What Changes to Expect in Your Aging German Shepherd?

So, you are proud that you got for yourself one of the best original German Shepherd puppies. And you probably love the dog like it is your own baby. But will this love continue throughout the dog’s life? Well, everyone loves cute puppies; it’s when you continue your love through your dog's senior years that you justify your love for animals.

Remember, a dog is not just a dog; it is a part of your family. And that is why it remains precious to every member of your family through its life- starting from the day it is brought home to the day it dies. And if you are an extreme animal lover, then you probably wouldn’t mind bringing home an already aging dog. No matter whether you have brought an old dog home or your own pup has entered its senior years, there are chances you might see certain unpleasant characteristics in it. What characteristics/changes we are talking about? Find out here-
  • The first and most common change is stiffening joints. When dogs age, their joints become stiff and achy. And that is why you should not expect your aging dog to hop around the house. It will get visibly slow in its activities. It will take time to get up from sleep and will find walking up and down the stairs and running around the house a little difficult. Although there is nothing much you can do about this inevitable change, you can help your dog feel better by supplementing its diet with vitamins and minerals. Gentle exercises can also help your pup improve its flexibility. So, adjust your dog’s exercise regime if need be. And make sure it stays active even if it can't engage in high energy activities.
  • As dogs age, they lose their hearing and eyesight. So, there are chances that the listening abilities and depth perception of your dog will get compromised with age. Hence, if your dog has begun to ignore your commands or has started avoiding its playtime, then it could be a sign that your dog is losing its hearing ability and eyesight. In such a scenario, it would be a folly on your part to punish or scold your dog for having ignored you. The best thing would be to take it to a vet for proper medical care.
  • Yes, dogs love to nap, but when it comes to a senior dog, napping becomes a habit. Aged dogs do not have a lot of energy to constantly move around or keep on doing things. And that is why they prefer to keep napping. Don't look at it as a disability; see it as something that will offer your dog a great deal of comfort. After all, if an aging dog is forced to move around, it will feel tired. Why let that happen? Allow your pup to rest as and when it feels the need. Offer that much of luxury to your dog. It's not a good thing to keep your aging dog on its toes. To make sure your dog is sleeping well, invest on a highly cushioned dog bed. Such a bed will definitely support your dog’s aching joints.
  • As time passes, you will notice a sea of change in how your dog’s skin appears. Maybe the day you brought your dog home, its skin was shining like some metallic substance. But times have changed now. And your dog doesn't look as lively as it used to some years back. Old dogs suffer from dry skin. Sadly, there isn’t much you can do about it. And it doesn't just remain confined to being dry, it can also get cracked, itchy and sometimes irritated. The areas that are drier are elbow and nose, which can become crusty and scaly over time.
  • To make sure your dog’s skin is not as dry as your neighbour’s dog’s is, you should give it supplements. Nourishing supplements will keep your dog’s skin hydrated. You can also massage some moisturizing balm on the driest areas of your dog's body to give it some relief. As an alternative, you can use coconut oil. Coconut oil has amazing moisturizing properties and it also fights microorganisms. Besides, coconut oil is something that can be used orally as well as topically.
  • When your dog reaches its senior years, it will wear a calmer demeanour. The reason why this happens is because they don't have that young pup energy anymore. They lack the enthusiasm and curiosity their younger counterparts have. So, they seem happy with their leisurely stroll or routine lounging. Older pups are also likely to spend more time with their owners. And that is probably the reason why a lot of dog lovers prefer to own or adopt older dogs instead of puppies.
  • An old dog is likely to fall sick frequently. Hence, it will need you to take it to the vet every now and then. Even if your dog doesn't fall ill, you should visit a vet twice a year. Older dogs are more prone to diseases which are best detected early. By taking your dog to the vet regularly, you will gift it a longer and happier life.
  • As a puppy, your dog probably ate anything and everything you put on to its platter. But now that it has aged, it has become fussier about eating. And not just that, its dietary requirements have also change drastically. Your dog’s calorific intake should be in sync with its daily activity. Plus, an aged dog needs more nutrients than its younger counterparts. If you don't know what to make your dog eat, it would be wise of you to talk to a vet. Your vet will be able to prescribe the best diet for your dog, according to its age and health condition.
You probably got home your dog after checking German Shepherd dog price in India on many websites. You didn't care about how much money went into getting the best dog because you wanted a lasting relationship with it. And now when it has begun to age, you should not change your behaviour towards it. You should do everything in your stride to make your aging dog feel like it's still a small pup, close to its owner’s heart.
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