Wednesday, May 03, 2006

What You Know About Older Dogs!

Aging Dog

Hi all,
I have received quite a number of questions since posting of articles about aged dog a few days back. I have compiled these questions and tried answering them to my best knowledge.

For the next few postings, I shall share with my dear readers the Q&A.

Lets get going....

Q & A: Part 1

Is there any special training equipment that should be used for the older dog?
No. A chain collar and six-foot web leash are applicable for all training sessions with a normal healthy dog, regardless of age.

Why don't dogs get cavities except in rare instances?
It is speculated that the enamel surface of the dog's teeth is harder and more impenetrable to pathogenisis than that of humans. Another factor could be that the dog is presumed to not to have amylase in the saliva as humans do; so while human starch-digestion begins in the mouth, the dog's starch-digestion starts further down the intestinal tract. Some research has since discovered salivary enzymes.

Do dogs have to go out for walks more often as they get older?
Yes, but for different reasons. If we are dealing with a normal, healthy dog, he can get along on the frequency he is used to. However, if you have an older dog that is beginning to show arthritis problems, it is a good idea to get him moving more often during the day. The older dog can also tend to get lazy, and circulation is improved with moderate walks.

Is a dog's bladder weaker at eight or nine years old?
Most of the time, what is interpreted as a weak bladder is actually a bladder infection or an ensuing kidney problem. Bladder infections can be common, regardless of age, and kidney disease is very pronounced in the older dog. Two of the most common problems in the older dog are bad heart and bad kidneys.

If the older dog begins to urinate in the house for apparently no reason, after being housebroken for many years, would you assume this to be a medical problem rather than spite-work?
Yes, most definitely. You must first eliminate any medical problems before you chastise your dog for disobedience. Medically speaking, if he is urinating in the house, this is most likely a bladder problem. If he is drinking more water and also urinating in the house, it could more likely be a kidney problem.

Is exercise bad for the older dog?
No. Exercise is very good for a dog unless there are definite contraindications, such as heart problems. All exercise should be within reason. Jumping hurdles is exercise that the older dog should not be asked to do, but walking provides healthful exercise for all dogs of any age.

Do older dogs need a different diet?
Yes. They should have less total protein but a higher quality protein. Different age dogs do require different diets. Young dogs need a high concentration of protein, middle-aged dogs can thrive on the protein that exists in the average good-quality dog food, and older dogs need lesser amounts of higher-quality protein. Excess protein produces more nitrogenous wastes, which means more work for the kidneys. Dogs with kidney problems could be put on prescription dog food, or small amounts of high-quality protein, such as in eggs, yogurt, tofu, ricotta, farmer cheese, cottage cheese, and hard mild cheeses, together with a lot of raw, grated vegetables. Kidney problems require low protein. Heart problems require low salt. Very often the two maladies go hand in hand.

Lets take a break here and continue with the rest in my next posting.


Aged Dog


Jessica said...

I love doggies! Cool post.

Faith said...

Hi Jessica,
Thanks for your comment.
Hope you enjoy my post and learn some useful tips too.

Keep you comments flowing.