for the function of the nerves and also promote the regeneration of damaged nerve pathways. Incontinence in dogs can be treated without chemical preparations.
The old bones and joints
In addition to the health problems already mentioned, joint problems are among the most common signs of aging in dogs. Arthrosis, arthritis, rheumatism, hip joint dysplasia (HD) and other joint diseases with their typical signs of wear and tear, Torment older dogs just as much as older people. They hinder the animals’ ability to move, cause pain and thus noticeably inhibit their ability to move and enjoy life.
This means taking action. There are various ways to enable your beloved animal to live a largely pain-free life: Injections from the vet can help relieve the pain, but are often quite expensive, only help in the short term and do not address the cause.
That’s why natural feed supplements that contain so-called joint nutrients are increasingly being used. This allows the cartilage to regenerate and the elasticity of the cartilage tissue is retained. The joint nutrients also result in better production of synovial fluid and relieve inflammation and pain within the joints, so that even old dogs can enjoy exercise again.
Your four-legged friend can be additionally helped with osteoarthritis, rheumatism and other inflammatory joint diseases by providing a soft, warm place to lie down. Warm grain pillows are particularly good for rheumatic dogs as a base. And here, too, the topic of food comes into focus: Just as affected people can influence the diseases through an adapted diet, this is also possible for dogs. Which brings us to the next point: the special food needs of senior dogs.
Diet: Senior food
Since more and more senior food is being sold even in discount stores (you have to be very careful about the quality, we cannot recommend such food, especially not dry food – the ready-made pizza for dogs), the realization is gaining ground that older animals also have special needs when it comes to their food.
But digestion no longer works the same in old dogs as it does in young dogs. A sunken body with protruding shoulders and vertebrae is usually not just due to a reduced appetite as we get older. The gastrointestinal tract can no longer extract the nutrients from the food as wellit comes out, but overall digestion also slows down. Many old dogs, for example, have increased flatulence and no longer have solid stool. A special senior food is therefore recommended, it is much easier for the dog to digest and the important nutrients can be metabolized better by him.
BARFen is also an interesting keyword that is increasingly buzzing through the minds of dog owners. This means a largely natural feeding using raw food, which is mixed according to a recipe depending on the dog’s individual needs. Raw feed is always better than industrially produced feed – and unfortunately 90% of all feed is industrial products.
A guideline to pay attention to when it comes to ingredients is the following (refers to dry food): raw ash: at least 2%, crude fiber: max. 5%, protein: at least 22%, fat: at least 5% , Carbohydrates: max. 50%. If you want to be on the safe side, the best way to provide your four-legged friend with the nutrients that are important as they age is through a combination of high-quality food and a special food supplement for old dogs. But let’s come back to the gastrointestinal tract.
Particular attention should be paid to the intestines, because the immune system also weakens with age. But what do both have to do with each other? Very much! The gastrointestinal tract has a very large surface area and is the largest entry point for pathogens. Inside the intestine, for example, antibodies ensure that germs do not spread and the intestinal flora remains stable. But when the immune system weakens, the intestines also find it difficult to do their job. So both live side by side and the intestine is, so to speak, a barrier for germs that can cause inflammation and illness. It should be if the immune system is intact. Our job is to support the old furry friend in ensuring that his immune system is constantly strengthened so that his immune protection is not compromised in the first place. How do we best do this? We’re getting to that now!
Strengthening the immune system in old dogs
As already mentioned above, in connection with reduced nutrient absorption, the immune system is usually weaker in older animals than in young ones – that’s why it is important to have a high-quality and Feed food that is tailored to your age and actual needs. But sometimes even that isn’t enough. To promote the immune system and intestinal health, many veterinarians recommend using colostrum as a food supplement.
What is colostrum? Colostrum is the first milk of mammals that newborns receive as their very first food. It has hardly anything to do with the later milk and gives the little animal the first basis to build a functioning immune system. Colostrum is also considered a source of health in humans and there really is something to it. It contains the full power of nature in the form of antibodies, proteins, vitamins, minerals and anti-inflammatory and antibacterial vital substances. It strengthens the intestinal barrier and boosts the immune system. And what’s good for the little ones can’t be bad for an old dog.
Experience shows that older dogs who receive colostrum as a food supplement are significantly less susceptible to illness and overall are much more vital. An ideal food supplement would be DOG FIT by PreThis® VITAL immun, it contains the purest colostrum powder from organic cows. And don’t worry, there is more than enough colostrum left for the calves, we pay close attention to this.
An old and healthy dog is a happy dog
So that the dog stays healthy even as he gets older, we recommend the food supplements mentioned above and in particular that DOG FIT by PreThis® CARE senior – a unique all-in-one preparation for seniors. It is designed precisely to meet the needs of older dogs and supports the skin, bones, teeth, joints, eyes, digestion, metabolism and coat through selected and precisely coordinated nutrients. All ingredients are residue-controlled and the production is even HACCP certified. All of our feed supplements are part of our nutrient system, which means that they can also be combined with each other. Have on itwe always attach great importance.
Strict specifications apply to our products:
Sustainable raw materials, certified production, GMO-free, free of gluten, fructose, yeast, soy, grains, sugar, flavors and unwanted additives are a must for us.
It takes around 4-6 weeks for the effect to take effect, because a level has to be built up first. Although they require some time to develop in the dog’s body, they are reliable, sustainable and, above all, free of unwanted additives and are therefore also suitable for sensitive seniors and allergy sufferers. This means that something really good can be done for your old companion’s health and vitality; he deserves it.
CARE senior is extremely easy to use, it is available in three sizes: small, medium and large.</b > Dogs receive 1 capsule daily. The food supplement is simply added under the food or fed in a treat; it has an almost neutral taste.
DOG FIT by PreThis® CARE senior has been recommended by dog owners, veterinarians, animal health practitioners and dog schools for many years.
Our get-to-know-you campaign
Normally, the popular food supplement for aging dogs costs from 27.95 euros. For a limited time it is available in our shop from 22.95 euros and one can is enough for dogs for a full 2 months.
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After all this, one conclusion remains
Senior dogs are calmer and more balanced than young dogs, but they also require increased care to enable them to age gracefully and largely pain-free. Appropriate feeding and consideration in everyday life are essential, because this is the only way the dog can stay healthy for a long time – and only a healthy dog can accompany its owner through life as usual, even in old age. That is exactly what is important for a dog as a pack animal: to always be with his family – even in old age.
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