How to prepare for a senior labrador retriever
Whether you had a lab for years or if you newly obtained one, you need to prepare for the senior years.
There are special considerations to think about when picking a puppy. You should know how to care to the dog through all phases of life. Life expectancy is another factor that should be taken into effect. Typically larger dogs live shorter lives. In this case, Labradors typically live 10-14 years. One should also take into consideration health issues of the breed.
Senior dogs should see their vet as often as suggested. Once they are considered a senior, there are signs of sickness to look for. Some of these signs are: sudden lethargy; frequent, unproductive urination; incontinence; weight loss; tumors, or wounds that won’t heal and bad breath. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should call your vet.
Senior dogs can also suffer from mental health illness, so grooming makes them feel more connected to you. Grooming daily also helps with their skin and coat. Just as their human counterparts, dogs also like to have their nails done. Whilst grooming, do not forget about the ears. Checking the ears daily will let you know if they are having any issues such as yeast, or fleas in that area.
As your dog grows older, something to think about is how your floors might be. Do you have hardwood floors or carpet? If you have hardwood floors, you might want to add area rugs or runners to allow for traction for aging dogs. You may want to raise the food and water bowls to make it easier on the shoulders. Adding a blanket to the bed might be a nice touch for your aging dog. Also, using a harness for walks will add some stability for your furry family member and it will certainly be easier for you should you need to help your dog along the way. You may also consider a ramp for getting in and out of your vehicle. Dogs love the car. Getting in and out as they age could be painful for them. A ramp could help ease this issue.
When you get a dog you should always take into consideration all age stages and what supplies may be necessary.