15 Jun Make Life “GOLDEN” for Your Aging Bully
Older Bullies are the foundations of our breeding programs. In fact, many have become legends in their own right. Our older bullies hold a special place in our families, and in our hearts.
They’ve traveled across the country and competed in the show ring. Some have even produced many litters. These are just a few reason why it’s important to make their golden years as comfortable as possible.
How old is old?
There is no simple equation to determine an animal’s age in human years. A small dog, weighing 20 pounds or less, is considered old, or geriatric, at seven years. Larger breeds, weighing 50 lbs or more) have shorter life spans and can be called geriatric at six years of age.
Common Concerns for Aging Bullies
Increased Veterinary Care
Geriatric dogs need to visit the vet twice a year for wellness checks. The vet can detect and treat signs of disease and other age-related ailments early.
Your bully may also need different vaccinations. And parasite control is pertinent. Older dog’s immune systems are not as strong as they once were, and it is not as easy to heal and fight disease.
Diet and Weight Control
Weight can pose significant health risks to older dogs. Extra weight is a pre-cursor to disease, as well as a hazard to mobility, back and joint health.
Also, keep in mind that older dogs may need food that is easily digestible. Consider foods that are easy on their teeth and gums as well.
A lifetime of wear and tear can leave its mark on your Bully’s back. Preserve your pooch’s back by providing ramps or steps to his beloved spot on the couch or bed.
You can also ease lower back tension by placing food and water dishes between elbow and shoulder height.
Is your bully is favoring one limb or showing signs of stiffness in his joints? Is he having trouble standing and sitting? These are signs that he may be suffering from arthritis. Your vet will need to provide a complete diagnosis and recommend a plan for treatment.
Regular exercise, appropriate for your dog’s health and ability, will help maintain mobility in their later years.
As bullies age, their senses diminish, vision and hearing in particular. If you notice that your bully is less responsive to your voice, he may be developing a hearing problem. You can still communicate with him through touch and hand signals.
Some dogs may be able to hear a whistle or bell. Try using one to alert your bully of feeding times and other important parts of their daily routine.
Cloudy eyes are one indicator your dog has some vision impairment. It is helpful to maintain a predictable path to important areas in your home or kennel. This includes feeding areas and the back door. Providing brighter lights in these areas can help as well.
If your dog is suffering from diminished vision or hearing, avoid surprising them. Don’t approach the dog from the behind or disturb him from sleep. These could trigger aggressive responses.