Aging dogs have senior dog health problems and diseases unknown to younger dogs. As your dog gets older, he may develop physical and mental limitations, just like an older person.
In addition to hearing loss and slowing down, aging dogs may develop arthritis, hypothyroidism, cataracts, Cushing’s Disease or they may experience muscle loss.
To keep your Bichon Frise dog comfortable, you may need to get him some special senior dog equipment or adapt his home environment to keep him active and comfortable…
Signs That Your Dog is Aging
As your Bichon Frise ages, you may notice some graying on her face and muzzle. She will probably move slower and she may have trouble getting up and down. In addition, she may need help to climb onto the sofa or get into the car.
You may find that your dog does not respond, when you speak to her. She may not be ignoring you or showing an attitude—she may be unable to hear you or she may be getting dementia.
As your Bichon Frise ages, it may become difficult to tell if she is misbehaving or if she is having medical problems–or a combination of the two!
Aging Dogs Lose Their Senses!
Dogs actually can become forgetful. Aging dogs sometimes forget their training, just as people can become forgetful and forget their manners.
Old dogs also can become deaf or hard of hearing and lose some or all of their vision. Even your Bichon Frise dog’s wonderful sense of smell may fade.
Perhaps even more frustrating, aging dogs can lose control of their urine, with telltale little puddles around the house.
If these things happen, your dog may not be in control. In fact, she may not even remember her obedience commands or that we always go outside to take care of business.
Help for Your Senior Dog
Here are some things that you can do to help your senior dog:
- Elevated Pet Bowl – Sometimes aging dogs just can’t bend down very far, or it is painful when they do. An elevated dog bowl could make eating less painful for your senior Bichon Frise dog.
- Pet Stairs – If your dog is having trouble getting onto the sofa or bed, a small set of stairs might help. Jumping on and off high places can seriously damage an older dog’s hip or leg joints.
- Carpeted Pet Ramp – Bichons love to go with you in the car. If your dog is having trouble jumping into the car, a ramp could be helpful.
- Pet Bed Warmer – A little heat can feel pretty nice on those old stiff bones. A heated dog bed is like having a heating pad in bed with you. Your arthritic dog will appreciate the pampering.
- Orthopedic Memory Foam Dog Bed – If you know your dog has a problem with stiffness, perhaps an orthopedic bed would help. An orthopedic dog bed is designed to support aging dogs’ old bones and make them more comfortable.
- Healthy Senior Diet – Aging dogs have different dietary needs from younger dogs. Make sure your older dog is getting all the nutrients that he needs.
Older dogs still need affection, play and exercise. While you may need to slow down for your older Bichon Frise, make sure you still include him in fun activities.
You and your family will need to learn how to help your Bichon be more comfortable. And you may have to make adaptations to your schedule and your home!