It’s a fact that pet parents attached to their dogs develop a real soft spot as they grow older. However, with age, there also arises several challenges in pet care and grooming. Older dogs are often less vigorous and active than their younger counterparts, and much like humans, they suffer from aches and pains unlike when they were pups. But some simple steps are enough to make your best friend look and feel at his best.
Here are several tips that you can incorporate into your pet care routine to make life easier for both of you:
Always ensure that your pet is standing or lying on a soft, non-skid surface for grooming sessions. This helps him feel more comfortable and secure. While bathing your dog at home, ensure that the tub or sink has a no-slip mat in place for secure footing.
Keep your brushes and combs in good repair. If their teeth are bent or damaged, they can damage the skin or cause coat breakage. Ask a professional groomer to guide you on the type of brushes and combs suitable for your pet.
Using a soft and gentle brush on older dogs is wise. With age, skin loses elasticity and strength, developing tender lumps and bumps prone to damage.
Grooming sessions should be kept fairly short. It’s better to work on your pet for shorter sessions on a regular basis, as opposed to less frequent, but longer grooming sessions.
Older dogs need to get their nails trimmed more often as long nails can cause them discomfort and difficulty walking.
If your pet is having difficulty when walking on smooth surfaces, check for hair growing between his toes on the underside of the foot. Removing any such hair can help your dog have better traction.
Temperature variation can be a problem with older pets. If you usually trim your dog’s hair short, consider a longer hairstyle to help him stay warmer.
If you have a breed with long hair, it is best to have him groomed often to keep his coat in top shape. Clean, tangle-free hair insulates your pet effectively protecting him from cold and heat.
It’s recommended to check your dog’s eyes, ears and mouth often. If matter has accumulated in the corners of his eyes, you can soften it with warm water and carefully remove any build-up.
Check to make sure the ears do not have any discharge or odor and the mouth to make sure there is no offensive odor. A disagreeable smell, swelling or redness in the ears or mouth is reason enough to consult your veterinarian.
While washing your dog always choose a mild, basic cleansing shampoo. Always make sure to rinse, rinse and then again rinse some more!
After the bath, dry his coat as much as possible with warm towels, and further dry your pet using a dryer on the warm (never hot) setting.
Grooming sessions are not only a wonderful way to bond with your pet but also a good time to note any changes you may see in your pet. Older pets, in particular, appreciate the extra attention you lavish upon them.
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