Preventing Colds in Senior Dogs
Are there any ways to preventing colds in senior dogs? Yes, there are. Consider the following six tips:
Preventing colds in senior dogs. Your furry best friend is getting older. His immune system no longer works as well as it did. You find he is getting sick more often than he used to. Are there any ways preventing colds in senior dogs? Yes, there are. Consider the following six tips to help keep your senior dog colds free and healthy.
1. Understand your senior dog is no puppy
Having an understanding of your dog’s physical state will help you understand why your dog is or isn’t getting sick. Dogs are like people. As they age, their immune systems is no longer as adept at fighting infection as they once were. Not only that but your dog is beginning to diminish physically. His coat is getting thinner and/or more brittle, and his skin is getting thinner as well. He can’t regulate his body temperature as well as he once did. This puts him at more risk for a cold than a dog with a thick healthy coat and thick skin. It’s okay that your dog doesn’t have the coat he once did; you just need to learn to adjust to it.
As dogs age they tend to exercise less as well, for whatever reason – arthritis or just plain less energy – but sedentary dogs tend to have more health problems as well. Many sedentary dogs put on extra weight, which taxes all parts of their body including their immune system. Maybe you know your dog has a thinner coat than he did when he was young, or you have noticed he is heavier than he was, whatever your dog’s physical condition, it is important you understand it.
2. Check with Your vet
The best way to get a good understanding of what is or isn’t plaguing your dog is to talk to you vet. Not only will your vet be able to tell you what your dog’s physical condition is, but your vet can also get your dog up to date on his immunizations. Getting your dog fully vaccinated is a great way to help protect him from the pesky dog cold.
3. Consider your senior dog’s companions
Another way to keep your dog from getting sick is to limit his exposure to sick dogs. Maybe you take your dog to the dog park. While most dog parks require dogs who use the park to be vaccinated, there is very little enforcement of said rule. There is a good probability that your dog could be exposed to a sick dog at the dog park. Not only that, but dog parks are more of a young dog’s game. Dogs with weak bones or joints shouldn’t go to dog parks because there is a great chance that a young, healthy dog might try and play with your senior dog and accidentally hurt him.
Another place to avoid with your senior dog are boarding kennels. While there might be a sick dog at the dog park, most dog parks are outside and there is a chance that your dog never interacts with the sick dog. At a kennel, your dog is not only around that sick dog all day, but he also sleeps in the same room as him. There is no way for your senior dog to avoid a sick dog while at a kennel.
4. Is Your Senior Dog Inside vs. Outside.
Maybe your dog has slept outside his entire life. As mentioned, as your dog ages, his skin becomes thinner. He does not have the ability to keep warm as he once did and sleeping outside at night can stress his immune system and cause him to get sick. Bringing a senior dog inside in his golden years greatly increases his ability to stay healthy, as well as his quality of life.
5. Dog bed heaters
Getting your dog a dog bed is a great step to take to help your dog sleep comfortably. Memory foam dog beds are particularly good for senior dogs because they eliminate all pressure points your dog feels when he sleeps. You can go a step further than just a dog bed however. Getting your dog a bed that is heated helps him stay warm at night, or even during the day, which helps his immune system stay healthy. Some companies even make dog bed heaters that are meant specifically for outdoor beds.
6. Senior dog food
Another way to keep your senior dog healthy is to get dog food that is specifically designed to provide the nutrients that senior dogs need. As humans, and dogs age, our bodies need more of certain nutrients and less of others. Getting your senior dog food that will supply him with the nutrients he needs will help him stay healthy. Talk to your vet about what is the best food for your senior dog.