Seniors can benefit from owning a pet in North Miami, especially a dog. Senior dogs provide companionship and unconditional love and reduce anxiety in some individuals. They can also keep seniors active by going on walks, playing, and visiting friends. However, dogs age faster than humans, so the day might come when you ask what changes are expected for a senior dog.
The Significant Changes for Senior Dogs
Just as humans age and face changes in their senior years, dogs face similar changes. Surprisingly, a dog's life changes as they reach their senior years are strikingly similar to ours. For example, they can suffer from frequent bathroom needs or incontinence, vision, hearing, and activity level changes.
Frequent Bathroom Breaks
One of the first things you might notice about your senior dog is how much more frequently they need to be taken out for a walk on the North Miami walkways or parks. As a dog ages, the bladder loses its ability to stretch and retract. The inability of the bladder to stretch means that a dog will need to empty their bladder more frequently.
A senior dog's bladder deterioration may progress to frequent incontinent episodes. The accidents could result from not being let out fast enough, excitability, or the dog not realizing they need to go. Luckily, there are male and female incontinence diapers available for senior dogs. Consulting a veterinarian when your senior dogs begin to display urinary frequency may help prevent or slow progression.
North Miami seniors are familiar with the need to care for their own eyes. Their beloved pets are no different, except that an average dog will not appreciate wearing glasses suddenly! Losing visual acuity may also lead to a decrease in activity and increase the likelihood of injuries. However, there are a few things you can do to help your senior dog as they begin losing their vision:
- Visit your vet frequently (6 months to a year) to help prevent vision loss and treat underlying conditions.
- As a dog loses their vision, their smell and hearing may improve. This makes toys with scents and sounds easier to play with.
- Approach visually impaired dogs slowly so they have time to hear and smell you.
The best advice is to have patience with your visually impaired dog as it takes time to adjust.
In addition to vision loss, some senior dogs lose their hearing. Hearing loss can cause many issues with alertness, balance, and realizing dangerous situations. For example, if a dog loses its hearing and wanders out into the street, it may not hear you yelling for it, a car honking, or the kids playing down the road. Please consult your vet for options to help your dog transition after losing its hearing.
Our favorite pets age much as our favorite humans do; sometimes, our pets age faster. Senior Helpers in Miami, Miami Beach, and North Miami Beach, FL, are here to assist your seniors with their everyday tasks, including helping walk their senior dog! Contact us now to find out if Senior Helper's home care suits your family!