As you age, you become prone to a wide variety of health issues. Dogs go through the same aging process. In fact, some of the health issues that plague aging humans also plague dogs. Here are three common health problems that your dog may face as it ages.
Once your dog leaves the rambunctious adolescent stage, it will start to slow down. That means it won't need as much food as it once did. Elderly dogs that continue eating the same portions as they did when they were younger have an increased risk of becoming obese. Obesity in dogs can lead to diabetes and arthritis.
Not sure if your dog is obese? Give it a rub along the chest wall. Your dog should have an hourglass figure. If you can't feel your dog's ribs or see its' waist, it may be obese. Your veterinarian can help you develop a feeding routine that will work best for your aging dog.
As your dog ages, you may notice that it has a difficult time getting around. It may walk more slowly than it used to or have difficulty moving around. This may be the beginning stages of arthritis. To slow down the progression of arthritis, try taking your dog for daily walks. Several short walks throughout the day will help keep your dog active. Once you get back from your walks, place warm compresses on your dogs' joints. This will help relieve any discomfort they may be experiencing.
Like their human counterparts, aging dogs can suffer from occasional constipation. Unfortunately, they can't tell you when they're having a difficult time having a bowel movement. Constipation can make it difficult for your pet to absorb the nutrients it needs from the foods it eats.
There are a couple of ways to tell if your pet is suffering from constipation. First, look around your yard. If you're seeing a decrease in the number of piles, there may be a problem. Second, snoop on your dog. The next time it goes out to relieve itself, watch carefully. Does your dog seem to strain? Does it try to start several times and then come in without relieving itself? If either of those sound familiar, your pet may be constipated.
As your dog ages, it may begin to exhibit health problems you haven't noticed before. If your dog experiences any of the problems discussed above, be sure to schedule an appointment with their veterinarian as soon as possible.
To learn more, visit a website like http://www.1stPetVet.com.