As your dog matures and mellows, their grooming routine will need revisiting. Dogs in their autumn years will see changes in their skin, coat, teeth and claws which will require extra care and attention.
So ramp-up the pampering with our top tips on grooming for the older dog.
Your dog’s coat should not be washed too often, but when it is be aware that as they age a dog’s skin becomes thinner and more likely to be irritated by products. Stick to a gentle and natural shampoo without chemicals which can upset and dry out their skin. And take great care when lifting them in and out the tub. Just like humans, dogs can get a little stiff as they mature and when they are standing still for a while.
Use a softer brush when brushing your dog’s coat as it becomes much coarser with age. Senior dogs are also more prone to moulting, so they will require brushing more frequently. Why not set aside a regular brush time? It’s a great way to bond and spend time with your dog that will benefit you both
A dog’s nose and paws are particularly susceptible to drying out. Avoid this by regularly applying a gentle balm or lotion. Burt’s Bees Paw & Nose Lotion with rosemary and olive oil is natural and very soothing.
Again, just like humans, your dog’s teeth weaken with age. It is very important, therefore, to ensure they are regularly brushed at home and as part of their grooming treatments. In addition, ensure they have dental check-ups. Tooth decay can be an expensive and painful problem so prevention is best. A professional clean by a vet can be instrumental in avoiding expensive doggy dental bills!
Dogs’ claws tend to keep trimmed naturally through walking on pavements or roads which wear them down. However, older dogs may walk less and therefore their nails may grow longer. Keep an eye on them and have them professionally trimmed by a groomer or vet. It’s important they don’t become uncomfortable, as this could cause your dog to limp and create problems elsewhere in their legs.
This blog is part of a series focusing on a dog’s life from puppy to pensioner! Read about how to look after your dog - from agility and grooming to neutering and zoning out.