Sad as it may be, there are some pet owners who choose to abandon their German Shepherd once the dog gets too old. But, this doesn’t have to be the case. As an owner, it is your full responsibility to make sure that your dog will have a healthy and happy life until his last breath.
Show Love the Same Way You Did during Your Pet’s Early Years
When you keep a German Shepherd, the first thing you have to remember is that this requires a lifelong commitment for about 12 to 15 years. As this particular breed develops a close attachment not only to their master but also to other members of the family, it makes it more imperative to take extra care of German Shepherds during their senior years. It can cause serious trauma if you will abandon these dogs in times when they need you the most.
How to Care for a Senior German Shepherd
Caring for your German Shepherd while he ages requires the need to give him lots of nutritious food because a great diet plays a major role to ensure your pet’s continued good health. Lots of greens and raw food, trachea, gullet and muscle meat will help strengthen a dog’s bone marrow. These ingredients are also packed with enzymes which are useful in helping an old German Shepherd enjoy a better food digestion. These also contain lots of amino acids, the friendly bacteria lactobacillus acidophilus and chondroitin sulfate which guarantees a healthy cartilage of your dog.
When looking after an old German Shepherd, it is important to check that his meals have less phosphorus and sodium. You also need to include adequate amount of essential fatty acids to have a great diet that will help keep your dog going. Make sure that the food you give to your pet does not contain excess minerals, vitamins and proteins as these will only do them more harm than good.
By now, your dog probably got three or four vaccinations. As a support, he needs annual booster shots for better health. In the same way that you did when he was still younger, you also need to keep tab of your dog’s weight since he can longer carry excess weight that can be detrimental to his health. This is specifically applicable to dogs aged 10 years and above. Close monitoring of his weight is one of the best ways of caring for your old German Shepherd to help with arthritis and ensure that he doesn’t develop any heart trouble.
Prevention is Always Better Than Cure
It is important for a German Shepherd’s geriatric care to focus on prevention instead of cure. As much as possible, you must try to detect diseases during their early stages. Since there are now better veterinary medicines, German Shepherds can live longer than their expected life span of 12 to 13 years. It is also better to groom your pet less and give him all the extra attention they need should they suffer from skin conditions which are pretty much common at this point.
At the end of the day, more than nutrition, diet and grooming, genuine care and love are the things that your old German Shepherd needs the most.