From the age of eight years old a dog is considered a senior. However, this can be very different for each dog. It doesn't always have to mean a lot, but your buddy can become a bit less active or get physical problems. It is therefore important to keep an eye on this and give your senior dog just that extra care he needs.
When is my dog old?
There is no exact age to give. Some dogs can be 'at age' from the age of six and others almost never show signs of age. In general, large and very large dogs start to grow old from the age of six. For medium sized dogs an age of seven to eight years is maintained and small dogs are counted as 'senior' from the age of nine. But beware, even within breeds large differences can still be seen.
As a dog gets older, he is more suspectible to health problems like:
- Less functioning kidneys and liver
- Dental problems
- Joint problems. More information about joint problems in dogs can be read here.
- Less good condition.
- Increaserd risk of deafness and blindness.
- Hormonal problems.
- Less functioning immune system.
Dental problems are not only a problem with the senior dog. Did you know that 80% of dogs older than three years suffer from dental problems? Check and brush the teeth of a senior dog regularly. Don't think 'never mind', because plaque and tartar can cause a lot of discomfort to the animal. In case of serious dental problems, an extensive treatment at the vet is necessary, and of course you want to prevent that. Prevention is better than cure! Would you like to know how you can maintain the teeth of your senior? Then read this article.
It is important that you continue to observe your dog closely and pay attention to the following instructions to recognize aging:
- Reduced or increased appetite.
- Difficulty getting up.
- Not wanting to walk anymore.
- Condition problems.
- Change in sleep rhythm, for example awake at night.
- Changes in behaviour: very affectionate or distant, restless, poor orientation.
- Drinking more.
- More urinating.
- Stinking out of the mouth.
- Digestion problems.
- Bumps under the skin.
- Changes in coat structure: more shedding, flaking, bald spots.
Keeping your senior fit
Your dog may become less active as he gets older. Less exercise can be the cause of, among other things, joint problems. It is therefore important to prevent this as much as possible. We have some tips for you to keep your senior fit.
- Have your dog checked at the vet regularly. In this way any problems can be discovered at an early stage and treated properly.
- Keep moving with your dog. Movement keeps the muscles supple. The advice is to exercise regularly, but in a dosed way. Walk three times a day for half an hour rather than one and a half hour at once.
- Jumping on or off something can be more difficult for your senior. Help your dog get in and out the car by carrying him or use a car ramp.
- Keep doing fun things with your dog like you're used to. Small exercises provide a mental challenge and contribute to maintaining a good brain function. Think for example of hiding games or about special dog puzzles that are available in pet stores. Read this article to see how you can make your own games.
- Certain muscles can decrease in strength. Since the bladder is a muscle, it may be wise to let an older dog out a little more often.
- You can help an older dog who doesn't want to eat anymore of who can't chew by properly soaking his kibble in lukewarm water. This wil soften the chunks and release more scent, which makes the meal more appealing for your senior.
Nutrition for the senior dog
Above a certain age, the dog becomes less active and some organs will no longer function optimally, changing his nutritional needs. It is then advisable to switch to a food specially formulated for older dogs. Prins has 100% natural brok foods that are specially formulated for senior dogs:
- Prins ProCare Senior Support: a pressed food for older dogs of all breeds.
- Prins ProCare Mini Senior Support: a pressed foor for senior dogs of small breeds.
- Prins ProCare Lamb & Rice Senior Hypoallergenic: a pressed food for older dogs of all breeds with sensitive skin and coat. Also suitable for older dogs with a sensitive digestive system.
- Prins ProCare Grainfree Senior Fit: a grain- and glutenfree pressed foor for older dogs of all breeds.
- Prins ProCare Protection Senior Fit: a pressed food with unique ingredients such as herbs and cell salts for medium and large breeds.
- Prins ProCare Croque Senior Superior: a crunchy kibble for older dogs of all breeds.
- Prins ProCare Croque Lamb & Rice Senior Hypoallergenic: a crunchy food for older dogs of all breeds with sensitive skin and coat. Also suitable for older dogs with a sensitive digestive system.
- Prins Protection Croque Senior Fit: a crunchy food for senior dogs of medium and large breeds.
- Prins Protection Croque Mini Senior Fit: a crunchy food for older dogs of small breeds.
- Prins Fit Selection Senior: a crunchy food for senior family dogs of medium and large breeds.
If your dog can't chew very well anymore, you can soak his kibble in lukewarm water. This will soften them and release more scent.
Difficulty giving medicine?
Some dogs don't like to take pills. Try to give it in a fun way. For example, put the pill in a piece of Prins NatureCare sausage. However, read the leaflet of the medicine in advance for the correct way to administer it.
We are happy to help!
What is most suitable for your senior? An 'ordinary' senior food? A senior food with something extra? Or rather a special diet food? Or can you combine something? The nutrition experts of our Prins CareTeam will be happy to help you with advice that is tailored to your dog. Completely free of charge!