A German Shepherd experiences many health related issues. These issues affect any old German Shepherd dog when they become older.
Here is a list of these problems, their signs, and how to take good care of your old German Shepherd dog health.
Your German Shepherd’s dog health is a priority so how do you take care of your old German Shepherd dog.
Average age of German Shepherds
Most German Shepherd live between nine to thirteen years. Depending on their health and issues they face, they will live to specific years.
But normally, they live a long and healthy life.
Signs of an aging in an old German Shepherd dog
- Changes in physical strength
- A change in reactions and behaviors
- Changes in attentiveness and concentration
- Changes in appearance and looks
- A change in heart rate, metabolism, and breathing
- Changes in digestion
- Greying around the muzzle
- Change in color of eyes and coat
- Most of the time your old German Shepherd dog will have a reduced appetite
- Signs of confusion especially at home and in new places
- Increased potty times
- Symptoms of diseases such as Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Arthritis, Tumors, Skin infections, Bladder infection, Elbow Dysplasia, and Degenerative Myelopathy.
Common causes of health related problems
There are symptoms of hip dysplasia such as lameness in your dog’s legs, pain and difficulty walking, and in most cases immobility.
Hip Dysplasia can be treated using physical therapy and in severe cases corrective surgery.
It happens when there is displacement in the elbow joint. It causes lots of pain such as difficulty walking, lameness in the legs, difficulty placing weight on their legs.
It is a degenerative disease in which it affects the joints of the leg. The symptoms include difficulty walking and pain in the affected joint.
How to take care of your old German Shepherd dog health
Change your old German Shepherd’s diet
Most old German Shepherd dog are prone to gaining weight. As their metabolism gets slower, they will need a low calorie diet.
They should also be given food that will be full of nutrients to keep their body’s active and healthy.
German Shepherds have joint problems so it is important to look for food that will help treat this problem.
As older German Shepherd dogs will be sensitive to junk food, you have to find foods that are low in protein and fats, has additional vitamins and omega 3, has fewer carbs, and is low in its total calories.
Exercise your old German Shepherd dog
Give your old German Shepherd exercise because naturally as they grow older, they tend to slow down in their movement.
Exercise such as walking is a great way for your German Shepherd to have exercise. Walking will not put a strain on your dog’s elbows or knees and won’t put a strain on their joints.
Try to let your German Shepherd dog stay active instead of sleeping all day long.
Another fun and great exercise for your German Shepherd is swimming. This sport is great for your dog’s joint and creates muscles without heavy impact on the joints.
You have to also avoid jumping as it is bad for your old German Shepherd dog joints and bones.
Teach them something new
Keeping your dog’s mind engaged is something that all dogs need regardless of age and breed.
You have to teach your dog new tricks and trainings so you can keep their mind active. Always reward your dog with treats and praise when you teach them something new.
You could also use toys as a way to keep their minds active. These puzzle toys are engaging and help keep mind fresh so they won’t have problems such as forgetting. They will be able to concentrate more effectively.
It will also keep them moving making them easily to become faster in their movement.
It’s important to let your old German Shepherd make friends with other dogs so they don’t feel lonely and isolated.
Make sure to not socialize them with younger dogs and puppies because they will be a bit aggressive in their play.
Just put them with dogs who are the same age and older so they can socialize with them with no problem.
The importance of socialization is tremendous as your dog will not feel alone and will have friends to play with.
Take care of your dog’s dental health
You should take care of your dog’s teeth. Dental disease is widespread in old German Shepherd dogs and any elderly dogs.
If your German Shepherd’s teeth are bothering them , they may stop eating and ,as a result, lose weight.
The key is to prevent dog teeth disease by brushing your dog’s teeth daily. In some cases, you may need to go to the vet for your dog to have a dental cleaning.
Special requirements for your dog
Many older German Shepherds will have hip problems so they will need ramps and dog stairs to help them. It will make it easier for a German Shepherd to move.
An elevated food dish also helps a dog with dog problems because the food dish is high enough for the German Shepherd to not use their joints completely.
A supportive and comfortable bed is one that is comfy in its bedding and relaxing for your dog to lay down in.
Give your German Shepherd supplements
You have to give your dog fatty acids such as DHA and EPA so you can decrease your health problems such as joint problems and arthritis.
Other useful supplements for your old German Shepherd are glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin sulphate which treat dogs who are experiencing joint pain.
Your vet may also recommend a multivitamin if your dog isn’t eating the proper amount of food or experiencing digestive problems.
In conclusion, an old German Shepherd requires frequent care for their health problems.
Some of these problems include Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Arthritis.
To know more about the best food for German Shepherds, check Best Food for German Shepherd and Diet Tips.