The gray whiskers make it official - your four-legged family member has hit senior dog status. As dogs age, new physical challenges come into play that can make daily hygiene and grooming a bit more challenging for pet parents.
Hip problems, arthritis, joint pain, or just the stiffness of old age can make it difficult for dogs to stand for long periods of time. Keep all grooming sessions short. Whether you see the pros or tackle basic beauty treatments at home, it’s better to work on your pet for 10 minutes at a time, a few days a week.
It may also be time to invest in a new brush. Your dog’s skin loses elasticity and becomes thinner with age. Many dogs also develop tender lumps and bumps in their later years. Your furry friend will appreciate a brush with softer, gentler bristles.
Changes to your dog’s skin and coat can also make Fido more sensitive to extreme temperatures. For the first time, your dog may shiver in cold weather. After bath time, spend extra time drying your little fur ball to prevent a chill. You may also want to consider a different hair cut or even a cute sweater to keep him comfy.
Older dogs tend to need pawdicures more frequently. Long nails can cause discomfort and make walking difficult, especially on non-carpeted surfaces. Trimming nails to the proper length will improve your dog’s grip and prevent falls when he scrambles to his feet to greet you at the door.
Your senior dog becomes less flexible as old age sets in. This makes the act of self-cleaning more difficult for your pet. What’s the best trick to keep your pooch tidy and clean? Spot check his backside after potty breaks and use baby wipes whenever a quick clean-up is needed.
If you bathe your dog at home, make sure to add a no-slip mat to the tub so your pet has extra secure footing. Bath time is a good time to inspect your dog’s body for any new skin irritations, growths, or lumps. Keep an eye on any changes and discuss any discoveries with your veterinarian.
Above all else, remember to be extra patient and loving!