Alas, we all age, and so do our heart and other organs. When health starts failing us, every daily task or favorite activity becomes a challenge. And although we don’t give it much thought, animals also know the hardships of old age.
The fate of old pets is sometimes much sadder than that of pensioners. But how come the immeasurable love they gave us in their youth doesn’t earn them the right to a safe and happy old age?
Not so long ago, an elderly dachshund was picked up by an animal shelter. Caring people found the poor creature under a pawnshop, where she had been hiding for 4 days. The dog has short hair, so it quickly freezes on the street and starts trembling.
If it weren’t for passers-by who called the shelter, she wouldn’t have survived.
The old dachshund had a bad cough and after the examination, it turned out that she had a bad heart. The volunteers called her Maina.
Since Maina can’t be kept with larger dogs due to her heart condition and needs protection from the cold, she spends most of the time alone in a cage in a warm room of the clinic.
Despite Maina’s hard lot, she is very sociable.
The life of a homeless canine is difficult and short. On average, animals that could live for up to 15 years rarely survive for more than 5-6 years on the street.
The main condition that enables pets to live a long and happy life is a caring owner who will love and care for their four-legged friend, even when it’s not ‘fun.’
Aspects of taking care of an old dog
The duration and quality of a dog's life depend on many factors, in particular – proper care. To ensure your pet’s happy old age, you should consider these few points:
Behavior. Older dogs gradually become more conservative in their habits and more sensitive to changes in the environment. The animal can become grumpy, irritable, or touchy, especially in the presence of serious diseases that cause pain and discomfort. In advanced age, physical and emotional strain is simply destructive for dogs.
Aging and diseases. Even harmless symptoms in an elderly dog may indicate the development of serious diseases. The dog’s condition is often affected by weather, which can further mislead the owner.
Walking. In elderly dogs, even minor injuries don’t heal well. So, you need to keep an eye on the dog when taking them for a stroll. Exhaustion during a walk can cause fatigue, fits of arrhythmia, and shortness of breath. However, it doesn’t mean that you should forget about outdoor excursions altogether.
Vision. After their 8th birthday, dogs start losing visual acuity, which is most often associated with age-related changes in the lens. Try not to leave dangerous objects lying around the home and walk the dog only on a leash.
As stated above, it is in our power to ensure our furry friends’ comfortable old age. With proper care, owner’s love, and regular vet checkups, your dog will live a long and happy life!
This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.