Loving, loyal and patient. For many owners, their dog is their best friend. They provide years of cuddles, love and affection. But as a dog matures you may begin to notice physical and mental changes that make caring for your older dog very different from when he was a frolicking puppy.

Slowly Slowing Down

As the years pass you may notice your dog becoming less active and taking more naps. That’s a normal part of aging. Ensure your dog’s bed is comfortable and in an area where there are no drafts.

Less Running, More Cuddles

An older dog is more likely to begin experiencing loss of hearing or sight. Games such as hide and seek or fetch may become increasingly difficult. Alternate activities such as going for short walks, or even giving your older dog a bath is a good way to spend time together.

Doctor Knows Best

Older dogs are much less resistant to diseases and infections, so make sure your dog sees a veterinarian regularly. During a physical examination, a veterinarian will be able to ensure all vital organs are still working properly.

Don’t Forget His Teeth and Gums

Don’t underestimate the importance of maintaining regular oral health during your dog’s senior years. Neglecting oral care practices may lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease, which can cause your dog’s teeth to become brittle and even lead to other more serious problems such as kidney, liver, and heart disease.